Del Rey: Ballantine. (Wanderers, Bk. 2). Nov. 2022. 816p. ISBN 9780593158777. $29.99. SF
Five years after the events in Wanderers, readers return to Ouray, CO, where they left shepherds Benji, Marcy, and Shana, as they helped the sleepwalkers cross the country. During those years, “white mask” ravaged humanity and killed most of the world’s population, but the AI known as Black Swan kept those in Ouray safe. With the sleepwalkers awake and the fungus threat dissipated, the story shifts to how people are living in this new reality. With multiple points of view that keep the pacing up and enhance the character development, a clear political stance, well-placed action, and interesting sequences, most of the terror here comes from the humans, both well-meaning and evil. Readers will experience a rollercoaster of emotions while ensconced in Wendig’s meticulously built world and find peace as the story reaches a heartbreakingly beautiful conclusion.
VERDICT This high demand sequel to one of the best and most terrifying books of 2019 will delight fans. Suggest both books to fans of epic, post-apocalyptic, socially conscious horror such as Joe Hill’s The Fireman, Chuck Hogan and Guillermo del Toro’s “The Strain Trilogy,” and Justin Cronin’s “The Passage Trilogy.”
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