Told from multiple points of view, Wayward by Chuck Wendig picks up five years after The Wanderers ended. An epic, dark, realistic and politically charged tale that you won’t be able to set down.
by Chuck Wendig
Series: Wanderers #2
Genres: Post-Apocalyptic, Science Fiction
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Five years ago, ordinary Americans fell under the grip of a strange new malady that caused them to sleepwalk across the country to a destination only they knew. They were followed on their quest by the shepherds: friends and family who gave up everything to protect them.
Their secret destination: Ouray, a small town in Colorado that would become one of the last outposts of civilization. Because the sleepwalking epidemic was only the first in a chain of events that led to the end of the world--and the birth of a new one.
The survivors, sleepwalkers and shepherds alike, have a dream of rebuilding human society. Among them are Benji, the scientist struggling through grief to lead the town; Marcy, the former police officer who wants only to look after the people she loves; and Shana, the teenage girl who became the first shepherd--and an unlikely hero whose courage will be needed again.
Because the people of Ouray are not the only survivors, and the world they are building is fragile. The forces of cruelty and brutality are amassing under the leadership of self-proclaimed president Ed Creel. And in the very heart of Ouray, the most powerful survivor of all is plotting its own vision for the new world: Black Swan, the A.I. who imagined the apocalypse.
Against these threats, Benji, Marcy, Shana, and the rest have only one hope: one another. Because the only way to survive the end of the world is together.
The Wanderers and their shepherds have settled in Ouray. Benji, Shana, Murray and others have started a community and are rebuilding after the pandemic wiped out much of the world. Black Swarm is among them and has been speaking to Shana. Meanwhile, Creel is facing his own difficulties and Black Swarm is changing….
The tale that unfolds shares multiple points of view from all around the United States as the story moves us forward and shares the horrors that have and are unfolding. We see Pete again, hear Matthew’s inner thoughts, and learn both Shana and Black Storm’s secrets.
The world closely mirrors are own, particularly pre-apocalypse, from political stressors to a global pandemic to the breakthrough advances in nano & AI technologies. The shit sent shivers down my spine. You’ll discover heroes and villains along the way. Some you’ll admire, others you’ll despise, but you’ll also be in awe of man’s will to overcome and survive. Sure, there are still asshats who steal from those who work to rebuild and survive, but there are others who feed the city, lift others up and come together to create something new.
The events at Ouray and the thread with Creel are dark, suspenseful and laced with moments of full on horror. Then you have little towns in the middle of nowhere setting up hospitals and finding new ways for transportation. I loved the rebuilding aspects even if it was the thread surrounding Black Swarm and the technology that kept me flipping the pages in the wee hours.
Brilliant, epic and present. I highly recommend The Wanderers and Wayward. Not sure if we will get more of this world. Wendig did a stellar job of wrapping up threads, but the possibilities remains.
Be sure to read the author’s notes in the back of the book. Just wow. Perfect for fans of Stephen King.
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