“The Secret Journeys of Jack London, Book One: The Wild” by Christopher Golden and Tim Lebbon (HarperCollins, 2011)

Jack London The Wild
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We all know of the incredible writings of Jack London, who brought the wild world of nature to life with such unforgettable books as White Fang and Call of the Wild.  He was a man who embraced nature and respected everything it had to offer, but how did he become this man?

The dynamic writing duo of Christopher Golden and Tim Lebbon – who have brought us the entertaining “Hidden Cities” series with The Map of Moments and Mind the Gap – seek to answer this question now with a new series: The Secret Journeys of Jack London.  How did Jack London become the great writer he was?  Through unforgettable experiences, but these stories are the ones he could never quite explain; the ones he could never write about.

In the first book, The Wild, Jack London is a seventeen year-old boy traveling to the frozen wilds of Canada via Alaska, venturing into the dangerous Yukon Territory to play a part in the gold rush.  London quickly makes some new friends who struggle to travel along a wild river with raging rapids and the onset of an early winter, spend their time starving in an isolated cabin, and discover the existence of a gold-planning slave trade.  Then things take a turn for the supernatural and London finds himself on a number of occasions face to face with the fearful Wendigo.

Golden and Lebbon start out a little slow, keeping things normal and adventurous, but then things take a turn for the outright fantastic, with uses folklore and myth.  Readers of any age will be able to identify with this fun-loving, adventurous character who – fantasy elements aside – could well be telling true tales of his possible life.

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Originally written on April 10, 2011 ©Alex C. Telander.