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The Wild Dead

(The Bannerless Saga #2)

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  942 ratings  ·  176 reviews
Mysteries and murder abound in the sequel to the Philip K. Dick Award–winning Bannerless
A century after environmental and economic collapse, the people of the Coast Road have rebuilt their own sort of civilization, striving not to make the mistakes their ancestors did. They strictly ration and manage resources, including the ability to have children. Enid of Haven is an
Paperback, 264 pages
Published July 17th 2018 by John Joseph Adams/Mariner Books
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Megan I would read book one first. Book two builds on the assumption that you understand their priorities and what led to building their society the way tha…moreI would read book one first. Book two builds on the assumption that you understand their priorities and what led to building their society the way that they have. Slightly less, book two has our main character reflect back a few times upon a character who is largely the reason she is the way she is.

So yes, read book one first.(less)

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The one-minute review:

There’s loads of descriptions and reviews out there about this book, which surrounds solving a murder in an isolated community. The setting is a post-Fall world with limited resources, which is what ultimately elevates it above the average cozy mystery for me. Characterization is solid, although the description of just how tired Enid is had me exhausted by the end of the book. Although I found the world vaguely intriguing, it lacked the character connection or plotting that
Apr 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018-shelf, sci-fi
No spoilers!

But this is a better kind of mystery novel.

One that's simultaneously post-apocalyptic SF and a hopeful social experiment and a thoughtful quest to *understand* in the middle of an ongoing pastoral murder investigation.

Wait! Isn't this what happened in the previous novel? Well, sure, somewhat, but no two murders or struggling communities are the same. The world-building here is pretty cool. So much has been lost, but solar cars and sophisticated birth control is a sign of the kind o
Jul 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Originally posted at

The Coast Road is a post-dystopian meritocracy where groups of people form households, and each household must be issued a “banner” in order to have a child. Earning a banner is no easy task: the household must prove itself to be both productive and sustainable in the long term. At the start of The Wild Dead, Investigators Enid and Teeg are at the Estuary – a town far on the outskirts of the Coast Road where few banners are earned – to
Jul 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook, 2019-read
Written with the same quietly satisfying tone and feel of Bannerless, this follow up book is a solid sequel. I listened to the audiobook, and again, that was a good choice and the narration suited the story very well.

I missed having the same amount of flashback backstory as in the first book, but only because I loved those parts so much. The Wild Dead really doesn't suffer for it at all in terms of its own story progression or Enid's further character development as a calm and competent investig
The Captain
Jul 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
Ahoy there me mateys! I received this sci-fi dystopian murder mystery eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. While I try to post no spoilers, if ye haven’t read the first book then ye might want to skip this post. If ye keep reading this log then ye have been forewarned and continue at yer own peril . . .

This be the 5th book in me e-Arc Extravaganza Challenge wherein I had to read all 5 books before their July 17th release dates. Challenge complete! Arrr!

I previously read and was
Jul 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I adored "Bannerless" when it came out last July so when this popped up I quickly requested an ARC to read and review. "The Wild Dead" is the second in the exciting Bannerless series, I am not surprised that "Bannerless" won the Philip K. Dick award and predict good things for this sequel. I would say that in order to get the best out of this book you really need to have read the series opener. That way you are privy to the characters development and background which always helps in increasing y ...more
Danielle N
Jul 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review can also be found on the Books, Vertigo & Tea.

My Thoughts

I actually requested The Wild Dead not realizing it was a sequel. This worked in my favor, however, as I immediately picked up and savored the unique post-apocalyptic mystery that is Bannerless(<– start here). My experience with the sequel was one very familiar to its predecessor but somehow even more gratifying.

The skinny..

The Wild Dead continues life on the Coast Road with Enid after she has returned home to Haven (I am omitt
Jun 27, 2018 rated it liked it
I think the word that best describes this book is “dece”. It’s a decent story with decent characters following a decent mystery in a decent setting. But compared to a lot of the ARCs I’ve been reviewing recently… damn this was a fucking amazing breath of fresh air. Brilliant fucking story with superb fucking characters following a fucking thrilling as fuck mystery in a fucking cool ass setting. Honestly. I hope that puts my previous struggle in perspective for you.

Anyway, back to what you actua
Feb 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a sequel to Bannerless, and is another murder mystery set in Vaughn's post-collapse Coast Road world. It's a good mystery story in addition to being a well thought-out science fiction work. Enid has to cope with a new less-than-great partner in addition to being faced with a challenging murder that develops unexpectedly out of what was supposed to be a simple property judgment hearing, and all she really wants is to get home to her family as fast as possible. There's some interesting exp ...more
Deborah Ross
Jul 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved Vaughn’s Philip K. Dick Award-winning novel, Bannerless, and eagerly dove into this, its sequel. Vaughn’s vision of an egalitarian, post-collapse world struck me as a welcome and necessary antidote to the commonly portrayed descent into dog-eat-dog chaos. In her world, people worked cooperatively after “The Fall” to select and preserve technology and to establish social structures that promoted communities living in ecological balance, carefully limiting overconsumption/overproduction an ...more
Aug 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Look, who's surprised here? This was a detective story set in a post-apocalypse Pacific Northwest. Of course I love this series. ...more
Carolyn F.
A dystopian detective is brought to a community to make a decision on a dispute and is dragged into a murder investigation. A little slow going in the beginning but when the plot finally started moving forward it got really good. Another reviewer said they figured out who did it pretty quickly. Not me.
Jul 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Bannerless Saga continues - a year after book one

"A household came together, worked hard, proved that the members could take care of one another, manage themselves, not waste resources, and then the regional committee would award them a banner."

This soft-spoken post-apocalyptic series continues after book one BANNERLESS.

Enid is still an investigator and is sent with her new enforcer partner Teeg to settle a building dispute in the Estuary, a small community that doesn't have a committee tha
Rebecca Bowyer
Jun 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Wild Dead, by Carrie Vaughn, is the second book in the Bannerless series. It’s part of a new wave of popular science fiction that, at its core, is about fertility and parenting.

A very different kind of post apocalyptic world is imagined by Vaughn, one where people have figured out how to live together in peace with each other and the earth.

I love that The Wild Dead is a different kind of imagined future where society is good and peaceful despite external challenges. They saved knowledge of m
David Agranoff
As the co-host of the recently launched Philip Dick podcast Dickheads I was first clued into this series when the first Coast Road novel Bannerless won the Philip K Dick award for 2017. So a few months back I read and reviewed that novel for the blog, but also interviewed Vaughn for the podcast. (linked below) I was a big fan of the first book. I loved the anarchist and social themes and thought it was excellently woven into a Leguin-like five stars out of five novel.

I was excited during the int
Marta Cox
May 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley, my-reviews
This book catches up with Enid after her first murder investigation and also sadly after the death of her much loved mentor. So here she is teamed up with her new rookie partner Teeg on a routine journey to help with a dispute about a building that’s wasting much needed resources. It should be easy, it shouldn’t be too much of a challenge to mediate, be the bad guy if that’s what it takes and then home just in time for the birth of a new arrival into Enid’s family. Ok I lied , it’s never going t ...more
Nov 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs-or-giveaway
I saw this offered on NetGalley and requested it, I am blessed to have received it, but I also bought it on Amazon before I was finished too. I just love Carrie's work!

If you don't know the Bannerless universe with it's short stories and first book about Enid, you'd think that the title leaves the impression of a zombie novel, but it's not, not really.

There's no shambling dead aiming to eat flesh or brains to be found here, but the dead do eat at Enid's memory, her former partner Tomas, Olive's
Sep 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Once again, the “about this book” text describe this as a “feminist dystopia.” I don’t know if that’s because they think it will sell the book, or if it’s because there’s not really a genre term for hopeful post-apocalyptic fiction. Either way, reading this after the relentlessly grim, truly dystopic 84k just emphasized what I already knew: this isn’t dystopia. It’s a different way of living.

Once again, Enid is involved in a murder investigation, and while this story is intended as a mystery, t
May 31, 2018 rated it liked it
This is second in the Bannerless series, and while you could read this as a stand alone, you will miss the world building set up from the first book, as not much is echoed here. However, this is a mystery first and foremost so maybe that world building will not matter so much in enjoying this post apocalyptic sort of a police procedural. You may spot the who-done-it before the story gets to it, but much of the joy in The Wild Dead is following the ethical lines of thought presented by many of it ...more
Jul 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
4 1/2

So I think Carrie Vaughn’s onto something here. We have mysteries that take place in the past with detectives using limited resources or the steampunk version with little anachronisms tossed in; current mysteries encompassing police procedurals to cozy mysteries. How did Carrie Vaughn know that what we needed was a dystopian mystery series?

Last summer I reviewed Bannerless (you can read that review here) and while I loved the world-building, I was less than enamored with the mystery, which
A few generations ago environmental changes led to the Fall of civilization. The survivors strained to save a few things: windmills, basic medicine like antibiotics, vaccines, and birth control, metallurgy. They painstakingly created towns and settlements in the crumbling ruins of their ancestors, but didn't recreate every aspect. People live in households, not as nuclear families. They strive to hit quotas, but not go over or under, in order to avoid over straining the planet's already-taxed re ...more
Oct 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
I liked this better than the first book in the series. I like Enid and her passion for justice, figuring things out the old fashioned way. I enjoyed the world building once again. I still think it is pretty optimistic, after the collapse of civilization I think more society would more resemble that of the Wild but I found this society interesting. A little rigid maybe but one based on caring where a woman’s contribution is as valuable as a man’s. One where a woman doesn’t wear herself out having ...more
Geonn Cannon
Jan 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What's the opposite of a sophomore slump? I liked the first book fine, but it ended up being a three star because I didn't like the alternating timelines jumping back and forth between past and present (SO MANY BOOKS DO THIS, it's annoying). But it was solid enough that I decided to give the sequel a try. I'm very glad I did. The worldbuilding is out of the way, Enid is established, and this book is free to be just its own story. The book was much better because of it. It was good enough I'm eve ...more
Nov 30, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
I had more or less the same reaction to this book that I had to its predecessor, but instead of benign, I’d say outright dull. The same complaints from the previous book held true with this one too: consistent use of “hola” by everyone instead of “hello” or “hi” and no other Spanish and an abundance of “, yeah?” tacked on to every fourth sentence.

Most importantly, I found that I didn’t care about any of the characters, even Enid herself. They were all quite bland and/or just plain hostile. There
Kathleen Minde
I read Bannerless, the first of this series, last year and liked it because of it’s different take on worldwide dystopia and the main character, Enid. Soft-spoken, intelligent and patient, Enid is an investigator, a law enforcer, along the Coast Road of what is left of California. In Bannerless, we learn that the world changed drastically after humans had overused and depleted all its natural resources. To survive the economic collapse, the government divided communities into multiple households ...more
Samantha (AK)
The Bannerless Saga holds the distinction of being a uniquely optimistic post-apocalypse setting. (It’s marketed as a dystopia, but I still don’t agree with that classification.) Having rebuilt some form of civilization after the Fall, the Coast Road communities operate under strict meritocracy and resource management, with disputes settled preferentially by the local committee. In the event that a dispute is too much for a town to resolve, Investigators (think law enforcement) can be dispatched ...more
Apr 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was a fantastic sequel! Loved seeing Enid again, and meeting these new characters, and this investigation! Such a great book, and I really hope we get more!
Lisa Wolf
The Wild Dead is a sequel to last year's Bannerless, which I loved. (Check out my review of Bannerless, here.) In Bannerless, author Carrie Vaughn does an amazing job of creating a post-apocalyptic world in which the focus is not on the disaster itself (known here as the Fall), but on life 100 years later. Humanity has survived, and in the Coast Road community (California), life revolves around households -- groups of adults who build a home together, a communal dwelling where all are invested i ...more
Lisa Holloway
Aug 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is the first mystery I have come across where the world has collapsed and the story takes place in a new civilization, so that in itself intrigued me- a who-dun-it with a twist. This was the second book in the series, but the author did a good job showing what the world was like right from the beginning of the book. I do still want to go back and read the first one, but more for that story rather than because I think I missed something. The way the author set up the world with different com ...more
Jul 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Wild Dead (The Bannerless Saga #2)
by Carrie Vaughn
Since I read Bannerless, I wanted to see more of this story, Carrie Vaughn fulfilled the promise of the first book in this sequel. The Wild Dead can stand on its own as a young adult mystery story, but the whole series is amazing. This post apocalyptic world looks at the value we place on others. In a world were survivors had to choose between medicine and forensics, between lives and photography people and society has closed down. Small co
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Carrie Vaughn is the author more than twenty novels and over a hundred short stories. She's best known for her New York Times bestselling series of novels about a werewolf named Kitty who hosts a talk radio advice show for the supernaturally disadvantaged. In 2018, she won the Philip K. Dick Award for Bannerless, a post-apocalyptic murder mystery. Next up for her: two collections connected to the ...more

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The Bannerless Saga (2 books)
  • Bannerless (The Bannerless Saga, #1)

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