Thursday, February 27, 2014

Review: Wanderers (Wasteland #2) by Susan Kim & Laurence Klavan

Author(s): Susan Kim, Laurence Klavan
Series: Wasteland #2
Genre: Post Apocalyptic, Young Adult, Science Fiction
Publisher: Harper Teen
Expected Publication: March 25, 2014

 

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?


Review
The second book in Laurence Klavan and Susan Kim's Wasteland series is a book that I went into reading with a bit of hesitation. I didn't particularly care for the first book in the series yet the ending left me intrigued enough to not swear off reading the sequel completely. Upon completion, I'm pleased to say that I am glad that I read Wanderers. It not only surpassed the first book in terms of enjoyability but it also changed my mind about the series as a whole.

One of the best parts about Wanderers is the way the story unfolded. While life might not have been perfect for Esther in Prin I think she and Caleb underestimated how truly dangerous life as roaming nomads would turn out to be. However, without being forced to leave they and the other refugees wouldn't of learnt some pretty invaluable skills from Aras their blind guide. Wanderers isn't a happy story but it also is very reasonable in terms of survival. Life is cruel but can also be a blessing in disguise. I think that's what I took away from the story.

Another thing I really enjoyed was the introduction of the character Aras. You simply don't see many disabled characters in books where they aren't completely reliant on another for survival. Aras might be blind but he can also kick your ass from here to the curb if need be. He doesn't need Esther or the job bestowed on him but she and the rest of the former citizens of Prin need him. It's that relationship of give and take that kept me sucked into the story.
Lastly, I really enjoyed the pacing. When the story needed to be dramatic it was and naturally during those scenes sequences slowed so characters could emote with each other but for the most part Wanderers is a fast paced, action packed, pulse pounding read. Very few what I'd called dead moments. Everything included served a purpose to move the story along at a steady pace. 

The only downside to the story for me was Caleb. It's not his fault, he did what he must to protect everyone but I was saddened that it had to happen the way it did. 

Final Thoughts
Great book, great story, I can honestly say that I'm even surprised by how much I enjoyed the sequel compared to the first book. Would I recommend Wanderers? Yes. Do I look forward to the next book in the series? You bet. With that being said, I'll be rating Wanderers by Susan Kim & Laurence Klavan ★★★★.

 *Copy reviewed  through edelweiss. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated in an which way  for providing them.

About the Author(s)
Follow them on Twitter: @KimKlavan
Susan Kim & Laurence Klavan cowrote the graphic novels City of Spies and Brain Camp. Susan is also a five-time Emmy nominee for her work in children's television and a Writers Guild Award winner for best documentary. She wrote the stage adaptation of Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club, teaches writing at Goddard College, and is a blogger for the Huffington Post. When Susan was little, her family spent a lot of time on the road. Susan enjoyed it, but it made her anxious. In Wanderers, Susan explores her worst fears about being far from home and having to rely on people you don't even know, much less trust. 


Laurence has also written the novels The Cutting Room, The Shooting Script, and the Edgar Award-winning Mrs. White and a short-story collection. He received two Drama Desk nominations for the book and lyrics to Bed and Sofa, a musical produced by New York's Vineyard Theatre. Laurence likes being in new places but finds the actual traveling to be challenging and even frightening. Will the plane crash? Does the car have enough gas? Esther and her friends are on their way to being grown up—age nineteen. The idea in Wanderers was to portray their journey and make it just as dangerous, thrilling, and fun as being there. 

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