The Wild (The Secret Journeys of Jack London Series #1)

The Wild (The Secret Journeys of Jack London Series #1)

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by Christopher Golden, Greg Ruth, Tim Lebbon

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The world knows Jack London as awriter who lived his own thrilling,real-life adventures. But there areparts of his life that have remainedhidden for many years, things even he couldn’tset down in writing. Terrifying, mysterious,bizarre, and magical —these are the SecretJourneys of Jack London.

We meet Jack at age seventeen, followingthousands of men

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The world knows Jack London as awriter who lived his own thrilling,real-life adventures. But there areparts of his life that have remainedhidden for many years, things even he couldn’tset down in writing. Terrifying, mysterious,bizarre, and magical —these are the SecretJourneys of Jack London.

We meet Jack at age seventeen, followingthousands of men and women into the YukonTerritory in search of gold. For Jack, the journeyholds the promise of another kind of fortune:challenge and adventure. But what he finds inthe wild north is something far more sinisterthan he could have ever imagined: kidnappingand slavery, the murderous nature of desperatemen, and, amidst it all, supernatural beasts ofthe wilderness that prey upon the weakness inmen’s hearts. Jack’s survival will depend on hisability to quell the demons within himself asmuch as those without.

Acclaimed authors Christopher Goldenand Tim Lebbon, along with illustrator GregRuth, have crafted a masterful tale bothclassic and contemporary, a gripping originalstory of the paranormal in the tradition ofthe great Jack London.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Launching the Secret Journeys of Jack London series, Lebbon and Golden offer a gripping, gory alternate history of author London, adding supernatural threats to the earthly ones he's known to have faced in real life. Searching for gold in the Yukon Territory, ambitious 17-year-old Jack seeks to define himself on his own terms, liberated from his mother's embarrassing involvement with spiritualism ("Who is Jack London?" he repeatedly asks himself, hoping to find the answer in the wilds). When Jack and his companions, Jim and Merritt, hit the mining town of Dawson, Jim is killed and the others conscripted into a slave gang to pan for gold. That's when Lebbon and Golden exchange their adventure-survival story for one of psychological horror. In the ruthless but majestic wilderness, Jack encounters the legendary, cannibalistic Wendigo and the Russian forest lord Leshii, as well as his sirenlike daughter who sequesters Jack in her eerie, idyllic world. Ruth's handsome illustrations add a further haunting element to this adventure, which questions what it means to maintain one's humanity in the face of awesome forces both natural and uncanny. Ages 10�up. (Mar.)
ALA Booklist
Golden and Lebbon write with a gritty assurance that brings the fantasy elements-most notably, Jack’s multiple face-offs with the mythic Wendigo-down to earth. This first chapter kicks the door open for almost anything in book two.
Garth Nix
“A masterful mix of gold, cold, supernatural creatures, and dread magic makes this a great action adventure story.”
Mike Mignola
“A great old-school adventure novel and the best use of the Wendigo legend I’ve ever read.”
VOYA - Matthew Weaver
It is reasonably certain that the real Jack London never stared down a man-eating Wendigo or was forced to pan gold as a slave. But Golden and Lebbon's new adventure series casts the famed author of Call of the Wild and White Fang as an adolescent explorer on the new frontier in the Yukon. Young Jack meets up with stonemason Merrit Sloper, schoolteacher Jim Goodman, and aspiring writer Hal Sawyer while on an expedition to find gold and save his mother's home. Jack makes his way through a harsh, gritty living environment—nature is nothing to trifle with, and neither are the scoundrels he runs across. All along the way, as Jack works to survive in the wilderness, he constantly feels as though he is being watched, by a shadowy figure that takes the form of a large wolf. The authors cast aside any lingering doubts about their bringing a supernatural element into the tale by bringing in Alaskan and Canadian wilderness mythology—at least these spirits are in the proper spirit. Hardier than the Hardy Boys, Jack is an intelligent, rugged role model any seriously-minded nature enthusiast will find appealing. Book One is a rollicking adventure tale for modern-day readers, depicting with great awe the unforgiving, and yet beautiful, conditions Jack confronts. Better yet, there is enough biographical reality to drive curious readers into sampling the works of the actual London while they eagerly await another chapter. That is a fire worth starting. Reviewer: Matthew Weaver
Kirkus Reviews

Seventeen-year-old Jack London heads to the Yukon Territory in search of gold, adventure and his place in the world. His much older brother-in-law turns back early, but Jack hooks up with Merritt and Jim, two younger men, on the trail to Dawson City. After a rough winter spent trapped in a fur trader's cabin, they arrive to find less a "city" than a mining camp peopled with demoralized, often crazy failed prospectors. On their first night in town, they're pressed into slavery and forced to pan for gold for a gang of thugs. Jack barely has time to dream of escape before something wholly unnatural attacks and destroys the camp. Saved by a mysterious, beautiful young woman, Jack recovers from his wounds, only to find that his dealings with the supernatural are far from over. Veteran horror-fantasist and comic-book author Golden teams with Lebbon, with whom he's written a series for adults, to reimagine the early years of adventurer and novelist London. What might have been the boy's adventure equivalent to the plethora of classic/chick-lit/monster mash-ups is instead merely a periodically interesting tale of an action "hero" who's repeatedly rescued by outside forces from the consequences of poor decisions made in the pursuit of masculine identity. Sloppy plotting and a slow setup make this whitewash of randy, alcoholic, socialist London unsatisfying; let's hope future volumes show improvement.(Historical fantasy. YA)

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Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Secret Journeys of Jack London Series, #1
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.40(d)
970L (what's this?)
Age Range:
10 - 14 Years

Meet the Author

Christopher Golden is the New York Times bestselling author of Of Saints and Shadows, The Myth Hunters, The Boys Are Back in Town, and Snowblind. He has edited the anthologies The New Dead, The Monster's Corner, and 21st Century Dead. Baltimore; or, The Steadfast Tin Soldier and the Vampire, cowritten with Mike Mignola, launched the Eisner Award–nominated comic book series Baltimore.

Greg Ruth (Illustrator) has created countless comic books for Dark Horse and other publishers, and has worked on videos for Prince and Rob Thomas, among others. He has also illustrated many children’s books as well as graphic novels. He lives with his family in Massachusetts.

Tim Lebbon is the author of nearly thirty books, including the island and, with Chris Golden, the acclaimed Hidden Cities series. He is the winner of numerous British Fantasy Awards and a Bram Stoker Award. He lives in the Welsh countryside with his wife and children.

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