Kirkus Reviews QR Code
THE WILD ANGEL by Pat Murphy

THE WILD ANGEL

By Pat Murphy

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2000
ISBN: 0-312-86626-7
Publisher: Tor

Murphy's latest (by Pat Murphy “by Mary Merriwell by Max Merriwell,” and just don't ask, okay?) is another wolf-girl saga (Nadya, 1996). In California, 1850, three-year-old Sarah McKensie's parents are bushwhacked by ruthless robber Jasper Davis; Sarah survives to be suckled by a she-wolf, Wauna and adopted into the pack. She grows wild, strong, healthy, as wary of humans as is her special wolf-companion Beka. Writer-artist Max Phillips stumbles upon evidence of the crime, but the perpetrator remains unknown. As the years pass, Max occasionally glimpses Sarah—she becomes known as the Wild Angel for her beauty, spectacular red hair, and kindness to distressed travelers—and eventually she comes to trust him. (She likes biscuits.) Sarah also makes friends with an Indian shaman by the name of Malila. Jasper Davis, meanwhile, buys respectability with the proceeds of his crimes, but never forgets that Sarah witnessed the murder of her parents. Eventually, Sarah will join a circus, meet her long-lost aunt from back east, and confront Jasper: it's all thoroughly charming and heartwarming if YA-ish and utterly predictable.

Next time out, Murphy promises (threatens?) to tie together all three volumes—the new book, this one, and 1999's There and Back Again, along with her absurd chain of pseudonyms—at which news readers wary of the term “metafiction” will probably run a mile.