The Wild Beyond by Piers Torday<br>
Hachette, 2015. ISBN 9781848668485
(Age: 11+) Highly recommended. Themes: Dystopian World, Human and Animal Communication, Fantasy, Good and Evil, Quests. Reading Ages: 11-13. "This city, this island, this world - it's our home. If it's dying, we have to find the cure."
Piers Torday's The Wild Beyond dystopian fantasy concludes with this fast-paced novel. This is an amazing action-packed adventure that takes, Kester, Polly, Aida and their animal companions across the World's Seas to find the Iris, a DNA depository for all extinct flora and fauna. Kester's ability to talk to the animals left in their world, leads him to learn a secret from the last whale. Together forever is the motto, that carries the three friends through their arduous journey. Before they leave, they encounter wicked Auntie Fenella, whose evil actions include disabling their ship and returning the group to the mastermind Selwyn Stone. While the rest of the survivors left after the flooding and destruction of their city are herded into a spaceship bound for a distant planet, their small group needs to escape and find a solution to their problem. With the help of a straggly flock of birds and three amazing dolphins they travel for days in a small glass boat to the island of Faraway.
There are so many difficulties to face, thirst and hunger, dehydration, loss of friends, fire, the evil Cullers trying to kill them, betrayal, near-drowning, attacks by giant stinging jellyfish, at times their quest seems impossible. Their animal friends provide support, guidance and comedy relief.
This novel is richly complex, multilayered with strong characters' who show bravery, resilience, perseverance and ingenuity who work together to save their world from destruction. There are powerful environmental messages throughout, caring for animals, plants and the environment.