Thursday, June 4, 2015

*Book Review* Wanderers by Susan Kim, Laurence Klavan (YA Dystopian)

Series: Wastelands # 2
Format: E-Book, 352 pages
Release Date: March 25, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Edelweiss
Genre: YA, Science Fiction/Dystopia

The former citizens of Prin are running out of time. The Source has been destroyed, so food is scarcer than ever. Tensions are rising…and then an earthquake hits.

So Esther and Caleb hit the road, leading a ragtag caravan. Their destination? A mythical city where they hope to find food and shelter - not to mention a way to make it past age nineteen.

On the way, alliances and romances blossom and fracture. Esther must rally to take charge with the help of a blind guide, Aras. He seems unbelievably cruel, but not everything is as it seems in the Wasteland.…

In this sequel to Wasteland, the stakes are even higher for Esther, Caleb, and the rest of their clan. They're pinning all their hopes on the road...but what if it's the most dangerous place of all?

Esther and Caleb face a wide range of challenges in Wanderers, the sequel to Wasteland. The Source, which once held all the food, fresh water, and supplies that the town bartered for, has been destroyed. The people of Prin are still gleaning for food and water, but reality is shaken to its core when a earthquake devastates the town, and leaves the residents in a state of shock. With most of their possessions destroyed, and little hope of staying in Prin, Esther, Caleb, baby Kai, Skar, Michel, Joseph, Eli, and Silas flee for a city they've only heart about. A town called Mundreel. (Montreal)

In this reality, water is not only a life saver, but also a deadly killer. Illnesses carried in the water, any water like rain, ponds, rivers, and oceans, means nobody lives past the age of 19. If they're lucky that is. If they are exposed to the water, they die rather quickly and painfully. As Wanderers progresses, Esther's group finds themselves targeted by Outlaws, while facing devastating deaths. Then there is the blind boy tracker (Aras) and his dog (Pilot) who may be the ones to lead them to Mundreel. Once they do arrive in Montreal, however, not everything is as it seems. One of them, Joseph, will also learn the truth about what truly happened to the world 40 years ago.

Esther and Skar are by far my favorites in this series. Norm (Esther) and Variant (Skar) have been best friends since they were children. Skar has taught Esther nearly everything she needs to learn in order to survive this brutal world. With both Esther and Skar now partnered, things are a bit more complicated, especially with Skar's partner being a brutal assmunch. I do like that Skar takes charge of her own life. I do like that she finds someone she can relate to, all while Esther is struggling with loss after loss and her sanity is on the brink of losing control. Still, Esther is the leader of this group, no matter who might want to claim that title.

I guess you have to expect brutal bad guys when you are reading dystopian novels. Wanderers has a variety of bad guys and women to sort out. Some are pure evil. Some are of the questionable variety. Of course, my worst nightmare nearly came to light when Esther is attacked and nearly raped. Luckily, the writers stopped right where they did, and didn't continue. Unfortunately, the book also goes in a direction I never would have seen happening had I sat down and thought about it. I am happy that the writers offer the facts about what really happened to the world, and why. I bemoaned the lack of background for the water situation in Wastelands.

In the end, I would not expect anyone to survive the next installment, except perhaps Esther. The writers have made it obvious that they will play Games of Thrones and kill off characters you least expect to die. I do hope we get some answers about Gideon and the Insurgents. Their arrival, while short, was bittersweet when all is said and done. I would dare say that the dynamics of this series has changed as well. I do hope the writers expand on the world building a bit more when it comes to Montreal.

**I received this book for free from (HarperTeen) via (Edelweiss) in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**

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