Young Adult title. One sixteen-year-old girl versus a plague of beasts. Can a sixteen-year-old girl stem the tide of a lycanthropocalypse? When three younger boys show up on Mia's doorstep, naked and on the run, she is drawn into a shadow world where a series of strange disappearances heralds a slowly spreading plague of lycanthropy. Mia must save the three orphaned boys from their brutal Alpha, a man-beast who believes humans are food. A war is brewing for the top of the food chain. Mia doesn't know it yet, but she holds the key to the future of the human race.
I enjoy paranormal books ALMOST as much as I enjoy Sci-Fi books. Luckily for me, The Wild Boys was a mixture of both. Combining elements of fantasy, namely werewolves, and the science of blood-related viruses, this book kept me on the edge of my seat from beginning to end. Heermann approaches shape-shifting as if it is a Zombie-like epidemic in this book and backs it up with very believable scientific observations. Don't think, however, that this was a dull, dry read full of big, boring words. It was actually a fun, exciting, nerve-wracking, sad, and adventurous tale. Mia, the protagonist, is fairly new to her school and the town of Omaha, Nebraska. She feels particularly out of her depth because of her heritage, which is part Japanese, part American, and her tiny figure that isn't as curvaceous as the popular girls at school. On top of these typical teen issues, she also has to deal with a father who is always a work, a mother who is utterly grief-stricken, and her own guilt over the death of her younger brother. Travis Heermann has created in Mia a character that almost everyone can sympathize with. If you've ever felt too smart, too dumb, the wrong color, too tall, too short, you will be able to relate to her. Yet Mia also shows a strength and courage that makes her a very likable character. I found myself cheering her bravado on as she dealt with the very brutal side of the werewolf epidemic. I also, occasionally, cheered the werewolves on as well because who doesn't like the underdog?? Hopefully, Heermann will follow up with a sequel on the growing war between humans and shape-shifters, as he teases at the conclusion of The Wild Boys. I'll be first in line to buy it:)
Publisher-Damnation Books, LLC
Reviewer Rating: 4.5 Stars
Thank you to the author for donating this book to the Read for your Future book program in exchange for a honest review.