The Wanderers by Meg Howrey (2 out of 5)
Sorry, that’s my fat meatball cat you see in the background there. I had such high hopes for this book, based on high praise and early buzz for it. And I love the cover! The love buzz was not to last, sadly.
Prime Space (think NASA) is gearing up for its biggest space gig yet: Four years from now, it aims to put the first human beings on Mars! The crew in training for this ground-breaking journey are Helen, Yoshi, and Sergei. All have different reasons for wanting this to go smoothly. In preparation for the journey, they are sent into an incredibly realistic simulation. They are under 24-hours a day observation and are expected to remain stoic and in control. Any ideas how tough it might be to be in a virtual simulation, separated from family, friends, & life as you know it? You’ll have a pretty good idea after reading this. The families and friends on the outside must learn to cope with their feelings of desolation, isolation, and yes, even desire. Inside the simulation, fact begins to fight with fiction and nothing is quite as it seems. This was a book teeming with promise, but it really started to bug me a third of a way through. I was hoping for some real conflict; in fact, the premise of the book (not to mention the book jacket) kind of lends itself to the possibility of that sort happening. Not really delivering. It’s good that the astronauts are so stoic in the face of what most would be freaking out over, but they don’t emote. Ever. It’s very weird. I almost thought if a case of lemon Pledge were set up next to the 3 in the simulation, you would have a better reaction. Seriously! I was very disappointed in the retred, often listless astronauts. You can damn well bet if I were one of those astronauts, that simulation would be hopping. (Stop! Hammer time!). This book was not hopping. It was plopping.