cover image Wilders


Brenda Cooper. Pyr, $18 trade paper (350p) ISBN 978-1-63388-265-2

Cooper’s plodding coming-of-age novel posits a near future in which humankind has nearly destroyed Earth’s natural resources. Those in domed city-states such as Seacover (formerly Seattle and Vancouver) live in blissful ignorance of life Outside. After Coryn and Lou Williams’s parents killed themselves, the girls were resettled in an orphanage. At age 18, Lou became a rewilder, helping reclaim the land and save threatened species. When Coryn turns 18 a few years later, she takes off with her robot, Paula, in search of Lou. The Outside harbors dangers she never imagined, and by the time the sisters reconnect, neither trusts the other. The science fiction elements—including ecobots, domed cities, and artificial reality glasses—are believable and intriguing, and readers will be drawn into the dystopian depiction of the Outside and the various factions double-crossing each other for money and power. But Lou’s wariness about Coryn means she reveals the truth about her activities too slowly, putting significant drag on the plot and increasing the reader’s frustration instead of amping up dramatic tension. Agent: Eleanor Wood, Spectrum Literary Agency. (June)