The Wanderers

Meg Howrey. Putnam, $27 (284p) ISBN 978-0-399-57463-4
Three astronauts and those who know them best explore the limits of truth and love in Howrey’s (Blind Sight) genre-bending novel. Helen Kane, Sergei Kuznetsov, and Yoshihiro Tanaka are the perfect crew for the first mission to Mars: elite explorers and engineers, they’re more at home in microgravity than with their families. But even years of training can’t fully prepare them for Eidolon, a highly-engineered 17-month-long simulation. Beyond the physical and emotional stress for the crew members, their prolonged isolation will also test their families. The story’s multiple points of view don’t confuse the intensely introspective narrative; instead they create perspective and distance—three planetary bodies and their satellites observing themselves, and each other. The voices are distinct, each member reviewing and acting on his or her own emotional telemetry with equal parts brilliance and blunder, and the stakes are high, with any heartbeat capable of tipping the scales against the crew’s survival. But the longer the mission runs, the longer the three are kept in isolation, the more they question the stories they choose to tell their handlers, their families, each other, and themselves—and the more they question the stories they are being told. With these believably fragile and idealistic characters at the helm, Howrey’s insightful novel will take readers to a place where they too can “lift their heads and wonder.” Agent: Lisa Bankoff, ICM Partners. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/23/2017
Release date: 03/14/2017
Paperback - 384 pages - 978-0-7352-1565-8
Hardcover - 587 pages - 978-1-4328-3826-3
Paperback - 384 pages - 978-0-399-57464-1
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