The Wanderers by Meg Howry

The Wanderers by Meg Howry
Received: Purchased
Publication Date: March 14, 2017
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
4 out of 5 stars

The Blurb:
It’s time. Humans are ready to take their first steps on Mars. Well… almost ready. In four years, Prime Space will send its first team to Mars. For now, the team must go through the most realistic simulation they’ve ever experienced to prove that they’re up for the task.

The Nitty-Gritty:
This was a book that I read the wrong way. I didn’t have time to dedicate to just sitting down and reading through it all in one or three sittings. I only had time for one or two chapters at a time – and that is not the way to read this book. There are so many perspectives, and it’s so character driven, that reading it a little bit at a time does not allow for you to engage with the plot or get to know the characters.

That said, I really did enjoy this novel. It’s character-driven, so if you’re looking for an action-packed story, this is not what you’re looking for. Rather, we get to see what intense isolation and observation does to seven different characters. We get inside the heads of the three astronauts who are trying to prove that they are the team that should be sent to Mars. We get to see the impact that their careers have on their loved ones. And we also get to see the simulation through the eyes of one of the scientists tasked with observing the entire thing. What results is a fascinating look at what it means to be human, and what it means to prepare for something rather than actively take part in it.

The Verdict:
If you are intimidated by science fiction, The Wanderers is an excellent entry point, because it doesn’t feel all that far away. If space travel excites you, The Wanderers looks at the real-life impact of that kind of life. And if you just like a good, character-driven novel, The Wanderers is a perfect opportunity to dive into the human psyche.

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