Friday, March 22, 2013
REVIEW: Wild Boy by Rob Lloyd Jones
Wild Boy has lived his entire life separate from other people, never really fitting in or belonging because of the hair that grows all over his body. Because of this, Wild Boy has learned a different way of seeing than everyone else, a way of observing his surroundings that most people don't take in. And these powers of detection come in pretty handy as Wild Boy is accused of murder and is on the run to clear his name...
There is so much to love about this book. Wild Boy as a character wormed his way into my heart very early on in the book, with the way he's always been poorly treated and how all he's ever wanted is for a friend, somebody who doesn't rear back in revulsion at the sight of him. Unfortunately for Wild Boy, he was first abandoned at a work home and then later taken in by the showman of a travelling circus, to be the star attraction in the freak show. It is at the circus when him and his arch-enemy, Clarissa stumble upon a mysterious letter warning of bad things to come that Wild Boy gets into the middle of some pretty dangerous things and sets off to solve this mystery that is unfolding around him and to clear his and Clarissa's names.
I especially loved the mystery that comes with Wild Boy - of the Gentlemen, this powerful machine that is worthy murdering for and also finding out how and why Wild Boy or this circus came to be involved. There were plenty of times where Wild Boy is deciphering clues around him at a crime scene that made him really reminiscent of a young Sherlock Holmes with his powers of deduction. It made me love Wild Boy that much more. With Wild Boy's cleverness and Clarissa's physical ability as an acrobat, they make an amazing crime-solving team. And I wanted to cheer for the pair of them. throughout.
Plus, this book is set in Victorian London and trying to solve these murders and to catch up with this hooded figure takes Wild Boy and Clarissa all through London to some pretty creepy places. Sewers and graveyards and a rather grim anatomy college surrounded by bones and body parts. But everything about it was fascinating and I loved how vividly I was able to see what it might have been like in London in 1841.
Wild Boy is a wonderful book, filled with adventure and mystery and with really great characters. I highly recommend that you read it!