In the latest from the author of the Miriam Black series, a strange sleepwalking epidemic has overtaken a swath of the populace. The phenomenon awakens terror and violence in America, and the fate of the sleepwalkers depends on unraveling the mystery behind the epidemic—a secret that will either tear the nation apart or bring the survivors together to remake a shattered world.
A dystopian, apocalyptic novel that comfortably occupies a space between horror and science fiction, Wanderers is full of social commentary that digs into everything from global warming to racial tension, while never preaching or bogging down the action-packed story ... Wendig is extremely political, but science is at the core of his story; the discussions his scientists have are based on real events, and that makes everything feel uncomfortably plausible ... covers a lot of terrain. Small personal narratives of survival, trauma, and loss fill its pages and serve as cohesive elements to hold the apocalypse together. But from time to time, Wendig delves into the most horrific aspects of a pandemic and offers chilling passages packed with poetic brutality that show readers what could happen to us at any moment ... engaging and entertaining. It's uncomfortable to read, but also a timely novel that demands a place in the spotlight. Wendig takes science, politics, horror, and science fiction and blended them into an outstanding story about the human spirit in times of turmoil, claiming a spot on the list of must-read apocalyptic novels while doing so.
[Wendig's] ability to juggle so many fully realized characters is impressive, but even more so is the astonishing power Wanderers commands in conveying what it would actually feel like if this happened in the America we live in now, complicated by deep ideological divides, disinformation and the constant chatter of social media. All of these elements work together, often in surprising ways, to create a sense of terrifying plausibility and compelling verisimilitude. The true success of Wanderers, though, is not just in its ability to show us the grim scenarios that could play out across a divided nation; it’s in its heart. Whether he’s writing about rage or faith or the faintest glimmer of light, Wendig brings a sincerity and emotional weight to his prose. That’s why the scariest parts of Wanderers work, but it’s also why the most hopeful ones do, too.
Comparisons between this book and Stephen King’s The Stand are, unfortunately, unavoidable ... Wendig perhaps bites off more than he can chew, even in a book of such length, and the early chapters drag their feet. However, there is mordant humour and real passion and engagement here. This is the way the world ends: a somnambulistic shamble towards oblivion.