At about 800 pages, Chuck Wendig’s Wanderers is a hefty investment of time – and time well spent! Filled with excellent writing and engaging, memorable characters, Wanderers takes on an apocalypse. It begins as a young girl “sleep walking,” It grows into a flock of unwakeable “afflicted.” Many worry the “walkers” might be demonic. Others feel they’re weapons. However, the wanderers and their protectors will not be deterred from their destination.
This book questions current events such as political and religious extremism, scientific responsibilities, artificial intelligence, and race relations. There are even nods to pop culture, including a Gaiman reference. (I do wish I’d have known about the rape, if only to prepare myself mentally. However, it could be argued that it was necessary to establish the evil nature of the villain and further humiliate the other character.)
Of a necessity, many characters inhabit Wendig’s troubled world. There’s an especially repugnant bad guy and a character who unwittingly falls into his scheme. Teenaged Shana’s cynical love endears. Benjamin always tries to do the right things, sometimes in the wrong ways. But the most intriguing characters were a bad-butt ex-cop and a rascal of a rock star.
Certainly, Chuck Wendig inspires thought as readers follow in the footsteps of Wanderers.