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The Wanderers by Meg Howrey
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The Wanderers (edition 2017)

by Meg Howrey (Author)

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8614140,249 (3.5)8
Member:Jaylia3
Title:The Wanderers
Authors:Meg Howrey (Author)
Info:G.P. Putnam's Sons (2017), 384 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:historical fiction

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The Wanderers by Meg Howrey

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A fantastic but somewhat quiet character study of astronauts during a simulation of a misson to Mars. ( )
  ablachly | May 18, 2017 |
In four years Prime Space will put the first humans on Mars. Helen Kane, Yoshi Tanaka, and Sergei Kuznetsov are going to spend seventeen months in the most realistic simulation ever created in order to prove they're the crew for the job.

Helen is retired from NASA. This is her last chance to return to where she feels at home, where she can be her best self. Even if that means leaving her grown daughter behind.. again.

Yoshi wants to prove himself worthy of his wife, even though he loves her completely but maybe he doesn't love her in the right way. (this is weird.)

Sergei is going to Mars so he can be tested beyond the point of exhaustion. He wants to prove to his father and to himself that he is not meek. He wants to set a good example for his sons.

Days turn into months and even though the astronauts are busy, the lives and people they left behind have a way of seeping into their minds.

I was so excited when I won this. And I was so excited when I finished it. Sadly this book wasn't for me. I hated the thoughts of picking it back up after setting it aside. It just seemed like there were too many words - it lacked warmth, it didn't flow smoothly, I couldn't envision much. There were too many characters. It would've been fine to include the astronaut's family in their own chapters, but I didn't want to read about their own lives. Yoshi's wife was very strange. I get that it's more focused on family and feelings and discovery but ughhhhh *yawn* I did like reading about Helen, Sergei and Yoshi together on their journey, but that seemed few and far between all the other stuff.

I won a copy through Goodreads First Reads. ( )
  jenn88 | Apr 25, 2017 |
Helen, Sergei, and Yoshi are three astronauts selected to be the first to travel to Mars and back by a private company called Prime. But first, they have to do the trip in a simulation. They will be spending 17 months in isolation in the Utah desert, under constant observation while they "go" to Mars and back. I really liked this book because it shows how the astronauts' families deal with the fact that their loved one wants to leave them to go into outer space. It also did an excellent job showing why the astronauts need to go. Recommended! ( )
  Dianekeenoy | Apr 1, 2017 |
In the not so distant future, three astronauts from the U.S., Japan, and Russia form a team to travel to Mars together. However, before they can embark, the astronauts must go through a year-and-a-half simulation to prepare for the journey and the challenges they are likely to face. Each of them and their closest family members struggle with the length of their separation and the limitations of communication during the simulation. Overall, this was a fascinating read, with an almost psychological take on the subject, and an ending that leaves the reader with both satisfaction and questions. ( )
  wagner.sarah35 | Mar 29, 2017 |
The Wanderers was pitched to me for fans of The Martian and Station Eleven. The former is one of my all-time favorite books. Even though I was in the minority about my disregard for the latter novel, my love for Andy Weir‘s novel was more than enough to want me to read Meg Howrey‘s novel. I put this out there as a warning. This is not The Martian. It is more like Emily St. John Mandel‘s novel than anything close to Weir’s. Yet, I enjoyed it much more than I did Station Eleven.

There is a danger when comparing a new novel to one that was such a runaway success and one that was a critical darling, but The Wanderers manages to sidestep that danger by throwing in a few unanswered questions that shakes up the entire experiment. In fact, some readers will be downright angry that these questions remain unanswered. That Ms. Howrey chooses not to provide answers is telling and forces readers to change their approach to the novel. It is a brave statement for a storyteller, especially when your novel is being compared to one that is anything but nuanced or introspective. However, it works well within the pages of The Wanderers as it forces you to focus on the esoteric rather than on the adventure itself.

Mars will always appeal as the next great frontier for exploration, and even a fake mission to Mars is fascinating. There is plenty of science to legitimize the experiment. I have no idea whether the science holds up to scrutiny, but within the novel, everything seems acceptable. The experiment is so successful at times that it even blurs the lines of reality and fiction for readers. The astronauts feel real sensations – the tug of gravity and its release upon leaving Earth’s atmosphere, the frigid temperatures on Mars, the fear of watching the radiation recorders creep into danger levels – and so do the readers. It is an extraordinary thing, especially since it is all fake.

I wanted an action-adventure, and I got literary fiction. I wanted excitement, and I got philosophy. Strangely, I am okay with that. I am not the type of reader who will underline profound passages or even take notes. I read to escape, and there was just enough action to make me okay with the copious amounts of introspection within The Wanderers. I can appreciate the development and growth each of the astronauts achieve on their “journey” and will take away some ideas upon which I need to reflect. I finish the novel satisfied with the story, with my response, and with its lasting impact.
  jmchshannon | Mar 16, 2017 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0399574638, Hardcover)

Station Eleven meets The Martian in this brilliantly inventive novel about three astronauts training for the first-ever mission to Mars, an experience that will push the boundary between real and unreal, test their relationships, and leave each of them—and their families—changed forever

In an age of space exploration, we search to find ourselves.
 
In four years Prime Space will put the first humans on Mars. Helen Kane, Yoshi Tanaka, and Sergei Kuznetsov must prove they’re the crew for the job by spending seventeen months in the most realistic simulation ever created.

Retired from NASA, Helen had not trained for irrelevance. It is nobody’s fault that the best of her exists in space, but her daughter can’t help placing blame. The MarsNOW mission is Helen’s last chance to return to the only place she’s ever truly felt at home. For Yoshi, it’s an opportunity to prove himself worthy of the wife he has loved absolutely, if not quite rightly. Sergei is willing to spend seventeen months in a tin can if it means travelling to Mars. He will at least be tested past the point of exhaustion, and this is the example he will set for his sons.

As the days turn into months the line between what is real and unreal becomes blurred, and the astronauts learn that the complications of inner space are no less fraught than those of outer space. The Wanderers gets at the desire behind all exploration: the longing for discovery and the great search to understand the human heart.


Library Journal, A Big Fiction pick for March 2017

(retrieved from Amazon Fri, 02 Dec 2016 08:51:50 -0500)

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