Author: Chuck Wendig
Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopian
Series: Nope – Standalone
Blurb: A decadent rock star. A deeply religious radio host. A disgraced scientist. And a teenage girl who may be the world’s last hope. In the tradition of The Stand and Station Eleven comes a gripping saga that weaves an epic tapestry of humanity into an astonishing tale of survival.
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 are 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 on their journey, they will discover an America convulsed with terror and violence, where this apocalyptic epidemic proves less dangerous than the fear of it. As the rest of society collapses all around them–and an ultraviolent militia threatens 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.
Review: Y’all, this was so not the right book to read right now, but I committed to it and I’m so glad that I did. What a ride!
First off, I’ve been a fan of Wendig for years. I follow his website, Terrible Minds, for his writing advice, photography, and offbeat sense of humor. He’s also really fun to follow on Twitter. I’ve read his work before, his Heartland series, and really enjoyed it, so I was really looking forward to this one. What I was not prepared for what how uneasy it would make me feel. Seriously. It was really, really hard to read in parts, especially with the current pandemic going on and the political situation in my country right now. You know when you read a dystopian story and you can immediately see how they ended up in that situation, and it’s not really all that farfetched? At all? And then you feel a pit in the bottom of your stomach? Yeah, that’s what reading this book is like.
There is a large cast of characters, each very well written and fleshed out. This book is a whopper at 800 pages, and my only real complaint is that sometimes it does drag a bit in places. But not really. You are so invested in these sleepwalkers and want to know what will happen to them, to the shepherds who follow them, and to the rest of the world that is facing other concerns. I honestly can’t go into the plot much at all without giving away spoilers and this is a book that needs to be experienced in its pure state. Wendig is a master at making you look at one thing while all these other events are happening in the background. It was unsettling at times, but in the best way possible.
GoodReads rating: 5 stars, but maybe wait until the coronavirus is more under control before you read it. Otherwise you’ll just freak yourself out.
EDIT: This was also the first book I finished for the #StartOnYourShelfathon over at The Quiet Pond. Yay!
Categories: Books I've Read