Writing - 8/10
Development - 8/10
Overall - 8/10
User Review( votes)
Author: Chuck Wendig
Release Date: July 2nd, 2019
A decadent rock star. A deeply religious radio host. A disgraced scientist. And a teenage girl who may be the world’s last hope. In the tradition of The Stand and Station Eleven comes a gripping saga that weaves an epic tapestry of humanity into an astonishing tale of survival.
Shana wakes up one morning to discover her little sister in the grip of a strange malady. She appears to be sleepwalking. She cannot talk and cannot be woken up. And she is heading with inexorable determination to a destination that only she knows. But Shana and her sister are not alone. Soon they are joined by a flock of sleepwalkers from across America, on the same mysterious journey. And like Shana, there are other “shepherds” who follow the flock to protect their friends and family on the long dark road ahead.
For on their journey, they will discover an America convulsed with terror and violence, where this apocalyptic epidemic proves less dangerous than the fear of it. As the rest of society collapses all around them–and an ultraviolent militia threatens to exterminate them–the fate of the sleepwalkers depends on unraveling the mystery behind the epidemic. The terrifying secret will either tear the nation apart–or bring the survivors together to remake a shattered world.
Wanderers by Chuck Wendig
Wanderers by Chuck Wendig is a thriller, survival novel, post-apocalyptic tale, and study of human nature, all wrapped up in one fascinating and terrifying bundle. This is not a novel you want to read if you have any phobias surrounding germs or diseases. And even if you do have a healthy (no pun intended) grasp on that subject, you’ll still find yourself flinching at sneezes when you’re done with this one. Trust me, I’ve been there.
This novel follows a set of characters as they try to survive an impending apocalypse. They all have different skills and different understandings of what is happening around them. The end result is something both dark and brilliant. But also oddly heartwarming, at times.
Wanderers has already been optioned for an adaptation. So if you’re the type of person that likes to stay ahead of the game, I would read this book ASAP.
Chuck Wendig really did go all out when it comes to setting up an emotional and chilling thriller. Though really, thriller doesn’t cover everything that happens in this novel. This novel covered so many elements that go hand and hand with human nature—and it leaves you wondering.
The tone of this novel was somewhere between The Stand and Hot Zone, or at least that is how it read for me. Though thankfully, it isn’t a real life story like the latter. Not yet, at least. This novel wasn’t afraid to delve into the deeper science that goes with dealing with contagions, but it made it all feel so dark and foreboding.
There were several perspectives used in this novel, and that allowed us to get a full view of what happened when this fictional world collapsed. It was enlightening, showing both the best and worst humanity has to offer.
Wanderers never rushed, but it also never felt like it was dragging its feet. The constant perspective shifts did help to keep any one plot from feeling stale, though, admittedly, I did have my favorites when it came to perspectives. Granted, I don’t think we were actually supposed to like certain ones. It was at least partially the point.
Every single one of the characters changed throughout the course of this novel. All of the main perspectives, at least. They all had some major philosophical or moral conflict they had to face. In short, it was a study on human nature, all within an escalating conflict.
The description of the various diseases, fungi, and other contagions in this novel…were horrifying detailed. It didn’t help that many of the things mentioned were actual, real-life things. But it did make this novel feel more grounded in reality—for better or worse.
As far as the conclusion is concerned, I’m still a bit conflicted about that. And I honestly think that might be a good thing. Maybe we were meant to walk out of this one with some questions and concerns.
Wanderers was an extremely brave concept to try out. It just encompassed so much, and it did so in a relatively short amount of time. To have an apocalyptic event occurring alongside all of the other elements—a study on human nature, the fight for survival, a thriller through and through, it’s impressive. To put it lightly.
I really enjoyed Wanderers. It isn’t the shortest novel out there, but I ended up reading it all in one sitting. I just couldn’t put it down. Granted, by the time I was finished I found myself flinching at the early (and common) symptoms described in this book. So there’s that.
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