Wilders (Project Earth, #1)
Coryn Williams is left behind in the megacity of Seacouver after her parents commit suicide and her sister, Lou, flees the city to work for a non-governmental organization (NGO) in the wild lands. For company, Coryn has her companion robot, Paula, who helps her get through school, keeps her safe in the city, and acts a coach for her in many things -- including running marathons. But Coryn misses her sister. When she graduates from high school, she is required to choose a profession. She refuses, instead choosing to “go feral” and leave the safety of her city to find Lou. She abandons most of her technology, which will not work in the wilds anyway, but brings along her robot companion, Paula. Wilders explores the relationship between the two sisters, between the megacites and the wild lands, and between a city girl and her robot protector. Coryn must grow up during a science fictional adventure full of drone flights and fights, frightening ecobots, and dangerous weather.

Wilders (Project Earth, #1) Details

TitleWilders (Project Earth, #1)
Author
FormatPaperback
ReleaseJun 13th, 2017
PublisherPyr
ISBN1633882659
ISBN-139781633882652
Number of pages350 pages
Rating
GenreScience Fiction, Young Adult, Adult Fiction

Wilders (Project Earth, #1) Review

  • Coolcurry
    May 31, 2017
    Trigger warning: suicideReading Wilders was a struggle from the get go. It took me three weeks to finish. I haven’t had this much difficulty forcing myself to finish something since my senior English class read Faulkner. I may take Faulkner over Wilders.The future is divided between the cities and the unincorporated land outside them, intended to be restored to nature and wilderness. Coryn Williams lives in the megacity of Seacouver but is left orphaned after her parents double suicide. Her sist Trigger warning: suicideReading Wilders was a struggle from the get go. It took me three weeks to finish. I haven’t had this much difficulty forcing myself to finish something since my senior English class read Faulkner. I may take Faulkner over Wilders.The future is divided between the cities and the unincorporated land outside them, intended to be restored to nature and wilderness. Coryn Williams lives in the megacity of Seacouver but is left orphaned after her parents double suicide. Her sister Lou leaves her behind to become a ranger, working for an NGO on the outside. On her eighteenth birthday, Coryn is determined to reunite with Lou… so she ventures outside her city, accompanied only by her robot Paula.I don’t know where to start with Wilders. It’s just got so many problems. I kept trying to think of something positive to say about it and coming up blank. I did eventually hit on one positive: Wilders is well intentioned. It drips with earnestness. Brenda Cooper clearly cares about the ecology and the environment. However, the author’s sincerity was not enough to make Wilders readable.Wilders starts with a completely unnecessary two page long info dump about the setting. Honestly, that was the first sign I wasn’t going to like this book. Then Wilders starts up the actual storyline about Coryn. This leads me to something that bugged me throughout the entire book.How the heck is it the city’s fault that Coryn’s parents killed themselves? The narrative keeps asserting that her parents killed themselves because they hated living in the city so much. Here’s the thing. They weren’t trapped in the city. Coryn literally just walks out when she decides to go find Lou. So if they didn’t like living in the city… couldn’t they just leave? From what I can tell, her parents didn’t die “because of the city.” They died because they had mental health issues that I see no way the city was responsible for. This future involves some sort of universal healthcare that appears to be much better than whatever America currently has. Coryn mentions going to the doctor whenever she needs to, not worrying about it. She also mentions her mom was on anti-depressants, so she was getting at least some sort of treatment for her depression. So from everything I can tell, her parents were getting health care coverage and treatment (from the city FYI), so it’s not the fault of the medical system that they killed themselves. The explanation implied by Wilders is that her parents killed themselves because they hated living in the city since “the city’s soulness not like nature” or something along those lines.I just… this entire backstory makes me so angry. I really don’t like the whole “it’s the city’s fault” line of thought. For one, the city erases many of the social ills our country currently struggle with. Coryn’s family had a guaranteed basic income, housing, and healthcare. That’s more than can be said for many families right now. Secondly, a walk in the woods isn’t going to cure depression. As someone who has been depressed, trust me when I say that reconnecting with nature isn’t going to magically fix your brain attacking itself. I found the plot point of Coryn’s parents suicide incredibly frustrating and to be trivializing mental health issues.Of course, all of that happens within the first twenty pages or so. There’s still the rest of the book. Coryn’s fifteen when her parents kill themselves, but she’s eighteen for the majority of the book. Unfortunately, she reads more like twelve. I don’t expect eighteen year old protagonists to be completely mature, but I do expect a degree of common sense. Coryn doesn’t tell Lou she’s coming to live with her. She just walks into a completely unknown, potentially dangerous situation. I kept thinking that she was spoiled and bratty. Logically, I know that she lived in an orphanage for three years after her parents killed themselves, but I couldn’t stop thinking of Coryn as “spoiled.” On the bright side, at least I got the impression of a character trait? The cast as a whole was completely cardboard and two dimensional. The characters were little more than names on the page.There was an attempt at a romance subplot. I would have been annoyed about it, but it was mostly just so bland and half baked that it never even got on my nerves. Truthfully, it was the least of this book’s problems.For instance, I am still not sure what was going on with the plot. Eco-terrorists are definitely involved, but I haven’t figured out whether or not Lou was one? Lou and some of her ranger friends were planning something, but I am confused as to what they were trying to do. It must have been more than just a protest. Lou and some of the other characters felt sort of like those extreme animal rights people who think anyone who’s not a vegan is a murderer. At one point she calls species extinction “genocide,” although thankfully Coryn comments that the word choice seems a bit extreme. No duh. As terrible as killing polar bears is, it’s extremely offensive to compare it to the Holocaust.It took me three weeks to finish reading Wilders, and I lost track of how many other books I started and finished during that time. The world building, the characters, the plot… in all regards Wilders was unsatisfying. It’s not a book I would ever recommend.Originally posted on The Illustrated Page.I received an ARC in exchange for a free and honest review.
    more
  • Viva
    April 29, 2017
    I found the writing to be very dry, slow and uninteresting. The characters were flat, each character was interchangeable, one might as well have just been another. The writing was awkward and very difficult to read. I had to struggle to force myself to read this. 1 star.I got this as an uncorrected ARC.
    more
  • Kate Sherrod
    April 5, 2017
    Full review at Skiffy and Fanty, soon.
  • Joy
    June 11, 2017
    Disclosure: I know the author personally, have done copyediting and other work for her (not on this book, however), and got a copy of the book from her before it was published.What will happen to us as climate change accelerates? One possible option is the creation of megacities that house 95% or more of the world's population, while the rest of the world is "rewilded" back to a more natural and sustainable state. That's what has happened in this near-future speculative fiction, which starts off Disclosure: I know the author personally, have done copyediting and other work for her (not on this book, however), and got a copy of the book from her before it was published.What will happen to us as climate change accelerates? One possible option is the creation of megacities that house 95% or more of the world's population, while the rest of the world is "rewilded" back to a more natural and sustainable state. That's what has happened in this near-future speculative fiction, which starts off in the city-state of Seacouver that was created jointly by the mayors of Seattle and Vancouver some time back. Coryn and her older sister Lou have grown up in Seacouver, and both leave the city once they reach their majority to go on different adventures that end up bringing them back together.This book excels at bringing up a lot of important ideas - climate change, connected and managed cities, neat technology (we've got domes!), basic universal income, automation, NGOs and corporations and governments (and their interactions), and probably a few more. This melange of ideas is the story's strength but also a bit of its weakness, at times, as there were some points where I was not entirely sure what was going on or why, especially when it came down to the motivations of offscreen characters/factions. Coryn and Lou's story is set amongst this rich and complicated backdrop, and at times I was far more interested in what was going on behind them than I was in what they were doing or why. Part of this is due to the "coming of age" aspect of this story - it starts when Coryn is just about 13 or so, after all - and so I hope this will be improved with the next book in the series. This lack of knowledge of the rest of the world can also be viewed as a problem that plagues lots of us in today's world, however, so perhaps that is intentional.My favorite character was Julianna, and I'm fascinated to learn more about her, her backstory, and her motivations when the story continues. Presumably Coryn and Lou will also continue to develop into more capable and rounded adults, and learn more about how the world is set up along the way - I'm especially interested in how the cities were setup, the boundaries that were drawn, and how people outside of those boundaries were handled. This is a fun read, with some interesting bits, some awe-inspiring bits (those bridges...), and lots of interesting ideas to chew on. I think this one suffers a bit due to being a "setup" book, as while I love worldbuilding in general this one is just enough different from our own that I feel I needed more social history than I got to understand it, and I hope that'll be rectified in the next entry. I'll definitely be reading the next book in the series!
    more
  • Lori L (She Treads Softly)
    June 18, 2017
    Wilders by Brenda Cooper is a highly recommended coming-of-age dystopian science fiction novel.In the near future cities have expanded to megacities that take care of most of the populations every need. The land outside the cities is set aside for wilding, or returning it to a natural state, sans humans with the exception of those hired in the capacity to assist returning nature to a natural balance. Coryn Williams and her sister Lou grew up in Seacouver, a merging of Seattle and Vancouver. Afte Wilders by Brenda Cooper is a highly recommended coming-of-age dystopian science fiction novel.In the near future cities have expanded to megacities that take care of most of the populations every need. The land outside the cities is set aside for wilding, or returning it to a natural state, sans humans with the exception of those hired in the capacity to assist returning nature to a natural balance. Coryn Williams and her sister Lou grew up in Seacouver, a merging of Seattle and Vancouver. After their parents' suicides, Lou was hired to join a rewilding crew and left the city. She left Coryn behind at an orphanage, occasional sending her bland emails about the beauty she sees in the wild. Once Coryn becomes of age, she chooses to leave the city with Paula, her companion robot, to look for her sister.Outside the city's dome, the world is much different and more treacherous than Lou let on. Coryn is in almost constant peril of being harmed, robbed, and having Paula stolen from her. Even the weather, uncontrolled outside the city dome, is dangerous and unpredictable. While it seems that most people outside can't be trusted, Coryn manages to press on, meets a few people who may be friends, and she eventually does find Lou; but everything Lou wrote about outside to Coryn doesn't seem to reflect the reality of the life Lou is living. There is also some risky plan and private agenda between Lou and some people Coryn knows are evil. The only problem is that no one, not even Lou, trusts her enough to tell her what is going on.This is the first book in a future series. Admittedly, I enjoyed Wilders considerably, although it felt like it was a whole lot longer than 367 pages while I was reading it. Part of the issue is that even though the plot has interesting little scenes or hooks in it to propel you forward with bursts of speed, the action is rather slow moving. Once you keep reading, not all the interesting bits are fully explained and the world building is a little lacking.You need to set aside certain expectations and roll with the narrative in this case. The story flows smoothly, and we reach a conclusion of sorts, but obviously more books in the series will mean more information about the city, etc. Coryn is an interesting character and there are several other interesting characters along the way. Now, we don't get to know too much about any of them, except Coryn, but I'd imagine future books will flesh out people more completely. Wilders reads like a YA title and would be highly suitable for that audience. This is a nice start to a new series.Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Pyr Books.http://www.shetreadssoftly.com/2017/0...
    more
  • Vanessa
    June 29, 2017
    I make it a point to always finish a book, I think there's only ever been one that I just couldn't muster the verve to complete. Usually this works out for me, either in that it all turns around and I end up being surprised, or that it's so terrible I hop on here and review it to vent my rage.Luckily Wilders doesn't fall in to the latter category. Unfortunately it doesn't fall in to the former either.I'm not quite sure what it was all about, there's some suicide, soul searching, trying to re-bui I make it a point to always finish a book, I think there's only ever been one that I just couldn't muster the verve to complete. Usually this works out for me, either in that it all turns around and I end up being surprised, or that it's so terrible I hop on here and review it to vent my rage.Luckily Wilders doesn't fall in to the latter category. Unfortunately it doesn't fall in to the former either.I'm not quite sure what it was all about, there's some suicide, soul searching, trying to re-build the planet back up after we deplete it, megacities, and lots and lots of biking. Lots. Like, all the damn time, all over the place, all over bridges and walls and trees and AR, and fairies and a dog? The endless biking descriptions I found tedious in case that wasn't clear.The characters to me were flat and not very well thought out. The main character is Coryn and we follow her as she leaves the safety of Seacouver (mega city) to hunt down her sister who left a while ago to help with that whole re-build the planet thing. Coryn bugged me, her attitude, her thoughts, her damn giggling at the weirdest parts of the story. Her jealousy, her obnoxiousness, single mindedness on "family" that seems really important to her but I couldn't find it in myself to give a hoot about, and her switcharoo notice of things. So, I didn't like the main character.I won't go on about her sister, Lou, her romantic interest, Blessing, or that damn Aspen. And I won't even mention Paula.So what exactly was good? The IDEA of the story. There were about 30 pages there where it shone through and I could see what the author wanted to say. I could feel her passion about the planet, the message she wanted everyone to hear. And then I lost it. And to be honest it looks like the editor did too because after about page 210 the errors and grammer drops just about did me in.So, in short (if you've read this far) if you are a 16 year old, self centered and absorbed OCD vegan Eco-terrorist who LOVES biking-good news! I found a book for you.If you are anyone else, you can go ahead and give this one a pass.
    more
  • Jessica Higgins
    June 26, 2017
    Another dystopian novel that is a bit more unique than you might think.Coryn Williams has grown up in the metropolis of Seacouver, Washington. A town that has been developed under a weather dome. This is a new generation of smart city that is completely connected with each person and tells them when they need certain items or when to go to the doctor. But the city is not for everyone, many suffer from it. Coryn’s parents each took their life and her older sister must get out of the city before i Another dystopian novel that is a bit more unique than you might think.Coryn Williams has grown up in the metropolis of Seacouver, Washington. A town that has been developed under a weather dome. This is a new generation of smart city that is completely connected with each person and tells them when they need certain items or when to go to the doctor. But the city is not for everyone, many suffer from it. Coryn’s parents each took their life and her older sister must get out of the city before it drives her to the same fate, so she sets of to work for a rewilding foundation that is reestablishing the ecosystem that humans have destroyed.Three years later, Coryn is set to graduate from school and must head into a career. Instead she decides to do the unthinkable; voluntarily go outside of the dome to find her sister. But will her sister want to see her? And will the city let her back in?Dystopian novels are rapidly becoming a dime a dozen. It’s hard to find something new and fresh that doesn’t build upon an already realized idea. However, Cooper definitely piqued my interests with this one. I’ve done a lot of research into smart cities and how they currently interact versus how they are planning to connect in the future with the internet of things. This book easily brings my fears into place with the amount of data that the city knows and how the city can protect itself. Coryn was an interesting character. She was very independent (and stubborn) and set out to find her sister with no thoughts of what could happen to her. But she got more than what she bargained for once she found her. I’m curious if the storms were a result of the damaged ecosphere, but that may come in a future book.There is some occasional harsh language for a YA novel, which is why I took it down to 4 stars. Even so, it is a really good read.I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. The views and opinions expressed within are my own.
    more
  • Glenda
    June 26, 2017
    I really enjoyed this book up until the end, did not understand the decisions to wrap up the story (view spoiler)[ with that news studio scene at all. Just seemed unrealistic, knowing what the villains were capable of, that they would be disarmed so effortlessly. (hide spoiler)] I will likely read book 2, because overall I did enjoy the characters and the story, just really annoyed with the ending!
    more
  • Donna Kowalski
    June 19, 2017
    Great BookThis is a great book for both youth and adults. The near future should concern us all and make us think about the environment and animals we should protect. I am looking forward to more books in this series.
  • Elizabeth
    June 10, 2017
    I enjoyed this book very much, it left me wanting to read more on what would be going on with the characters. I want to read more that this author writes.
  • Danielle
    April 23, 2017
    With global climate at the forefront of--most of--the world's concerns, Brenda Cooper gives us a frank glimpse into a possible future. Coryn lives in the protective cocoon of Seacouver, a megacity where basic needs are met and those in charge talk a good game about bringing Mother Nature back to her former glory to save the earth and humanity from ecological disaster.When Coryn leaves the city to rejoin her sister, who is working as a Wilder, her eyes are opened and she learns what she 'knows', With global climate at the forefront of--most of--the world's concerns, Brenda Cooper gives us a frank glimpse into a possible future. Coryn lives in the protective cocoon of Seacouver, a megacity where basic needs are met and those in charge talk a good game about bringing Mother Nature back to her former glory to save the earth and humanity from ecological disaster.When Coryn leaves the city to rejoin her sister, who is working as a Wilder, her eyes are opened and she learns what she 'knows', what she and the population of the megacities are told, has little bearing in the outside world. If you want a great read about timely issues and the intrigue that goes in to building such a future, check out Wilders.
    more
  • John
    June 19, 2017
    Review available at Foreword Reviews.
Write a review