The Well’s End by Seth Fishman | Book Review

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Well’s End by Seth Fishman | Book ReviewThe Well's End by Seth Fishman
Published by Penguin Group USA on 2014-02-25
Genres: Action & Adventure, Legends, Myths, Fables, Love & Romance, Survival Stories, Young Adult
Pages: 352
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon

Sixteen-year-old Mia Kish's small town of Fenton, Colorado is known for three things: being home to the world's tallest sycamore tree, the national chicken-thigh-eating contest and one of the ritziest boarding schools in the country, Westbrook Academy. But when emergency sirens start blaring and Westbrook is put on lockdown, quarantined and surrounded by soldiers who shoot first and ask questions later, Mia realizes she's only just beginning to discover what makes Fenton special. And the answer is behind the wall of the Cave, aka Fenton Electronics, of which her father is the Director. Mia's dad has always been secretive about his work, allowing only that he's working for the government. But unless Mia's willing to let the whole town succumb to a strange illness that ages people years in a matter of hours, the end result death, she's got to break quarantine, escape the school grounds and outsmart armed soldiers to uncover the truth.

It really sends a special thrill to me when I book I have basically heard nothing about becomes one of those boss type books that while I am reading it, I cannot stop thinking about it and the pages turn almost automatically and I find myself wishing that my Kindle had retina scan abilities so that the pages would turn as fast as my eyes move. Friends, I kind of sort of really loved The Well’s End by Seth Fishman, a 2014 debut that definitely should be on your TBR mountain, especially if you enjoy books that are intense, thrilling, and jam-packed with plague, really if you are me, you need to read this book. I have not seen a lot of reviews for this, I think right now on goodreads there are approximately 17 reviews, as of 2/15/14, but trust The Well’s End is one that I am recommending you get on right this very second.

When Mia was four, she fell down into a well. She was rescued by this recluse old guy named Wilson. This is her earliest memory and brings her a bit of fame. Mia is this superstar swimmer and lives in Fenton, Colorado kind of with her dad who is the manager of this company called Fenton Electronics which is located in this secret underground area called “The Cave.” All of this is important, FYI. So anyways, Mia goes to a boarding school in Fenton for people who are the best of the best and the elite, who have like these amazing, non magical abilities. Alas. The book opens and there is this guy trying to interview Mia named Blake, he tries to use her to get to her dad. So anyways, Mia and her dad storm out of the interview and two days later, there’s a siege of the boarding school campus by these soldiers and a deadly outbreak of a plague that makes you go all Benjamin Button, but in reverse and you like age really, really fast like in the span of two days. Mia and her friends must make their way to the “Cave” for answers and safety. I know I do not do The Well’s End justice by typing all that out. It’s a lot more complex and complicated than this summary paragraph. Trust, so much more happens in the plot and it’s awesome and thrilling and intense. I just do not want to give everything away. It’s best to go in with a clean mind so you can WTF and OMG as you read.

Mia is the main character of Seth Fishman’s The Well’s End and she’s kind of the HBIC. The whole situation of the plague and her dad and leading her friends from the school to the “Cave” thrusts her into this leadership position that she’s reluctant to take. As far as characters go, Mia is interesting. I liked that she was so into swimming and so willing to place herself into danger to save her friends. She’s very caring and that’s a quality that I admire. I also admire that she feels inadequate from time to time, like a normal teenager. She may be a bit naive and too trusting, but girl learns her lesson. And hey, she’s got this adventurous streak and is willing to try and fight her fears, so okay yes, she may be naive, but there’s other things to totally recommend her. As for the other characters, I did not quite have the best sense of them except for Mia’s two best friends, Rob and Jo, who are awesome. That’s all you will get out of me, that they are awesome.

Probably where The Well’s End is a bit weak is in the romance. Look, there are a few swoonworthy moments in Fishman’s debut for sure. However, I just did not buy the romance. The guy that Mia likes and has a connection with is named Brayden and he just started going to the boarding school, Westbrook Academy, like the night before the plague breaks out. He’s very sketchy. I mean, yeah sure, he does some nice things for Mia and tries to help her along, but dude has some ulterior motives. I also thought Mia fell a bit hard a bit fast. Like, I get it, it’s like when you are in a disaster, those feelings tend to crop up kind of fast, like I think it is a science thing. I just wasn’t into it and those two as a couple. This is probably because I did not have a great sense of Brayden.

You might question why I gave The Well’s End five stars, despite my feelings about what I view as a non-starter romance. Listen, Seth Fishman’s writing more than makes up for the romance. I loved how much of the book was focused on friendship. He does a superb job developing the friendship between Mia, Jo, and Rob. The three are basically townies who have a lot in common and who have a tight bond. I loved seeing them support each other through some traumatic and horrific experiences. I also loved Fishman’s world building and how as I read the book bits and pieces began to unravel of the mystery and show the full picture. I was totally into this book because of the intensity and pacing. I had to know more and more and more. Ultimately, I am left actually wanting a sequel because I need to learn WHAT HAPPENS NEXT and y’all,usually I just want my books self contained. I think that feel speaks volumes. Let me know if you pick The Well’s End up, it’s kind of a totally awesome read.

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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. This book was not even on my radar at all. I never heard of it until seeing your review. It really sounds like something I would like though. Opened up another tab and added to my goodreads.

    It doesn’t really bother me when the romance is weak in stories like this because there is so much other stuff going on that it doesn’t matter a bit. 🙂 And aging in a matter of hours! yikes. That is not a plague I would want to run into, I feel old enough as it is. lol

  2. Okay, so I can’t actually read this review because I just got this book, but I hadn’t really heard anything about it, so I am GLAD that you loved it, bc you almost never steer me wrong. Like, if you LOVE something, I will almost always at least like it. 😀

  3. April, with a review like this, I can’t pass up the opportunity to read The Well’s End! I honestly wasn’t too intrigued by it initially, but the thoughts you’ve shared and your clear enthusiasm are definitely making me curious.

  4. Good to know about the romance, but I’m still so pumped for this one! I also had heard almost nothing about it and then saw another 5-star review, so now I have a copy sitting on my kitchen table :D. Of course I have no idea when I’ll get to it since gah so many books, but I’ll be trying to fit it in soon!