Book Title:
The Wanderers
Book Author:
Kate Ormand
Publishing Date:
September 1st, 2015
Sky Pony Press
Date Read:
August 24, 2015


A Unique Twist on Shape-Shifters with Fast-Paced Action, Thrilling Adventure, Mystery, and a Bit of Romance

Flo lives an eccentric life—she travels with a popular circus in which the main acts star orphaned children with secret shape-shifting 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 a 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. They send some shifters to labs for observation and testing—testing they don’t often survive—and deem others useless, a danger to society, and eliminate them. To avoid discovery, shifters travel in packs, constantly moving and keeping themselves hidden. Up until now, the circus was the perfect disguise.

Believing she has brought attention to the group, Flo feels dread and anxiety, causing her to make a mistake during her performance in front of the audience—a mistake that triggers a violent attack from the hunters.

Flo manages to flee the torched circus grounds with Jett, the 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 and don’t know how to navigate. On the run, they unravel secrets and lies that surround the circus and their lives—secrets and lies that all point to the unthinkable: Have they been betrayed by the people they trusted most?

My Review

Although I’ve never really been a fan of books that involve circuses (I’ve only ever read Water for Elephants, by Sara Gruen), I thought the idea for this one sounded pretty interesting (a circus made up of shape-shifters?  That’s certainly different), and I instantly wanted to read it.

Turns out, it really is as fantastic as the synopsis makes it sound.  It’s completely different, and I had no trouble getting into the story.  In fact, I got so into the story, that I didn’t want to put it down at all (and it led to staying up way too late reading).  Yes, it was that good.

The book starts off by introducing us to Flo, a shape-shifter who is part of a traveling circus.  Once the children in the circus turn sixteen, it is time for them to become an act in the circus and begin performing.  It is the night of her first performance, and she is incredibly nervous.  Although she has practiced and practiced, she is terrified of having to go out in front of the audience in her animal form (a horse), and jump over the flaming hurdle.  So she runs out of the circus and hides.  She finally performs the next night, and she finds that she actually enjoyed it – and performs again the next night and the next without trouble.  However, during a practice session one day, a “hunter” sees her transform from her horse shape back to human, and things go downhill from there.  Flo sees the hunters attend the circus performances, and one night she has an accident that causes the entire circus to endure a horrible tragedy.  Will Flo and her boyfriend (also a shape-shifter in the circus) be able to find the rest of their circus family, and fix the damage that the hunters have caused?  They have already killed many of the people that Flo knows, and they’re after her next.

The Wanderers is a perfect mixture of fantasy, paranormal, and romance.  All of these genres work well together in this book, and it is definitely a treat to read. 

The romance between Flo and her boyfriend, Jett, is the kind of love that you just can’t help but enjoy.  It’s adorable and sweet, and I can’t help but want the best for them throughout the entire book.

This book is the perfect example of a good reason to pick up a book that might be outside your interest (like I said, I don’t usually read books that are circus-orientated), because you never know when you find something that could end up being one of your favorite books!  I absolutely loved this one, and I know I’ll be reading it more than once!

Note: I received an ARC copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

4.5 stars
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