- Audible Audiobook
- Listening Length: 10 hours and 38 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Macmillan Audio
- Audible.com Release Date: April 3, 2018
- Whispersync for Voice: Ready
- Language: English
- ASIN: B07BLNKSL9
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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Wonderblood: A Novel Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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Plot and characters . . . . I think I liked the character John the best, but perhaps also the man with cut off ears. I think that the high priest was the bad guy, at least unlikeable. I also liked how the two main women characters went off together at the end.
Yeah, I know science fiction doesn't really fit this book.
All you can ask for is a book that opens a window on the world and lets you see things from a new perspective, and so to feel some commonality with the author. It is a rare accomplishment.
The story is set 500 (or maybe 1000?) years in the future in a dystopian world where a sickness called Bent Head has wiped out much of the population. The descendents of the survivors worship astronauts, travel the "deathscapes" in carnivals that behead people, and view medicine/surgery as witchcraft. The book follows a group of characters through a series momentous events and tracks how their views of the world change. It's about the absurdity of the human condition, how little we understand at any given moment, and faith/doubt in the face of those things.
I've seen other reviewers call this YA fiction, which it's not, even though one of the characters is a teenager. Dystopian fiction is a better label, but it's literature first, so don't expect it to be plot driven - this is a book about feelings and ideas. The writing is lush and evocative, and there is just enough mystery and coincidence in the world that it feels real - like a medieval funhouse-mirror version of our own world, but a mirror nonetheless.
I'm really not qualified to make this statement, but I feel it, so I'll say it anyway: Julia Whicker must be one of the greatest writers of our generation, if not one of the greatest writers alive.
"The pain of it all—Wonderblood—made the unreal real and so sometimes magic didn’t seem so much like a lie after all, and that confused her."
"He was afraid of his destiny, chokingly, overwhelmingly afraid, and suddenly it didn't matter whether he believed in magic or she did or if it was real or if her mother was right and they were all just fools walking in a pointless, bloody parade toward the end of time. Her eyes was open. She could run or not, she could love him or not, she could miss her brother or hate him forever. It was all going to hurt."
The faith centered on bloodshed (the Wonderblood doctrine) resides in a miserable, comfortless world, populated by characters with names that sound like Tarot cards (The Executionatrix, The Hierophant, The Pardoness, so cool!) who struggle to accept their place inside of this universe. Those ones who can sustain their faith manage to do it based on what they believe to be direct revelations, and they are the only, few ones who seem to find purpose and a simulacrum of peace. And they keep believing, even when the old religion seems dead, because there is always a new faith making itself apparent not too far off.
"I said that faith is both reasonless and the reason for everything. Beware any certainty, High Priest. For not many things are certain, and the ones that are, certainly have no reason to be."
I hold dear those books that let me find refuge in a world that is strange, complex and mysterious, but close enough to the known reality that it is easy to draw parallels to the day-to-day. This was one of those books and I happily recommend it, and not only to those who enjoy just sci-fi or dystopian fiction, because I think this book easily transgresses genre.
Most recent customer reviews
by Julia Whicker
Wonderblood is an involved book that looks at the true nature of humanity. How can mankind survive their biases drives.Read more
This book was a bit of a rollercoaster in the reading.Read more
Wonderblood is immediately very visceral, though I can't quite peg it as being...Read more