Review: ‘The Wanderers’ by Kate Ormand

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So way back when on this blog, I mentioned how excited I was for Kate Ormand’s send novel, The Wanderers and well, I finished it yesterday and I wasn’t disappointed in the slightest! Such an amazing, awesome YA novel! First of all, let me tell you a little about the story…

Flo lives an eccentric life—she travels with a popular circus in which the main acts star orphaned children with secret shapeshifting abilities. Once Flo turns sixteen, she must perform, but she’s not ready. While practicing jumping a flaming hurdle in a clearing beside the circus, she spots a dark figure in the trees and fears he saw her shift. The news sends the circus into panic.

In Flo’s world, shifters are unknown to humans with the exception of a secret organization—the EOS, referred to as “hunters.” Hunters capture and kill. Shifters have heard stories of their kin taken to labs for testing—a place they will never leave—while hunters deem the others useless, a danger to society, and eliminate them. To avoid discovery, shifters travel in packs, constantly moving, and keep themselves hidden. Up until now, the circus was the perfect disguise.

When the elders notice four specific hunters have been attending the show each night, the tension in the camp rises. Believing she brought the attention to the group, Flo feels the dread and anxiety the most, causing her to make a mistake during her performance—a mistake that triggers a violent attack from the hunters.

Flo manages to flee the torched circus grounds with Jett, a bear shifter who loves her, the annoying elephant triplets, and a bratty tiger named Pru. Together they begin a new journey, alone in a world they don’t understand. They unravel secrets and lies that surround the circus and their lives and discover an unthinkable betrayal by the people they trusted the most.

This was such a fantastic, gripping read. With an evocative, majestical circus background and a feisty main female character, this book enchanted me completely. Flo was strong and sassy, yet sweet and kind too, and her friend/love-interest, Jett was irresistibly lovable and dreamy. The ‘magical abilities’ of these characters were powerfully handled by Ormand and the pacing was perfect. This book made me smile, clutch it anxiously and melt with the ‘feels’. I would highly recommend this YA fantasy novel and I hope there will be a sequel!

I will have a video review, sharing more of my thoughts and feelings, up shortly.

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