Booklist Review

Rochelle, Warren. The Wild Boy. Sept. 2001. 260p. Golden Gryphon, $22.95 (1930846-04-5).

In Rochelle's wonderfully moving variation on the classic theme of Earth's subjugation by aliens, the conquerors just want to bond with us. The sophisticated, space-faring Lindauzi have depended on their powerful emotional linkage to their companion race, the simian Iani. But the Iani have all died of a terrible plague. After many Lindauzi suicides, Crown Prince Corviax determines to find a replacement species. Eventually, he discovers humanity. Regretfully, he begins culling to eliminate humans' technology, advanced culture, and emotional ties to one another. Finally, people live either as the Lindauzi's pets and servants or as tattered "wolves" in abandoned towns and forests. The long-lived Lindauzi continue breeding humans and improving their empathic capability, until Corviax's son discovers one with the true bonding talent. But that human, Ilox, flees, falls in love outside, and creates a family. Years later, when he is stolen from the human community, his 11-year-old son, Caleb, starts "hearing" the Lindauzi in his head and enduring a fierce struggle between longing to join them and rescuing his father.

—Roberta Johnson, Booklist, August 1, 2001


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