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 Sleepwalking She Cannot Talk And Cannot Be Woken Up And She Is Heading With Inexorable Determination To A Destination That Only She Knows But Shana And Are Sister Are Not Alone Soon They Are Joined By A Flock Of Sleepwalkers From Across America, On The Same Mysterious Journey And Like Shana, There Are Other Shepherds Who Follow The Flock To Protect Their Friends And Family On The Long Dark Road Ahead.For On Their Journey, They Will Discover An America Convulsed With Terror And Violence, Where This Apocalyptic Epidemic Proves Less Dangerous Than The Fear Of It As The Rest Of Society Collapses All Around Them And An Ultraviolent Militia Threatens To Exterminate Them The Fate Of The Sleepwalkers Depends On Unraveling The Mystery Behind The Epidemic The Terrifying Secret Will Either Tear The Nation Apart Or Bring The Survivors Together To Remake A Shattered World. 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 fa ade and violence of the Christian right, morality and the crumbling of society What s 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 . 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.. 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 hmmmmSoon, Shana s sister is joined by 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 walkerserrr I mean members of the flock Then there is Black Swan.not going to say 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 The Stand, The Passage 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 It s the end of the world and I feel uuurkkkLet me tell you something, my fine folks I think I had 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. 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 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. this was arcstack before i got this beautiful 800 page beast in a slipcase, 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. 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 Two guilty stars because I invested over a week into Wanderers 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 Wanderers 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 planetWe 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 The disease known as White Mask caused by a fungal pathogen Rhizopus destructans is going to decimate the global population But we, the flock, are protected by the grace of Black Swan, an artificial intelligence inhabiting our bodies and brains with a connected swarm of infinitesimal machines existing in nanoscale Robots 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 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 Chuck Wendig 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. 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 of the tone and feel of The Passage, and I concur At any rate, I liked it, just didn t love it. My review of WANDERERS can be found at High Fever Books.Film critic Roger Ebert once said, No good movie is too long and no bad movie is short enough The same is certainly true of books Chuck Wendig s Wanderers, sure to be the man s magnum opus, clocks in at 800 pages and took me roughly two weeks to get through a longer than expected number of days for me, thanks to some very limited reading time while I was busy attending StokerCon 2019 Thankfully, it s every bit as good as I had expected, better in a lot of ways even, and I never felt burdened by the large page count Wanderers never felt too long simply because of how damn good it is the whole way through And frankly, I wouldn t have minded it being a little bit longer just so I could spend some time in this world, particularly during the book s denouement.Wendig s latest has been picking up some comparison s to Stephen King s The Stand, but it s a very superficial, easy to make comparison Yes, both are door stoppers of a book, and there s some thematic resemblances, mostly revolving around a mysterious illness and a cross country trip for the handful of humanity s survivors to wage a Good vs Evil war for soul of the future For his part, Wendig is certainly aware of these short hand comparisons and is sure to name check King a few times along the way To me, though, if we really must compare End of the World tomes, Wanderers feels like a kissing cousin to Robert McCammon s Swan Song, in terms of tonality and odd illness afflicting the sleepwalking wanderers.Apocalyptic novels are almost always a product of the time period in which they were written, influenced by the particular tensions of the day Swan Song and The Stand are both products of the Cold War, rife with American attitudes of Good vs Evil Wanderers, too, is clearly a product of its day, an apocalyptic epic borne necessarily out of the Trump regime and all its itinerant nasty fallout, like the belligerent rise of white supremacist groups and their roots in Christian Evangelicalism, climate change denialism, and mankind getting bit in the ass for its anti science idiocy, as well as technological concerns, such as the rise of artificial intelligence The state of current affairs provides than enough fodder to craft an apocalyptic narrative, and than a few times in the Real World over the last few years, I ve certainly felt like we re on the brink Presidential candidate Ed Creel is very much a Trump analogue, running against a Hillary Clinton like incumbent named Hunt Creel s campaign slogans, like HUNT THE CUNT and CREED SAVES AMERICA are sadly representative of America s current and likely on going state of political affairs Wanderers is a tour through the bedrock of modern day America, with all its sexism, racism, xenophobia, religious zealotry, anti vax whackadoo, and violent political divisions Wendig takes all of these elements and weaves in a modern day American novel about the collapse of society and the possible extinction of humanity But there s also hope, a hope for a better tomorrow borne out of the tribulations of the present, a hope for some kind of rebirth and, perhaps, a renaissance for the future generations of Americans, should they live long enough to survive this current crisis It s heady stuff, to be sure, but Wanderers never feels bogged down by the Holy Shit Everything Is Terrible state of the world writ large all around us The apocalyptic elements, in fact, are fairly late game changers that the narrative surely and steadily builds toward, with the bulk of this book concerning itself mostly with the pre apocalypse that is the Now Wendig introduces us to a fairly large cast of characters as the sleepwalker crisis begins and unfolds, and then weaves in various side stories to expand on the mysteriousness of Wanderers premise, as well as explorations of what this sleepwalker sickness is both why it is and what it is , and nature of the mysterious artificial intelligence, Black Swan.Wanderers is a big book, both in terms of content, subjects, and characters It s as rich as it is long, and there s a lot for readers to unpack It s one hell of a meaty read, and the narrative is constantly engaging and evolving, straddling the line between Biblical End Times and scientific examinations of the collapse of everything It s dark and serious, but there s also plenty of room for romance, love, and humor in between all the various losses and tragedy I was surprised to find myself laughing out loud than a few times, despite the grimness surrounding much of these characters One woman, for instance, describes her appreciation for a man by telling her friend, I would mount him like a piece of taxidermy Another wants to tap that ass like a whiskey barrel It s the seriousness that lingers, though, like the fist pumping rousingness of a racist bastard getting told off by a powerful woman of color I know you I know your kind You pretend like you have this ethos, this patriotism or this nationalism You love your white skin and pretend that it s hard armor instead of thin, and weak, and pale like the dime store condom that split in half around your father s dick when he gave it to the dumb, truck stop janitor that was your mother I got your number, Big Man I know you I know you re weak and unwanted, so you take it out on everyone else Wendig s latest stands proudly beside The Stand and Swan Song, offering as many differences as there are passing similarities to those works, showcasing 21st Century concerns and points of view that are wholly its own Wanderers is a necessary update to the canon of epic apocalyptic American spec fic, examining the collapse of society and the mass extinction of humankind through the lens of USA 2019 This is a wholly modern day end of the world, unshackled from the nuclear concerns of the Cold War and built off the spine of contemporary issues and problems close to home and rooted deeply in the soil of America Some of these issues are necessarily ugly, the problems impossible to solve But there s enough beauty and hope sprinkled throughout that you can t help but root for the good guys and gals to win, regardless of the odds stacked against them At the end of the day, few things are as American as hope, and Wanderers gives us plenty to hold on to, even as it chills us with all its what if horrors Note I received an advanced copy of this title from the publisher via NetGalley.