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Wonderblood

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3.05  ·  Rating details ·  353 ratings  ·  152 reviews
It's 500 years in the future, and a mad cow-like disease called "Bent Head" has killed off most of the U.S. population. Those remaining turn to magic and sacrifice to cleanse the Earth.

Wonderblood is Julia Whicker's fascinating literary debut, set in a barren United States, an apocalyptic wasteland where warring factions compete for control of the land in strange and
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Hardcover, 285 pages
Published April 3rd 2018 by St. Martin's Press
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Average rating 3.05  · 
Rating details
 ·  353 ratings  ·  152 reviews


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Fabian
Mar 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
The entire novel is a dystopian panorama--literally like a painting that encompasses bloodlines and locations, all within a sturdy frame. The colors of blood, moonlight, books, candles... It's like a Spanish paining wherein everyone is mid-grimace (Velasquez?), everyone has personality & biography by proxy. But the colors--they will distract you. And who could not love a tale that does nothing but remain still until the last few pages where it sludges to an awesome outcome? Especially if it ...more
Carrie
Apr 01, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Wonderblood by Julia Whicker is a dystopian fantasy read set in the distant future where a disease has wiped out most of the population. Those left on Earth fight to survive as they await the return of the space shuttles at Cape Canaveral that will signal the cleansing of the planet.

I have to say this is one of those books I start out reading and then think what the heck have I gotten myself into?? Total weirdness from page one is what I got… The book starts with the talk of how everyone seems
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Sh3lly
This was a cool, quirky, post-apocalyptic story that will have triggers for some, but was entertaining and fulfilled my weird quota nicely.

I loved how the religion was based off the shuttles and their return. Cape Canaveral was the great kingdom with the heirs to the throne descendants of astronauts.

This book has a little bit of everything for fans of dystopian and post-apocalyptic books. Yes, there is a pedophile and his young child-bride (she is 14, I think?). But, there are no graphic
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Mel (Epic Reading)
Added June 19, 2019 - Just bought a print copy of Wonderblood for my bookshelf and thought to myself what a great book it is. I can even still remember what happens and many of the characters and scenarios. I cannot say that for many books a year after I read them. Re-reading my review below I cannot figure out why I gave it only 4 stars. So bumped to 5 and put on the favourites shelf as this one has stuck with me.
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While the
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Mogsy (MMOGC)
2 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2018/04/05/...

It pains me greatly to admit I couldn’t get into Wonderblood, the latest entry into the flourishing genre of literary dystopian fiction. Debut author Julia Whicker writes beautifully, with her haunting—and haunted—world and characters enticing readers into a realm filled with harsh wonders and mysteries, where one can easily become lost in the cracks and crevices of time and place. Ultimately though, it came down to a
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Brooke — brooklynnnnereads
This was one weird and unusual read that I didn't see coming. Prior to reading, I thought this book may have been one part dystopian and one part space odyssey. Man, was I wrong on that account.

First, before I get into my thoughts I have to say that although I'm giving it a 3 star rating, it's a 2.5 star to me. The struggle was real on deciding whether to round up or down, but I have come to the conclusion that visually it's a 3 star but in reality, it's 2.5 stars. Okay, moving on.

Again, I
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Minx
If there has ever been a story that has left me grappling with feelings of love and revulsion, it is Wonderblood. When I first read this synopsis, I was intrigued and revolted. Dystopian society where said society is in complete disarray, barren wastelands – well hello Mad Max style setting. The “captive bride” reference left me feeling that there would be rape and all sorts of other not nice scenarios. Then there was promise of politics, ugh, not the biggest fan of that element. But I thought, ...more
Lisa
Feb 21, 2018 rated it did not like it
What a huge heaping pile of horse shit I had to crawl through, just to reach the end of this dreadful story. First off heads. Head's everywhere! Axed off. Cut off. Sawed off. Staked. Bagged. Hanging from walls, tents, around waists. Ugh. I am completely skeeved out by beheadings. Still, I kept reading. Surely it can only get better? Hurrump! No character building. The characters are all complete idjits. Finally there was no ending. None. At no time did I ever get lost in this book. The Cape, the ...more
All Things Urban Fantasy
Review courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy.

Set 500 years in the future, a mad cow-like disease called "Bent Head" has killed off most of the U.S. population. Those remaining turn to magic and sacrifice to cleanse the Earth.
Wonderblood is Julia Whicker's fascinating literary debut, set in a barren United States, an apocalyptic wasteland where warring factions compete for control of the land in strange and dangerous carnivals. A mad cow-like disease called "Bent Head" has killed off millions.
...more
imyril
Mar 25, 2018 marked it as abandoned
DNF. Beautifully written but not rewarding. I’m struggling with the violence and the lack of empathy for any of the characters. I may try again when I’m less exhausted but I just don’t have it in me for the time being.

I received a free review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Erin Kelly
Jul 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I couldn’t stop reading this book. I devoured it in two sittings. The writing was fantastic, the story was bizarre and inventive, and the characters were rich and three-dimensional.
Stacey
Apr 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
d
Apr 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, fiction
Wonderblood is one of the best books I've read in a very long time. It is sort of like Blood Meridian, The Road, and Candide had a baby with a tarot deck? It is unflinching and epic like Blood Meridian but without Cormac McCarthy's pretentiousness; it's bleak like The Road but lacking its single-minded simplicity. It has the heart and wonder behind the satire of Candide. And it's archetypal like those books, like tarot cards, but much weirder.

The story is set 500 years (or maybe 1000? I've seen
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Anna
Oct 27, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh man, this was like going on a first date and ALMOST feeling a spark but not quite, haha. From the blurb, I was all in. Dystopian society? Check. Carnivals? Check. Rival queens? Oh yes please.

However, sadly, the execution fell flat. The idea and the strong writing is there, but I think this book should have had a lot more editing. It felt long and aimless at certain points and I really had to push myself to finish the last 10% (and shouldn't that be the best part to want to read?)

I was also
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Conor Ahern
Aug 09, 2018 rated it it was ok
This seemed to be cropping up often among friends' to-reads, and I think I'd seen it in the window of the Prestigious Brooklyn Bookstore near my home, so I was curious. And when I found out it was a dystopian novel, my excitement swelled a few sizes. I felt very lucky that the library released it to me within a few hours of my megalong journey from JFK to Johannesburg via Dubai.

It started out capably enough: lots of epic language, some gore and character development, a clearly dystopian
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Brooke
Apr 24, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Wonderblood takes place 500 years in the future, in a post-apocalyptic landscape ravaged by a disease called “Bent Head” and filled with carnivals, space shuttles, bloodletting, magic and more. It was very different from what I normally read, and while I enjoyed it, there was also room for improvement. The writing was beautiful, but the story itself fell a bit flat. There was little to no character development, the majority of the characters were unlikable, and I kept confusing John and Marvel’s ...more
Katy
Dec 07, 2018 rated it liked it
Unfortunately this wasn’t great. The worldbuilding was full of holes and never full fleshed out, and the flat characters never developed. For a “plot” dystopian novel, everything lacked a sense of urgency. The prose was nice though, but I wish this novel had less exposition and more development.
megs_bookrack
I finished Wonderblood late last night and needed to sleep on it before I could formulate my thoughts into a coherent review. Firstly, this is a debut novel for Julia Whicker and although this book did not blow me away, I would certainly be interested in other books (unrelated to this one) that she may write in the future. I enjoyed her writing style a lot which was not just agreeable but at times absolutely lyrical.

At the beginning of the book, literally the first 10 to 15-pages, there was
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Chris Eells
Jan 20, 2018 rated it it was ok
I received Wonderblood in return for an honest review.

Wonderblood took quite a while before I felt comfortable with it. The characters and settings seemed to be loosely described and I often mistook one character for another. The setting is a post-plague America, but, outside of geographic references, doesn't have any similarities to the America that exists today. The story could have been set in any country... heck, any planet. It actually might have made things a bit more believable to me if
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Rachel Stansel
I am a fan of dystopian novels, and this one looked intriguing. But I just couldn't do it. Mostly, it lacks any real character building. leaving me in this bleak world where I didn't feel a connection to any of the characters. The world is bleak. The human race is decimated by mad cow, but no one remembers that was the cause. Doctors are banned and Cape Canaveral is the center of a strange religion of sorts. They believe the 5 space shuttles and their astronauts will one day return to save them. ...more
Lori Tiron-Pandit
Apr 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I thought Wonderblood was a beautifully-written and thought-provoking book. The fact that faith, how it shapes people and how we find ourselves in need to reinterpret it to keep believing, is central to this story makes it a big winner in my heart.

"He was afraid of his destiny, chokingly, overwhelmingly afraid, and suddenly it didn't matter whether he believed in magic or she did or if it was real or if her mother was right and they were all just fools walking in a pointless, bloody parade
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Arys
Apr 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Wonderblood by Julia Whicker is a dystopian YA novel that blends a somewhat surreal storytelling aspect with a twisted, post apocalyptic world. The strange and magic are venerated and space shuttles and astronauts of old tales are revered. Aurora (so named later by Mr. Capulatio) was dumped by her mother to live with her brother in a roving carnival band where magic, paranoia, mysticism and strength rule. When her brother's band is demolished by Mr. Capulatio and Aurora is taken to be his ...more
Sarah S
Oct 01, 2019 rated it it was ok
I was excited to read this dystopian fantasy, but it just didn't grip me the way I hoped it would. It feels a bit long. There is just too much trauma and violence and not enough humanity to balance it out.

The main character, Aurora, is a woman-child who I find most irritating. She has no personality or redeeming qualities, she is only presented as a product of her circumstances. A weak and undefined projection of other characters in the story. I do not feel sorry for her even though terrible
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Donna Hines
Aug 14, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, arc
"Magic, like nostalgia, was like a lie; empty and full all at once."
Dystopians unite as this one will have you wondering why this disease is wiping out the population while awaiting space shuttles to come down and save us all.
Victims are massacred in horrendous fashion with decapitations while Aurora is fancied and later taken by her sicko creeper to be his queen.
Oh joy here comes the worshippers who want to cleanse the world especially near Cape Canaveral near the shuttles locations.
WTH?!
I
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Janice
I hate to give up on this, I was drawn to this cover, with the young woman in profile, some missing hair--But I have not been able to get into this story. So I am shelving it for now, maybe I will come back to it someday.
Tena
Oct 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2-goodread_wins
I won this ARC of "Wonderblood" by Julia Whicker in a GOODREADS giveaway. It was disturbing, even for a dystopic. This is definitely one I will be haunted to reread again later and to see how it effects me. I guess (sometimes) this is why I read this genre. My thanks to St. Martin's Press for the giveaway!
Cheri
Sep 23, 2018 rated it did not like it
Oh, tears of boredom. I could not like this book.
Marne Wilson
Oct 13, 2017 rated it liked it
This book masses together a long list of tropes from a variety of science fiction and fantasy classics, but the one I was most reminded of was A Canticle for Leibowitz. As in that novel, humanity has descended into barbarism after a cataclysmic event that is no longer fully understood (in this case, the spread of a disease called Bent Head). Just as the monks put their faith in Saint Leibowitz, a nuclear technician whose writings and diagrams they can no longer interpret, the religion in this ...more
Chelly
Oct 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Lyssa
Won a copy from GR Giveaway. Gave it three (four?) chapters, but just have no interest in the main character. Too much time is spent away from her and on other characters that feel like they're not necessary to the story. While a certain amount of bleakness is expected for dystopian stories, this one is just brimming with 'bleak' - too much for my reading taste. (less)
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Julia Whicker is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop where she won both the prestigious Capote Fellowship and the Teaching-Writing Fellowship. She’s had her poetry published in the Iowa Review, Word Riot and The Millions, among others, and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. A version of the first chapter of Wonderblood was published in the literary journal, Unstuck.

She lives with her
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“Magic, like nostalgia, was like a lie; empty and full all at once.” 0 likes
“A new happiness had settled over him and he seemed relieved. She wondered if he’d been testing himself: how long until she trusted him, would she ever? A king must inspire trust. And for her, a miracle too: she’d chosen this, or felt like she had. He needed her. To keep him calm. To map out every one of a thousand horrible deaths that might befall him in the coming months or years. He was afraid of his destiny, chokingly, overwhelmingly afraid, and suddenly it didn’t matter whether he believed in magic or she did or if it was real or if her mother was right and they were all just fools walking in a pointless, bloody parade toward the end of time. Her eyes were open. She could run or not, she could love him or not, she could miss her brother or hate him forever. It was all going to hurt.” 0 likes
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