My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Hundreds of people are being afflicted by a strange malady. One day, they simply leave whatever they are doing and begin walking. No one knows where they are going because they appear to be sleepwalking. They can’t be waked, they don’t speak, eat, or drink; they simply walk on and on. Accompanying them are those known as shepherds, relatives or friends of the walkers who go with them, trying to protect and care for their loved ones. Also along is a former CDC doctor trying to unravel the mystery of this malady. But there are also those who see the walkers as a threat, and would use them to create insurrection. In the middle of it all is Shana, a shepherd just trying to protect her walker sister as they travel to their unknown destination.
This is a massive book. It checks in at over 800 pages. It is also one of the best books I have read. It is in many ways, very much a Chuck Wendig book- clever, intriguing, twisty, and in places, brutal. It is also a bit different from some of his other works, where the language flows in a quick, almost choppy manner. Here, it flows more evenly and unfolds not slowly but not in the rapid-fire way of his other works. It’s much like the walkers themselves- a steady, forward progress that works.
It is also a bit unsettling, given that it premises a transmittable epidemic that threatens humanity. Yes, it’s an idea that has been used before, but there’s a twist here that makes it stand on its own. The story doesn’t start in a dystopian world, it ends there. And along the way, we get a glimpse of the full spectrum of humanity- scared, angry, hopeful and hopeless, violent, caring, and determined. It’s the end of the world and the beginning of the world, all wrapped up in an infection gone wild, cutting edge technology, and people. It’s a little bit science fiction, a little bit horror, a little bit apocalyptic, and all about the human spirit, in all its ugliness and glory. It’s worth a read.
The Demon’s in the Details, the third story in my urban fantasy series the Yo-Yo Files is now available.
Urban fantasy like the above not your thing? Well, I have science fiction and more traditional fantasy stories available, as well. Look here for all the deets on the above series and the rest of my published stories.