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The Wild Boy is a science fiction novel written by Warren Rochelle. It's a futuristic post-Alien Invasion novel in which humans are kept and bred as pets by a race of bear-like aliens called the Lindauzi, who manipulated humanity by killing millions with a virus, then showing up seemingly by coincidence with a cure. Now, they breed humans, whom they call 'dogs', in a bid to save their race from regressing into wildness and re-create the bond they shared with the Iani, the race who originally raised them to sentience.
The book shifts between two time frames, telling the stories of both a Lindauzi-bred 'dog' named Ilox and his Lindauzi owner/companion Phlarx, and Ilox's son, a wild human or 'wolf' named Caleb, who is captured and trained to be a performing animal. The two stories intersect for the book's climax. Intersparced with the main narratives are flashbacks to glimpses of the Lindauzi leaving home, the decay of humanity and the arrival of the Lindauzi.
This work contains examples of:
- Aliens Are Bastards: Let's see, they kill millions, breed humans like dogs...their motives aren't truly evil, but their methods are.
- Alien Invasion: Obviously.
- Ancient Astronauts: It's indicated that the Iani had some ancient connection with humans.
- Apocalypse How: Somewhere between 'Planetary/Societal Collapse' and 'Planetary/Engineered Human Extinction'
- Arranged Marriage: Lindauzi custom, or at least high ranking Lindauzi.
- Bond Creature: First the Iani, then humans.
- Call a Rabbit a Smeerp: The Lindauzi call their pet humans dogs and wild humans wolves.
- Crapsack World: Obviously.
- Calling the Old Man Out: Phlarx does this to his father before running away.
- Decapitation Presentation: The Hounds bring back their victims' heads-Ilox sees it-and we can assume this ensues.
- Depopulation Bomb: Both humanity and the Iani.
- Dying Race: Essentially, the Lindauzi are this-they're facing regression into wild animals and the loss of everything that makes them who they are. And then as the book progresses, it gets literal.
- The Empath: Ilox and Caleb both display empathic abilities.
- Ending Memorial Service: Phlarx and Ilox's.
- Everything's Worse with Bears: In Space
- Go Mad From the Isolation: Ilox, after the 'cocoon' treatment.
- Hunter of His Own Kind: The Hounds, Lindauzi-bred humans who hunt 'wolves' to keep the population down.
- I Have No Son: Corviax indicates that his father was stating this by turning his back on him.
- Intelligent Gerbil s: The Lindauzi look like earth bears.
- La Résistance: The wolves.
- Named After Their Planet: Lindauzian is the Lindauzi homeworld.
- No Sex Allowed: The Lindauzi want to control the breeding of their pet humans-Ilox gets thrown out when he's caught with a girl.
- Off with His Head: How the Hounds kill the Wolves.
- People Farm: People Kennel, but close enough.
- Psychic Link: Ilox and Phlarx. To the point where One can't survive without the other-Ilox dies at the same time Phlarx does.
- Raised by Natives: Ilox. You could in one sense say 'raised by wolves', but not in the sense of the Raised by Wolves trope.
- Slave Collar: All over the place.
- Sufficiently Advanced Aliens: The Lindauzi.
- Super Breeding Program: The Lindauzi want to breed empathic humans that will fill the role vacated by the Iani.
- Terminally Dependent Society: The Lindauzi. They were dependent on an empathic bond with the Iani to remain sentient and civilized, but then the Iani died.
- "Well Done, Son" Guy: Corviax has signs of this. He's determined to bring back the 'star-Iani' and prove to his father that he was right all along.