Title: The Well’s End
Author: Seth Fishman
Summary: The Well’s End follows the perspective of a 16-year-old girl named Mia Kish. Mia is like a typical high schooler (albeit in a ridiculously fancy, upper class prep school) except for her earliest memory, falling down a well as an infant, which earned her the nickname Baby Mia. However, when her school comes down with a virus that ages its victims to death in just days and the school is quarantined by soldiers in hazmat suits who aren’t afraid to shoot children, she and a handful of others, including her best friend, Jo, and a mysterious new transfer who knows things like the distance that gunfire travels, must follow the directions that her father left her to get to safety from the plague.
I loved that his novel is extremely inventive and action-packed. This book is the definition of a page-turner. The virus is a suitably terrifying threat, capable of aging a healthy adult to death in just hours. Mia is an ideal protagonist – she is smart, capable, and despite the immense amount of suffering that she undergoes, stays likable and lucid. The interactions between the characters is one of the strong points of the book, as they support each other and keep each other sane throughout. Overall, the book is primarily plot-driven, but the characters are deep enough to be interesting in their own right. I really liked how the characters fit into both the “realistic” and “science-fiction” elements of the story. I think one of the signs of good characters is if they can be likable heroes, able to think more clearly, recover more quickly, and keep fighting longer than most of us, while still retaining their unique personality and staying relatable. These characters definitely achieved that.
I didn’t like that certain elements of the story felt thrown in. An example of this is the romance between Mia and the new boy, Brayden, which is a very small part of the story and just seems awkward and forced. Without giving anything away, another element of Brayden’s character seems uncharacteristically cliched. Finally, the ending of the story raised more questions than it answered, and there was no real thematic conclusion. No lessons were learned, no stories were concluded, and no great character changes were effected. I understand that there will be a sequel that addresses these things, but I would have liked to have some kind of closure until the next book.
Who would like this book: Overall, I enjoyed this book a lot and would recommend it to anyone who is a fan of fast paced, plot driven novels with interesting characters put into tough situations.
I would give this book 4.5 out of 5 stars.