By Chuck Wendig
Published by Del Rey
on July 2, 2019
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.
I had such high hopes and expectations for this book! I’d heard fantastic things about it, and I was excited to read it.
It was a huge book (my hardcover was around 800 pages), but I read through the first couple of pages fairly quickly. I was so intrigued and wanted to know what was going on.
Unfortunately I didn’t love this one. After the first two or three hundred pages, my interest waned. I think that was partly due to the slow pace of the book, and partly due to the number of characters the narrative follows. There was just a lot going on and yet somehow it didn’t all coalesce into a reading experience that I fully enjoyed, which I found extra disappointing given the size of the book and the amount of time I put into reading it.
I’ve seen some very glowing reviews of this one though, so even though it didn’t wow me, lots of people really enjoyed it – so check it out if you’re intrigued by this synopsis, as I was.