The Well's End by Seth Fishman

The Well's End
Written by Seth Fishman
Published February 25th 2014
352 Pages
Thank you to Stacey at Putnam Penguin (Imported Copy)
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A deadly virus and an impossible discovery unite in one enthralling can’t miss read...

Sixteen year old Mia Kish has always been afraid of the dark. After all, she’s baby Mia, the one who fell down a well. That was years ago, though the darkness still haunts her. But when her classmates and teachers at ritzy Westbrook Academy start dying of old age from a bizarre and frightening virus that ages its victims years in a matter of hours, Mia becomes haunted by a lot more than the dark. Their deaths are gruesome and Mia worries she and her friends may be next. In order to survive, Mia and her small crew must break quarantine and outrun armed soldiers in hazmat suits who shoot first and ask questions later.

And there’s only one place to go, the Cave, also known as Fenton Electronics. Mia knows it’s somehow connected and hopes her dad, Director of Fenton Electronics, who has always been strangely secretive about his work, has the answers she needs, and more importantly a cure to save everyone before the whole town succumbs to the mysterious virus. Unfortunately, it’s not answers Mia discovers, but something far more treacherous and impossible than even the virus itself.

A high stakes, fast paced adventure with imagination and heart.

Mia was only a curious four year old when she became know as Baby Mia, the girl who fell down the well. Since then, her life has settled down somewhat, with now only the occasional lurking reporter. Since Mia's mother passed away, she's always come second best to her father's work, making components at the secretive Fenton Electronics, otherwise known as The Cave. It isn't until reporter Blake Sutton strolls into Westbrook Academy under the guise of interviewing Mia, that she realises that she knows nothing about what her father really does. Blake Sutton claims that Fenton Electronics is just a front for something more sinister, a true conspiracy theorist that wants access to the facility set within the mountain side. But Blake isn't who he claims to be, and Mia's father walks away with the promise that Mia will avoid Blake's attempts to contact her, at all costs.

When the sirens sound across the boarding school Academy, Mia knows something is horribly wrong. The school is now surrounded by soldiers, but it isn't until Mia contacts her father that she realises how much danger she's in before the signal loses connection. Her father is claiming responsibility and instructs Mia to leave best friends Jo and Rob behind. But as Mia tries to calmly formulate a plan amidst the chaos, the chance at an escape looks grim. These soldiers are armed and clearly not stationed to protect the school. When the first escapee is brought back to isolation by soldiers in hazmat suits, he looks somewhat... Aged. He claims that the entire school facility is ill, possibly dead from a mystery virus. 

When their worst fears are realised, new student Brayden seems to be one of the few who is calm and collected and may be their one chance at fleeing the Academy before the virus spreads. Mia and Brayden formulate an escape plan, but in a desperate attempt to reach her father, Mia suddenly has a small group of teens along for the ride... And not a moment too soon. The virus is prematurely aging those who're infected, from teen to elderly in a matter of hours, before the virus takes your life. The group decide to take their chances, skirting soldier outposts surrounding the grounds, the heavy weaponed guards that are now taking charge of the school and the infected, who are aging rapidly and distinguishable by a wet cough, the telltale sign of blood. It isn't long before Mia is discovered as missing, her captives know exactly who she is, not Baby Mia stuck in the well but Mia Kish, daughter of Greg Kish. Mia is just collateral damage. 

My Thoughts


It's no secret that I love apocalyptic survival stories, and The Well's End slots nicely onto that shelf. It's a mix between Tomorrow, When The War Begun, the eighties movie Toy Soldiers and Red Dawn, which blends into a brilliant young adult thriller. Mia is relentlessly teased, often called Baby referring to her stint down the well as a child. She's a keen swimmer and somewhat of an outcast at Westbrook Academy, and known as a Townie. Her admittance to the exclusive private school only due to the brilliance of her father and being awarded a scholarship by default. But Mia's made the most of her opportunities, a model student, doting best friend and now leader of group of teens who are fleeing for their lives.

The storyline is fast paced, and unpredictable. Who I'm assuming is a first time novelist, Seth Fishman created a scenario the I found myself completely immersed in. Mia is a brilliant protagonist, the reluctant heroine who continues to endanger her own life to ensure the safety of those around her. Sadly her friends barely protest her bravery, and make a weak attempt to stop her from sacrificing herself time and time again. But Mia's determination more than makes up for their lack of backbone. Brayden is an interesting character, he seems to have the survival know how but chooses to spend his time attempting to romance Mia, all while running for their lives. Mia is clearly attracted to Brayden, but thankfully she can see the bigger picture and knows they have bigger issues than teenage hormones.

Despite what was seemingly a case of instant love, more likely lust, it was looking like a five star read. But the final few chapters that were flashbacks, I found difficult to take in. The flow of the storyline morphed from thrilling survival, to flashback science fiction and felt as though it was more of a lull in the storyline, than an explanation. But thankfully the storyline redeems itself and I can't wait to see what the next book in the series has in store. 

Quote


This is real. This is a pocket full of warmth, a full stomach, and a group of determined friends. We made it out of the school. we're all together. If we got this far, we can make it to the Cave.

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