A decadent rock star. A deeply religious radio host. A disgraced scientist. And a teenage girl who may be the world’s last hope. From the mind of Chuck Wendig comes “a magnum opus . . . a story about survival that’s not just about you and me, but all of us, together” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review).
NOMINATED FOR THE BRAM STOKER AWARD • ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: The Washington Post, NPR, The Guardian, Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, Polygon
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.
For as the sleepwalking phenomenon awakens terror and violence in America, the real danger may not be the epidemic but the fear of it. With society collapsing all around them—and an ultraviolent militia threatening 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.
In development for TV by Glen Mazzara, executive producer of The Walking Dead • Look for the sequel, Wayward, now available!
“This career-defining epic deserves its inevitable comparisons to Stephen King’s The Stand.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“A suspenseful, twisty, satisfying, surprising, thought-provoking epic.”—Harlan Coben, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Run Away
“A true tour de force.”—Erin Morgenstern, New York Times bestselling author of The Night Circus
“A masterpiece with prose as sharp and heartbreaking as Station Eleven.”—Peng Shepherd, author of The Book of M
“A magnum opus . . . It reminded me of Stephen King’s The Stand—but dare I say, this story is even better.”—James Rollins, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Crucible
“An inventive, fierce, uncompromising, stay-up-way-past-bedtime masterwork.”—Paul Tremblay, author of A Head Full of Ghosts and The Cabin at the End of the World
“An American epic for these times.”—Charles Soule, author of The Oracle Year
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
The apocalypse is near in this daring science fiction novel. When a growing parade of sleepwalkers begins to make its way across the United States, it’s up to Benji Ray, a disgraced former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention maverick, to solve the mystery of where they’re going, and why. He’s got an unusual helper: Black Swan, an omnipresent artificial intelligence whose motives are murky at best. Diving into questions about the end of humanity, Wanderers is urgent, chilling, and politically tense. We didn’t want to put it down.
Wendig (the Miriam Black series) pulls no punches in this blockbuster apocalyptic novel, which confronts some of the darkest and most divisive aspects of present-day America with urgency, humanity, and hope. The day after a comet blazes over the west coast of North America, Benji Ray, a disgraced former CDC epidemiologist, is summoned to meet Black Swan, a superintelligent computer designed to predict and prevent disasters, which has determined that Benji must treat an upcoming pandemic. That same morning, Shana wakes up to find her little sister, Nessie, sleepwalking down the driveway and off toward an unknown goal, one of a growing number of similar travelers who are unable to stop or to wake. Shana in turn becomes one of many shepherds, protecting the travelers from a crumbling American society that's ravaged by fear, dogma, disease, and the effects of climate change, while Benji grapples with his daunting assignment and questions about Black Swan's nature and agenda. Wendig challenges readers with twists and revelations that probe issues of faith and free will while crafting a fast-paced narrative with deeply real characters. His politics are unabashed characters include a populist president brought to power by neo-Nazis, as well as murderous religious zealots but not simplistic, and he tackles many moral questions while eschewing easy answers. This career-defining epic deserves its inevitable comparisons to Stephen King's The Stand, easily rising above the many recent novels of pandemic and societal collapse.
The one star reviews are comical, especially considering they admit to not even reading the book! Seems they are triggered that the right wingers in the book are accurately portrayed as racist, dim-witted, hateful, knuckle-dragging white supremacists. That being said, the book was extremely well developed, suspenseful, character driven, and an exciting read. It doesn’t actually pretend to be The Stand...it stands on its own.
It’s not as bad as some people are claiming it to be, though admittedly it is very preachy and a tad self righteous at times.
I enjoyed the plot and the writing style but dislike political grandstanding. It’s worth a read.
Don’t Buy The Hype
I rarely give negative reviews, but this book deserves one. First off, the hubris of the writer constantly referencing Stephen King and The Stand is unreal. This is no Stand and he is no King. This book could have been cut in half and still would have been too long. And the reveal, after 800 pages is so weak it’s hard to stomach. And he never bothers to explain how nanites could stop the human body from needing to eat, drink or defalcate. A complete waste of time.