The Wild HuntsboysFeatured
In a city overrun by war, Luka doesn't have time for games. So when his little sister asks him to care for her faeries as she's sent away to escape the air raids, he dismisses her childishness. But it's already more than he can bear to see her go, so he promises to do as she asks.
A promise that Luka quickly breaks. In an empty home, anger and frustration get the better of him. Instead of leaving an offering for the faeries, he flings their saucer of milk as far out the window as he can. Big mistake. The faeries are not only very real, but they're more terrifying than he could have ever imagined. And now they want revenge.
With the aid of his new friends--a savvy techie, a quiet evacuee, and an unlikely ally--Luka has three days to turn his house into a fortress. But his problems are even more complicated than he thought: it's not just the faeries who are out to get the Wild Huntsboys . . .
If Luka fails, those closest to him will pay the price--and time is running out.
The other thing that I loved was the scrappy, insulting, back-and-forth nature of all three boys. They are gross and dirty, and yell insults at each other and at the Junkyard King. This gave the book a lot of middle grade humor and a feeling of parent-free chaos that made me chuckle and will be adored by readers who are the same age. Stewart seems to remember what it is like to be twelve and translates a sort of Lord of the Flies feeling into a more humorous way of dealing with a dystopian environment. After all, when evil fairies are after you, no holds are barred!
For readers who want deeper philosophical themes to their books, we do have the touching bond between Luka and his sister, and an even more interesting bond that we see form between Luka and Jem. While Luka does take responsibility for slighting the fair folk, he also works hard to try to make amends. He certainly wins over Jem, but will it be enough to appease the leader of the fae?
I don't quite see the similarities to Adam Gidwitz mentioned in the book blurb, but this did remind me of Sarah Rees Brennan's The Demon's Lexicon, and a little bit of Older's Flood City. Of course, comparisons have to be made to Colfer's Artemis Fowl as well, but I have to say that The Wild Huntsboys had me rooting for Luka in a way that I never could champion the wily Artemis. I'll definitely purchase this for my library, and while it won't be the book for every reader, it will certainly delight the right one.