The Wild Ones is a 2015 novel written by C. Alexander London, who's also known for the Dog Tags and Tides of War series.
After his parents are killed, a young raccoon named Kit finds himself in Ankle Snap Alley, a city on the brink of war against a gang of house pets known as the Flealess. Kit, however, has the Footprint of Azban, a key item that will lead him to the Bone of Contention, which could help prevent a war between the Flealess and the untamed residents of the city. Kit, alone and stuck within a seemingly dangerous city, must find the Bone of Contention before it's too late, while also surviving the harsh conditions of Ankle Snap Alley.
Not to be confused with the Marlon Brando film The Wild One.
The Wild Ones provides examples of:
- Action Survivor: Kit is not suitable for physical combat, and he knows it. Yet he manages to get out of life-threatening situations by using his wits and his words.
- Big Bad: Titus, the greyhound who wants to take over Ankle Snap Alley, even if it means by slaughtering all of its residents.
- Cats Are Mean: Sixclaw. He's a mercenary working for Titus who desires nothing short of killing as many vermin as he sees.
- Character Development: Kit. The beginning of the story shows him as a young, naïve, frightened raccoon who constantly thought the world was out to get him. As the novel slowly progresses, his courage builds and he becomes desensitized to all the criminals he runs into in Ankle Snap City. By the time he meets Gayle, he's a full-on Deadpan Snarker who can face the gator nonchalantly, even when she tries to eat him.
- Chekhov's Gunman: Gayle, who shows up again at the end to devour Sixclaw seconds before he kills Kit.
- The City Narrows: An odd example. Ankle Snap Alley is only a small section of a city populated by humans. But from the animals' point-of-view, the alley is an actual city large enough for dozens of animals to live in.
- Didn't Think This Through: Despite knowing that no one in Ankle Snap Alley can be trusted, Kit has no problem handing the Bone of Contention over to the Rabid Rascals. Then it's revealed that Basil betrayed the gang to the Flealess, and he quickly swallows the Bone and flees before they can catch him.
- Downer Beginning: The book starts with Kit's parents getting killed by Sixclaw and a pack of dogs.
- The Dragon: Sixclaw, Titus' Psycho for Hire.
- Dung Fu: During the confrontation between the Flealess and the Ankle Snap Alley residents, several birds gang up on the Flealess and bombard them with droppings.
- Eaten Alive: Sixclaw, courtesy of Gayle.
- Fictional Currency: Since everyone is a Funny Animal, their currency mostly consists of seeds and nuts.
- Funny Animal: The animals speak English, go to school, wear clothing, and performs gestures such as high fives. However, the overall setting takes place within a very small section of an actual city filled with human beings.
- Honor Before Reason: Kit gives the Bone of Contention to the Rabid Rascals not because he trusts them with it, but because he made a deal with them that he couldn't break. This bites him in the ass minutes later when Basil swallows it, thus eradicating any proof that the city belongs to the Wild Ones.
- I'm a Humanitarian: The Rat King is actually composed of 100 rats jumbled together. The only way they survive is by eating any of the sick or elderly rats in the pile after new members join.
- Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: The Blacktail brothers are generally unpleasant, scheming beasts who hold a grudge against Kit throughout the entire book for not paying them money they conned him out of. At the end of the book, they have the chance to redeem themselves by saving Kit when he's in peril. They respond by turning their backs to him, and if it hadn't been for Gayle, Kit would've died.
- Platonic Life-Partners: Kit and Eeni. At no point do either of them flirt with each other or develop their relationship beyond anything casual. They're just two creatures who happened to become best friends in a short span of time, and happen to be of opposite genders.
- Reptiles Are Abhorrent:
- Basil, a snake who loves crushing his victims to death who betrays the Rascals and teams up with Titus.
- Subverted with Gayle, who isn't shy about eating other animals, but has only done so to sate her hunger or because someone trespassed on her territory.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: A majority of Titus' allies run away from battle, realizing that fighting for Ankle Snap Alley wasn't worth it.
- Sewer Gator: Gayle, who resides in the city's sewers and devours any unlucky animals who wander into her territory.
- Those Two Bad Guys: Shane and Flynn Blacktail, two scheming raccoons who con everyday citizens out of seeds and nuts who are also members of the Rabid Rascals.
- Your Princess Is in Another Castle!: At the end of Part 3, Kit acquires the Bone of Contention and presents it to the leader of the Rascals. Then Basil betrays him and swallows it whole.