Reviews tagging Chronic illness

Wanderers, by Chuck Wendig

1 review

luckykosmos's review against another edition

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mysterious reflective tense medium-paced
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes


I have very different feelings about this book depending on the angle taken. This book may have aged poorly - it feels weird to say that, only a year in, but one pandemic and chaotic election season later, I spent half of this book going, "That isn't how that goes!" I had issues with suspension of disbelief from the beginning for that reason. But, adding on to that, the handling of racial politics felt... clumsy. It was a plot point, but not a motivation, and not addressed beyond 'these people are dangerous' (except for Bo and Matthew, which I'll get to in a moment). That section of the book could have been taken out and tried by a different author, maybe one with a less white, cishet perspective (because, yes, I don't feel great about the non-cishet rep either), and I feel like little would have been lost.

That being said, this is a wonderful book when it comes to examinations of leadership and faith. Science and religion weren't pitted against each other, but there were different interpretations of the situation based on whose perspective we were in, and for this reason, Matthew's perspective was my favorite - watching him falling into something he didn't believe, and contending with the different ways he lost Autumn or Bo. Watching Bo's radicalization as Matthew lost his faith was interesting - though, again, the exact nature of that radicalization, the white supremacists, felt weak. 

I hated the ending. I hated the final reveal with Black Swan. I can't decide if it was decided from an ecofascist angle, or a poorly optimized artificial intelligence (though this could give it too much credit), but from how the past few months have gone and the ecofascist conversations at the beginning of the pandemic, I could not suspend my disbelief long enough to justify it. Maybe I would have a different perspective eight, nine months ago. I wish I saw in this book what authors I love saw, but I don't think Chuck Wendig was the author to tell this story, and I don't think it dropped at the right time. 

(I may have rated this higher if it were shorter, but to feel so lukewarm after almost 800 pages is disappointing)

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