Recommended for ages 12+
Sixteen year-old Flo lives with a traveling circus group. She’s getting ready for her first performance- a performance she’s a little nervous about – when she realizes she’s being watched. Her circus is being watched, and she’s terrified The Hunters have caught up with them at last.
You see, this is no ordinary circus, and Flo’s no ordinary girl. This is a circus of shape-shifters, and The Hunters are tracking them, and anyone like them. When The Hunters finally make their move, Flo and a small group of friends find themselves on the run, relying on contacts their elders have made over the years. They’ll learn about the secrets and lies they’ve been raised to believe, and worse, they’ll learn that they may have had a traitor among them all along.
When I first started The Wanderers, I wasn’t really sure where this was going to go. I thought I was going to get a shape-shifting teen angsty romance with some conflict from supporting characters, which isn’t really my wheelhouse. I’m very happy to say that wasn’t the case. The overall story is established fairly quickly, and when the action hits, there’s no slowing down. I was trying to figure things out, but Ms. Ormand is three steps ahead – let the story take you there. There’s a morality play deftly woven into the storyline that will break your heart as you strip away the layers of deceit, with a strong pathos for this ragtag group of refugees that can’t seem to find sanctuary. The ending leaves the possibility of a sequel open – I’m interested to see if we’ll meet these characters, or their shadowy nemeses, again. Teens and tweens interested in speculative fiction, adventure, and romance will enjoy this one.