Novel Approach reviews ‘Wanderers’

“The art of medicine consists in amusing the patient while nature cures the disease.” — Voltaire

Disease all too often takes our loved ones away from us. In Chuck Wendig’s latest novel, the sick are literally walking away from their loved ones across the dusty cornfield-lined roads of Middle America.

Wanderers by Chuck Wendig

A strange phenomenon strikes, causing a small population of Americans to become sleepwalkers, who gather together to wander across the country. Shana Stewart’s sister is the first walker, and she becomes the first shepherd, herding and protecting her sister across the country. Dr. Benji Ray, a disgraced former CDC doc, finds himself involved with studying the odd disease and he too joins the flock. A small town pastor claims the flock of sleepwalkers, with numbers growing each day, are the Devil’s pilgrims and an old rockstar joins the shepherds to get his name back in the spotlight.

The confusion about the flock of sleepwalkers incites fear and confusion among Americans, inspiring violent militias to murder them. As the world devolves into chaos, people ask if the walkers are the cause or the salvation from all the insanity.

Wendig crafts a compelling thriller, expertly weaving elements of the current political climate into the narrative. This enthralling novel will hold you in its grip for all 800 pages of it as society devolves and shatters the world.

From the book jacket…

“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 her 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.”

If you enjoy…

Readers who enjoy the technical element of “Wanderers” might also enjoy “The Circle” by Dave Eggers. The story follows a young woman who gets a job at a high profile tech company called the Circle. At first her job is a dream come true, until it isn’t.