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The Wanderers

Review

The Wanderers

THE WANDERERS, Kate Ormand’s second young adult offering, is a must-read for fans of shape-shifting fantasies. Flo is not your typical 16-year-old girl, but she’s not unique in the world, either. She has fallen in with a circus run entirely by shifters like herself and is ready to participate in the show. When her act goes horribly awry and she accidentally reveals the nature of the circus, Flo’s entire life is turned upside down. On the run with annoying elephant triplets, a rude tiger shifter and the boy she loves, Flo endeavors to find the whereabouts of the rest of the troupe and runs into far darker secrets than she ever anticipated.
 
Fainthearted beware: THE WANDERERS packs a serious body count and doesn't scrimp on details. I consider myself to have a generally strong constitution and there were moments I had to skip due to an overage of gore or an unpleasant description.
 
Ormand’s vivid and lifelike description of the circus made me feel like I was actually there. 
 
Despite the violence, this book has a lot going for it. I really enjoyed the plot. Ormand added twists and turns that I never saw coming and that kept me guessing until the last page. I would definitely say the plot was the strongest element of the novel. Ormand starts out with a beautiful and unique concept and continues to build that concept throughout the novel. Ormand’s vivid and lifelike description of the circus made me feel like I was actually there. However, as soon as Flo and her friends left the circus, I had difficulty visualizing the areas they visited. I really wish that Ormand’s obvious prowess over details had been exhibited in the rest of the novel.
 
My main complaint with THE WANDERERS was that it needed more. The concept and plot were spot on, but I wanted more development, especially of the characters. I've said it before, and I’ll say it again: characters are everything. A perfect plot is nothing without the right characters. Character development and back story happened all at once at the beginning of the novel. I would have liked a chance to get to know the characters more and figure out what mattered most to them. As it was, I had a lot of difficulty relating to secondary characters and even the leads. The romance between Flo and Jett was compelling, but I would have liked to see it played out and explored throughout the novel instead of explained with something along the lines of “we used to be friends but now we’re something more.”
 
Although it would have been more satisfying as the first in a series, THE WANDERERS is a worthy read for fans of the supernatural. If you like werewolf stories, this is definitely one to check out. Ormand leaves readers swooning over an incredible setting and a unique new world.

Reviewed by Maggie D., Teen Board Member on September 3, 2015

The Wanderers
by Kate Ormand

  • Publication Date: September 5, 2017
  • Genres: Family, Family Life, Young Adult 12+
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Sky Pony Press
  • ISBN-10: 1510715355
  • ISBN-13: 9781510715356