Reviews of The Well’s End
Gr 9 Up—Baby Mia fell down the well, and for better or worse, that experience still defines her. Now almost 17 and a student at one of the most prestigious schools in the country, she finds that things haven’t changed all that much-she is still alone and in the dark, but she remains a survivor. After a devastating virus attacks her school, rapidly ageing both young and old, she worries for her safety and that of her small group of friends. When soldiers in hazmat uniforms quarantine the school and for some strange reason single her out, she knows she must escape to the only place that is safe: the Cave, also known as Fenton Electronics, where her father is the director. Mia suspects that the Cave and her father may hold the cure for the terrible virus. What she discovers is something she never could have imagined. Fishman creates gripping suspense and characters that feel authentic. There are a couple of places where the story drags slightly, and Fishman has a tendency to overuse phrases. Still, this is a solid debut; it sets the tone for the series and leaves plenty of threads dangling for the books to come, which readers will eagerly anticipate.
—Erik Knapp, Davis Library, Plano, TX, School Library Journal
*Starred Review* At four years old, Baby Mia Kish fell into a well and was pulled out to grand media fanfare. Since then, tight spaces and darkness give her the creeps. When the staff and students at Westbrook—her überexclusive school—develop a strange and gruesome illness that ages and kills them within hours, darkness becomes the least of her problems. She fears that she and countless others will become infected and suffer the same fate. Mia, with four close friends and a new student at her side, must find out exactly what’s happening and why before they can save the school and the town. Only her father, who is isolated in his mysterious mountain workplace, can answer her questions. The only problem is that the answers he gives her aren’t necessarily the ones she expects; both she and her seventeenth birthday figure prominently in the conflict. Between feats of superhuman endurance and a race against the spread of the deadly virus, there is no time to stop and breathe. The possibilities of biowarfare with a new twist on the life-healing properties of water make the contemporary implications of the story ring unnervingly true. A fast-paced, thrilling adventure story that begs for a sequel. Grades 9-12.
–Jeanne Fredriksen, Booklist
“Fishman keeps the tension high and sets the stage for a dramatic finish.”
“Fishman concocts a marvelous enigma…the story will keep readers flipping the pages. Good entertainment.”
“The possibilities of bio-warfare with a new twist on the life-healing properties of water make the contemporary implications of the story ring unnervingly true. A fast-paced, thrilling adventure story that begs for a sequel.”-
-Booklist, starred review — Starred Booklist
“A compulsive read, a kick-ass heroine and a brilliantly plotted adventure, THE WELL’S END is going to be THE must-read book of 2014. Fishman writes with verve, originality and complete control, delivering satisfying twists and extraordinary surprises. Brilliant!”
~ John Boyne,
New York Times Bestselling author of The Boy With The Striped Pajamas.
“A crackling thriller that keeps you turning the pages until the very end.”
~ Jennifer Smith,
author of The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight.
“A smart and wonderfully throwback adventure. Philip Pullman fans take notice. Don’t miss Fishman’s mind-bending debut.”
New York Times Bestselling author ofThe Silver Linings Playbook Forgive Me,