Sadie Hartmann Mother Horror's Reviews > Wanderers

Wanderers by Chuck Wendig
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it was amazing

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.

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Reading Progress

March 23, 2019 – Shelved
March 23, 2019 – Shelved as: to-read
July 4, 2019 – Started Reading
July 5, 2019 –
page 16
2.0% "Hell of a chapter one"
July 5, 2019 –
page 34
4.25% "That escalated fast!"
July 5, 2019 –
page 54
6.75% "“The mystery of Maker’s Bell awaits”
July 5, 2019 –
page 78
9.75% "Sadie Emeka (Black Swan) AI"
July 5, 2019 –
page 99
12.38% "Test of Faith.
July 5, 2019 –
page 106
13.25% "“The game changed.”"
July 6, 2019 –
page 121
15.13% "Part 2!"
July 6, 2019 –
page 137
17.13% "Chuck’s grasp on modernity and politics really shines in this book"
July 6, 2019 –
page 182
22.75% "Shimmer"
July 7, 2019 –
page 250
31.25% "The Frog and the Mouse"
July 7, 2019 –
page 300
37.5% "We eat what we hunt"
July 8, 2019 –
page 350
43.75% "That’s exactly how THAT would go"
July 8, 2019 –
page 368
46.0% "OMG"
July 8, 2019 –
page 435
54.37% "Wendig brought the horror"
July 8, 2019 –
page 445
55.63% "PART 5"
July 9, 2019 –
page 506
63.25% "Nooooo!"
July 10, 2019 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-6 of 6 (6 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

Kyle Thanks for the review! Very eloquent and succinct. Some serious themes that we see everyday. Well done.

message 2: by Selena (new)

Selena Wonderful review Sadie!

Sadie Hartmann Mother Horror Kyle wrote: "Thanks for the review! Very eloquent and succinct. Some serious themes that we see everyday. Well done."

Thank you, Kyle.

Sadie Hartmann Mother Horror Selena wrote: "Wonderful review Sadie!"

Thank you, Selena.

message 5: by Jim (new)

Jim Gorman I will have to pick that one up myself. I liked how you pointed out when those others were written, which is a very good thing to remember when comparing books of similar themes. I love The Stand, but I know it is dated versus one that would be written as happening today. Thanks for your posting.

message 6: by Sherry Beth (new)

Sherry Beth Preston I really enjoyed your review. If our genres overlapped more I would follow you. As it is, when I write my review for the paper, I will follow your lead in describing Wanderers-you brought up some interesting points.

Since I am not yet done with Wanderers, I plan to furtively listen to it on our upcoming road trip this weekend.

It's been way too long since I read The Stand for me to even mentally compare it.

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