Wanderers

Wanderers

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...

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Title:Wanderers
Author:Chuck Wendig
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Edition Language:English

Wanderers Reviews

  • Bradley

    It's the end of the world and I feel... uuurkkk...

    Let me tell you something, my fine folks. I think I had more fun reading this book than I have for ANY apocalypse book. That's including the Stand, Lucifer's Hammer, or The Power. And perhaps a few others that I rank higher than the rest.

    But let me be clear. I had the most fun with this. I'm not saying it has MORE to gloam onto than the Stand, but I had myself a few issues with the Stand. The whole moralistic good vs. evil

    It's the end of the world and I feel... uuurkkk...

    Let me tell you something, my fine folks. I think I had more fun reading this book than I have for ANY apocalypse book. That's including the Stand, Lucifer's Hammer, or The Power. And perhaps a few others that I rank higher than the rest.

    But let me be clear. I had the most fun with this. I'm not saying it has MORE to gloam onto than the Stand, but I had myself a few issues with the Stand. The whole moralistic good vs. evil, for example. And I had a bit of a rough time with some of the 70's sexism in Lucifer's Hammer.

    Wanderers, however, is leagues above most of the current runs of epic dystopias. No, it's not a zombie apocalypse or a big meteorite spoiling everyone's day or the ultimate reversal of the sexes. It is, however, quite free of rampant female humiliation, gratuitous rape, and violence in general. This book is full of heart even while it DOES have a rather usual trope of religious nutters, white supremacists, and NRA hotheads. They're quite happy to be all opportunistic on humanity's ass.

    What sets this above all the rest? Clever fundamental choices and trope inclusions, baby. Very strong science, too. And delightfully complex characters.

    But for me? I love the pop culture references. Wendig is like, some kind of master with pop trivia and really sharp, maybe bloody, wit. His Miriam Black novels left me bloody with words. In Wanderers, he tones it down a LOT and he tames it for the sake of this story. So what that means is we'll be seeing some REALLY cool crap popping up subtly in the tiny spaces.

    Like Fallout? Check. Like Matrix? Check. Like brilliantly chosen musical references, strange-ass details that HAVE to be memes that haven't happened yet, or setting choices that wind up being fantastic in-jokes for you modern pop-reference junkies? CHECK.

    And in the end, I remained excited... exhilarated... throughout this read. Sometimes a book will sap my energy. Other times, rarely, a book will just pour it into me. This is one of those books. :)

    Am I super happy to have read this? You betcha. :) :) I feel almost like I was watching the first season of Walking Dead the first time. Before it got all... you know. :)

  • Sadie Hartmann Mother Horror

    If you're reading this review, it means that you're interested in my individual experience with this book WANDERERS. I think it's safe to say that this is a highly anticipated release this year and it's certainly getting a ton of coverage. So, I'm going to honor the fact that you're taking a moment to see what I have to say about it--among the countless other reviews out there available to you. There won't be any plot details here--just my reading experiences and feelings.

    I want to leave a

    If you're reading this review, it means that you're interested in my individual experience with this book WANDERERS. I think it's safe to say that this is a highly anticipated release this year and it's certainly getting a ton of coverage. So, I'm going to honor the fact that you're taking a moment to see what I have to say about it--among the countless other reviews out there available to you. There won't be any plot details here--just my reading experiences and feelings.

    I want to leave all your own discoveries with this book intact, should you choose to go on this epic journey for yourself.

    You'll find this book being compared to iconic apocalyptic novels such as SWAN SONG by Robert McCammon and THE STAND by Stephen King. People will want to know, "Is it as good as___"

    I'd like to say that I will happily shelve this book right next to those two books as my favorite apocalyptic horror novels. And I will recommend all three of them as such.

    It's impossible to compare them. I think it's ridiculous to even try. They are all totally different and evoke different emotions as they are all written by talented individuals who express themselves in vastly different ways.

    Stephen King released THE STAND in the Fall of '78. I would say that THE STAND is a character-driven story--focusing more on individual trials & tribulations as protagonists and antagonists navigate through a post-apocalyptic landscape. Heavy themes of Good vs. Evil with elements of fantasy & horror. Agent: Bioterrorism gone awry.

    SWAN SONG like 10 years later. Robert McCammon uses nuclear war as a catalyst for destruction. Also, character-driven as readers get to follow several different groups of protagonists and antagonists as they navigate through a post-apocalyptic landscape. Also heavy themes of Good vs. Evil and like King, McCammon utilizes elements of fantasy and horror.

    WANDERERS is 2019 like 30+ years after both of those books. It's the epic apocalyptic story of this generation-of our time. Sure, generation after generation will enjoy this book, just like we enjoyed King and McCammon's offerings so many years after their release but WANDERERS is only going to be THIS relevant, right NOW.

    So it's exciting to weigh in on it as the intended audience.

    Unlike King and McCammon, Wendig's agent of destruction is a total mystery for most of the book. The jury is out, so to speak, on just how catastrophic things will get--so this isn't a post-apocalyptic story, it's a "real-time" chain of events leading up to what "could be". See why the comparisons are already sort of a misleading?? Big difference between Pre and Post-apocalypse.

    Also, Wendig doesn't employ any fantasy elements here--

    This is "where the rubber meets the road" style realism. Everything feels extremely authentic and plausible--right down to each chapter having these social media blurbs in different formats that feel so real, I actually wondered a few times if Wendig ripped them from his own Twitter feed.

    Let me just pause for a second to highlight the fact that Chuck Wendig is a prolific social media guru and his knowledge of how the world utilizes and empowers social media enhances the authenticity of this novel in a powerful way. I felt like everything was not only possible but probably actually HAPPENING in some ways; lending itself to the credibility and believability.

    If you're at all familiar with Chuck's writing (I strongly recommend the Miriam Black series) you already know that Wendig writes in a compelling style that feels addictive. Once you're hooked, the pages don't stop turning and you'll be hard-pressed to find a good place to drop that bookmark. In a book as thick as this one, the pace is a welcomed delight--nobody wants to slog through hundreds of pages.

    Right around the halfway point, I wondered if Chuck was going to deliver some horror or if this was going to rest comfortably as a solid apocalyptic, sci-fi, urban *thriller* and I will say that Chuck's antagonist delivers. This book explores a horror that lingers around the edges of our modern times that if left unchecked, presents a very serious and dangerous threat. We face manifestations of this threat every day. Chuck's antagonist personifies our political climate in a plethora of ugly, shocking ways. Terrifying to say the least.

    Lastly, there is one common thread (one valid comparison besides genre and SIZE) that I found runs through this book, SWAN SONG and THE STAND--religion & faith.

    I love the way King and McCammon wove it through their stories and I also really enjoyed Wendig's use of it too. The chapters with the Preacher were some of my favorites-his character arc and evolution is powerful storytelling. I appreciate what Wendig did there.

    So there you have it. My unique and individual thoughts among the fray. I applaud everything Chuck set out to do with this book--it's a treasure and I thank him for it.

    I loved my time with WANDERERS and I'm sad it's over.

  • Tammy

    This reminds me a lot of The Stand. In fact, the author admits to it within the novel. What Wendig doesn’t do is veer off into the cartoonish which King, at times, has a tendency to do. Don’t let its length deter you. It reads quickly and I finished it within three days. Wendig wrestles with potent questions here including the power of technology, extreme prejudice, the religious façade and violence of the Christian right, morality and the crumbling of society. What’s more he is able to inject i

    This reminds me a lot of The Stand. In fact, the author admits to it within the novel. What Wendig doesn’t do is veer off into the cartoonish which King, at times, has a tendency to do. Don’t let its length deter you. It reads quickly and I finished it within three days. Wendig wrestles with potent questions here including the power of technology, extreme prejudice, the religious façade and violence of the Christian right, morality and the crumbling of society. What’s more he is able to inject into it both humor and the quirkiness of mankind. If you liked The Stand (I’ll go out on a limb here) you’ll like this even more.

  • Debra

    Take a walk on the long side....

    The premise of this book immediately grabbed my attention: a teenager, Shana wakes up to find her younger sister, Nessie, in trance, walking out of their home and along the road. She does not respond, she does not blink, just keeps putting one foot in front of the other.... hmmmm

    Soon, Shana's sister is joined by more walkers (who will soon become a flock). Interesting things happen - needles cannot pierce their skin, they shake violently wh

    Take a walk on the long side....

    The premise of this book immediately grabbed my attention: a teenager, Shana wakes up to find her younger sister, Nessie, in trance, walking out of their home and along the road. She does not respond, she does not blink, just keeps putting one foot in front of the other.... hmmmm

    Soon, Shana's sister is joined by more walkers (who will soon become a flock). Interesting things happen - needles cannot pierce their skin, they shake violently when grabbed and let's not forget the gore fest when one was grabbed, and the cop did not let go.

    Every flock needs a shepherd and soon this ever-growing flock of walkers has family and friends (called Shepherds) following them, trying to keep them safe, etc.

    So why are they walking? What has happened to them? Is this an epidemic? Is this the end of the world? No one knows. So, a disgraced doctor and members of the CDC attempt to find out just what is going on and how to stop/treat this issue or shall I say these walkers...errr…. I mean members of the flock. Then there is Black Swan....not going to say more about that.

    This is a long book and it felt long to me - especially in the middle. I really think this book could use a little editing. Be warned there are some scenes in this book which might serve as triggers. Plus, the author is not shy about sharing his political beliefs and viewpoints.

    While reading this book, I couldn't help but think about

    ,

    and even to a small degree, the walking dead TV show (sorry, never read the comics). But, let's face it, King and Cronin wrote better books. This book is not bad but at the same time, it didn't really wow me. It's one I won’t remember. It took me almost a month to read since I wasn't engaged enough to want to pick it up and keep reading. But I finally finished and I'm not sure how I feel about the ending with the five-year jump.

    I can see why some are loving this book. For me it was okay but not great.

    I received a copy of this book from Random House Publishing Group -Ballantine and NetGalley. The thoughts and opinions are my own

  • Kemper

    I’m generally rooting for the end of humanity these days, but if the apocalypse is gonna involve this much walking then I’ll be pretty angry about it because I’d much rather sit on my ass while the asteroid hits or the nukes fly or the zombies start gnawing on me.

    A small group of people in rural Pennsylvania start walking in a trance like state one day. They can’t be snapped out of it, needles for sedatives won’t penetrate th

    I’m generally rooting for the end of humanity these days, but if the apocalypse is gonna involve this much walking then I’ll be pretty angry about it because I’d much rather sit on my ass while the asteroid hits or the nukes fly or the zombies start gnawing on me.

    A small group of people in rural Pennsylvania start walking in a trance like state one day. They can’t be snapped out of it, needles for sedatives won’t penetrate their skin, and if you try to physically stop one of them things get awfully messy. They don’t need food or water, and they absolutely will not stop. As they move across the country more and more people start joining them.

    The public gets increasingly freaked out by these walkers, and a variety of people get pulled into the situation. A tough teenager frantically tries to take care of her younger sister who was the first to start walking. A former CDC doctor who trashed his career for a noble lie tries to learn the cause of the sleepwalking. An aging rock star runs away from his messy life to join the people shepherding the walkers. A preacher begins publicly painting the walkers as harbingers of the apocalypse, and he’s handsomely rewarded for his efforts by a pack of right wing conspiracy theorists who are backing a lying sack of shit for president. Behind it all is a secret that is either the salvation of humanity or its dooooooomm!!

    I’ve got very mixed feelings on this one. There’s a lot of stuff I liked, particularly some of the core idea of what’s behind the sleepwalkers once it all gets revealed. There was a pretty cool and clever story to all of that. Wendig also has a readable style that keeps you turning pages, and he’s built up an intriguing scenario here that really held my interest for the first couple of hundred pages. But then the problems started creeping in.

    First off, this is way too long. I’m glad I got an e-copy because it’s gotta be a real kitten squisher in print form. And it just doesn’t seem that necessary. There are big swaths of the story where not that much happens. Yeah, some of that was trying to develop characters, but it really doesn’t matter though because for the most part these people are still exactly who I thought they were the entire time. Unfortunately, that means that they’re all jerks or pushovers from start to finish.

    Even the ones you’re supposed to sympathize with the most I found irritating and weak. Shana, the older sister of one of the first walkers, is supposed to the tough teenager with a chip on her shoulder, but it all seems like posturing because all she ever really does is be snarky to people. Benjy, the disgraced CDC doctor, should be our hero, but he seems so naïve, helpless, and completely overwhelmed at all times that there’s nothing there to root for. And some of that would make sense in a book like this where people would feel insignificant when faced with something like this, but the structure of the scenario leaves them so little to actually do that they feel completely pointless.

    In fact, this entire novel is incredibly passive, and the people in it really don’t matter that much at the end of the day. There’s a few minor things they try to accomplish here and there, but usually they even screw that up. You could take every single other character out of this book and just make it about the sleepwalkers while eventually revealing what’s behind them, and the entire story pretty much ends up exactly where it eventually does. I also didn’t care for what seems like a sequel set up in the end. I’m not sure if that’s the case, but Wendig left plenty of room to return. I’d be more interested in that if I thought that any characters in the book might actually be able to impact the story.

    Overall, I didn’t hate this one, but the potential it had early on seems to just fade away as the book goes on and on.

  • Zoeytron

    A comet streaks across the night sky, and as it does, the lady who foretold the event dies in her sleep.  Sleepwalkers start to dot the landscape, flocking together as they move.  They are causing quite a stir, some call them the Devil's Pilgrims while others refer to them as God's Chosen Ones.  Before long, life is tip-tilted to an alarming degree, shadows are long, time is slippery, and people are dying.  Opportunistic baddies try to take the reins even as the good guys attempt to figure out w

    A comet streaks across the night sky, and as it does, the lady who foretold the event dies in her sleep.  Sleepwalkers start to dot the landscape, flocking together as they move.  They are causing quite a stir, some call them the Devil's Pilgrims while others refer to them as God's Chosen Ones.  Before long, life is tip-tilted to an alarming degree, shadows are long, time is slippery, and people are dying.  Opportunistic baddies try to take the reins even as the good guys attempt to figure out what is happening to the world so they can fix it.      

    I agree that comparisons with The Stand are unavoidable for a number of reasons.  I have read The Stand multiple times, but can't imagine returning to Wanderers for a second read.  As another reviewer mentioned, this had more of the tone and feel of The Passage, and I concur. At any rate, I liked it, just didn't love it.

  • Donna Backshall

    This was a mammoth book, and I feel a sincere sense of satisfaction for finishing. I delayed reviewing, because I needed some time to wrap my head around ALL THOSE WORDS.

    Here goes: ★★

    because I invested over a week into

    and I have no "OMG I HAVE TO TALK TO EVERYONE ABOUT THIS BOOK" compulsion to show for my commitment to this huge, wandering novel.

    I don't quite know how to characterize my experience reading

    . The first two-thirds of the book (~500 pages) feels

    This was a mammoth book, and I feel a sincere sense of satisfaction for finishing. I delayed reviewing, because I needed some time to wrap my head around ALL THOSE WORDS.

    Here goes: ★★

    because I invested over a week into

    and I have no "OMG I HAVE TO TALK TO EVERYONE ABOUT THIS BOOK" compulsion to show for my commitment to this huge, wandering novel.

    I don't quite know how to characterize my experience reading

    . The first two-thirds of the book (~500 pages) feels like setup for the story. This is a LONG preface to the real action, and could probably be reduced to several chapters in a much-desired (for this reader, anyway) abridged version.

    We meet the Walkers, who are basically regular people who hear some kind of calling, drop their lives, and in a zombie-like trance begin a walking journey as "a flock" to an unknown destination west. We also meet:

    1) their Shepherds (family/friends who volunteer to care for the walkers)

    2) the CDC scientists (studying the walker phenomenon)

    3) the fear-mongering "religious" zealots (some, if not most, are not religious, just evil f*kkers preying on fearful worshippers)

    4) a sentient piece of software known as Black Swan, that predicted a global plague resulting basically from humans trashing the planet

    We quickly find that the Walkers are somehow immune to a quickly spreading fungus that promises to all but extinguish humanity, and many fear the Walkers' immunity as much as their predicament.

    So, if you're patient enough to get this far, around 70% in we FINALLY get inside the Walkers' heads! We find out the members of The Flock are telepathically connected in a simulated shared reality. This view is WAY more intesting than all the fearful and head-scratching hubbub going on around the phenomenon, and particularly satisfying because we had to wait so long for it. Things ramp up a bit, and no spoilers, but be prepared to get stiffed on firm resolution of all the questions dangling out there for the full 800 pages.

    I'll be the first to admit the delay in getting to the meat of the story was difficult to suffer. And the constant religious references and questions were annoying, enough so that I would almost classify this as Christian fiction, which I would have avoided had I been forewarned. (Note: I am not a Christian, but I heard enough preaching and religious bigotry, and then speculation about angels, demons, the Christian God, heaven, faith, "the divine", etc. to assume a believer would have a much easier time than I did with the rural American culture as portrayed by

    .)

    Can I recommend this as a thriller? No. This slow, tedious build up is the exact opposite of thrilling.

    As an apocalyptic epic, to go next to The Stand, Swan Song or The Passage trilogy? Ehh, that's a huge stretch, unless you're willing to go purely based upon word count.

    As a sci-fi novel? Absolutely not, because there's not a lot of science to it and it doesn't go "out there" enough to qualify.

    Maybe as a speculative study of the human condition? Okay, sure. Why the heck not?

    If you've read this far in my way too long review, tell me what you loved about it so I can move my mind into loving it too. Or if you could take it or leave it, tell me this too, because I want to know I'm not sitting on this fence alone.

  • Lisa

    This fucking book. I love long "end of the world books." How. it ends doesn't matter to me. This book has many comparisons to other books. Please, let that go. The Stand, and Swan Song are different animals. If you compare Stand to Swan, then you're a fucking idiot. This story. This fucking tale was bullshit! I absolutely despised this crap. I loved the rock star. A.rock star! I have been bored for 2 months now. I quit. Take this boring crap and... Actually, I really don't believe that this fuck

    This fucking book. I love long "end of the world books." How. it ends doesn't matter to me. This book has many comparisons to other books. Please, let that go. The Stand, and Swan Song are different animals. If you compare Stand to Swan, then you're a fucking idiot. This story. This fucking tale was bullshit! I absolutely despised this crap. I loved the rock star. A.rock star! I have been bored for 2 months now. I quit. Take this boring crap and... Actually, I really don't believe that this fucking book will be one of those who last. This story doesn't have the staying power,not the character development to stand the test of time. This shit was a bore. I need massive amounts of humor on my end of world books. Duh, of.course the gay rocker was funny. That was how it was meant to be. I hated this fucking book. I still keep looking back and trying to find something. There is nothing. I will.say.it again....I hate this book..

  • karen

    this:

    was arcstack

    i got this beautiful 800 page beast (in a

    , no less - fancy ARC, why you so fancy?) about a mysterious epidemic, societal breakdown, post-event survival, journeys across a shattered american landscape - i.e. ALL OF MY JAMS!

    sorry, arcstack, i think we have to have a talk.

  • Emily (Books with Emily Fox)

    This audiobook is 32h long... 32 HOURS!!

    Now let's see how the world ends...

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