All Things Left Wild: Review and Giveaway


ALL THINGS LEFT WILD
by
James Wade

Genre: Adventure / Rural Fiction / Coming of Age Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Publication Date: June 16, 2020 Number of Pages: 304 pages

Scroll down for the giveaway!



After an attempted horse theft goes tragically wrong, sixteen-year-old Caleb Bentley is on the run with his mean-spirited older brother across the American Southwest at the turn of the twentieth century. Caleb’s moral compass and inner courage will be tested as they travel the harsh terrain and encounter those who have carved out a life there, for good or ill.  Wealthy and bookish Randall Dawson, out of place in this rugged and violent country, is begrudgingly chasing after the Bentley brothers. With little sense of how to survive, much less how to take his revenge, Randall meets Charlotte, a woman experienced in the deadly ways of life in the West. Together they navigate the murky values of vigilante justice. Powerful and atmospheric, lyrical and fast-paced, All Things Left Wild is a coming-of-age for one man, a midlife odyssey for the other, and an illustration of the violence and corruption prevalent in our fast-expanding country. It artfully sketches the magnificence of the American West as mirrored in the human soul. PRAISE for All Things Left Wild: “A debut full of atmosphere and awe. Wade gives emotional depth to his dust-covered characters and creates an image of the American West that is harsh and unforgiving, but — like All Things Left Wild — not without hope.” — Texas Literary Hall of Fame member Sarah Bird, Daughter of a Daughter of a Queen “James Wade has delivered a McCarthy-esque odyssey with an Elmore Leonard ear for dialogue. All Things Left Wild moves like a coyote across this cracked-earth landscape—relentlessly paced and ambitiously hungry.” — Edgar Award finalist David Joy, When These Mountains Burn

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All Things Left Wild was so beautifully written. The story follows two different POV’s, Caleb and Randall, which leads you on quite a ride! James Wade poetically describes much of Texas that leaves the reader envisioning themselves as they read. Though it’s a true grit Texas read, I really enjoyed James Wade’s writing style and found myself devouring the ink on the pages. 

I really enjoyed reading from Caleb’s POV, here you have this young man who is trying to move on from his former life and to try and find some sort of redemption. There’s alot of growth that takes place with him, both good and bad, and I enjoyed seeing his character change and evolve throughout the story. Randall was a little harder for me to read, perhaps it was the switch from first person (Caleb) to third person (Randall). His character I think was a bit rougher around the edges. He’s a man set on vengeance despite the cost. Both though are on a collision course!  I’m not sure why the author decided to do first-person and third-person, I’ve seen this done with other authors as well. The switch is hard for me, it feels unnatural. But that is my only critique on the novel as everything else about it was wonderfully crafted. 

Overall I enjoyed the characters, I think they all had their flaws, and they all had very interesting character arcs. I loved how everything came to a close at the end and I enjoyed the plot twists and unravels. 

But let’s get to some AMAZING writing here for just a moment.

One of my favorite ways that Wade describes the landscape is when Caleb is describing it to Sophia: “beyond to the blue water and great hills dotted with green and then finally the horizon as it held up the clouds bleeding into the purple sky.”  That imagery is simply breathtaking and the entire novel is filled with it. And not just with the landscape either, he is illustrative and vivid with his descriptions throughout the entire novel. 

Another description that I just loved was how he described the shooting stars: “and all the while ignoring the shooting stars as they emblazoned their legacy across the sky in an extremity of drama and dying, never to be seen again by this world or another.”

That star just pierced my heart!

Oh and there’s more… there’s so much more! Words are so powerful and James Wade’s is not shy of enchanting his readers with his eloquent narration. 

I’m telling you, I craved these words! James Wade is the Lani Taylor of historical westerns! I’m not saying that all I need is beautiful words to keep me reading a book, I enjoyed so much about this novel, the characters, the plot, the twists, the way the story tugged on my heart at the end. But sometimes I really enjoy reading a book for how it is written, for the words used to describe the story. All Things Left Wild is Texas poetry to be sure. And to be honest, it inspires me to be a better writer. 

This historical western is an adventure you don’t want to miss so open the book and fall right in!  



James Wade lives and writes in Austin, Texas, with his wife and daughter. He has had twenty short stories published in various literary magazines and journals. He is the winner of the Writers’ League of Texas Manuscript Contest and a finalist of the Tethered by Letters Short Fiction Contest. All Things Left Wild is his debut novel.
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———————————
GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY!
TWO WINNERS: A signed copy of All Things Left Wild
JUNE 18-28, 2020
(US ONLY)

FOR DIRECT LINKS TO EACH POST ON THIS TOUR, UPDATED DAILY, 
or visit the blogs directly:

6/18/20
Author Video
6/18/20
Excerpt
6/19/20
Review
6/19/20
Scrapbook
6/20/20
Review
6/21/20
Author Interview
6/22/20
Review
6/23/20
Review
6/23/20
Guest Post
6/24/20
Top Ten
6/25/20
Review
6/25/20
Playlist
6/26/20
Author Interview
6/27/20
Review
6/27/20
Review
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