Return to the Wilds is a dystopian fantasy with environmental and spiritual overtones that contrasts the unintended effects of urbanization and development with the simplicity and healing of the natural world.
Keren, a pre-teen activist and biologist, and Caleb, Keren’s mystic sidekick, seek to save the last remnants of nature in a world focused on progress, prosperity, and conformity. When the gates slide open on Purity Mountain Wild, Keren is shocked. No Automated Elevation Systems whisking people to individually keyed destinations—they hike a trail into forested mountains. No Hearing Enhancement Audio Devices (HEADs) to block machine screams and voices—her ears fill with bird calls, thumping feet and breathy wind in the tall overhead pines. Guided by a mysterious Keeper and helped by Wildlings, Keren, Caleb, and their friends must use wit and geek skills to outwit underlings of the ominous Dominion and make a powerful pitch for changing the story of human progress.
Return to the Wilds offers a unique world view on institutional forces, security and development, the courage and clarity of youth, and the intangible power of the wild and natural. At a somewhat dismal time when young people again are questioning failed institutions of their elders and contending for the planet, it offers new perspective on what’s broken, what to do, and where hope and help can be found.