Wanderer – Roger Davenport (Review)

Title: Wanderer
Author: Roger Davenport
Publisher: Sky Pony Press, 2013
Genre: YA Dystopian

*I received a copy of this book free from Edelweiss and the publisher in exchange for an honest review*

This review can be found on my BlogTeacherofYA’s Tumblr, or my Goodreads page

My Review:

So this is the cover I saw when I first signed up for Edelweiss, way back when, and it was a Read Now title…I figured, just like Netgalley, I should start with something that is already available (and maybe that’s why I haven’t gotten approved for much on there…so I am reading my Edelweiss books to get them reviewed). The cover was pretty (as you know, I’m a coverwhore) and the blurb was interesting. 


So…hmm. 

This is the cover I received when I actually downloaded the book was WAY different. I should’ve known then:


I mean, eww. Gross. But I tried not to judge a book by its cover, and I started reading. I had some time in-between book due dates, and I felt it was time to get this read. 

I was not impressed. And I know, I love everything. It’s taken me days just to write this. It’s been difficult and I have anxiety just writing this review now.

Let me tell you about Wanderer

We have two POVs…one is from Kean, a Wanderer, and the other is from Essa, a pyramid dweller in the city of Arcone. Essa’s life is tightly-controlled: she picks a job as an apprentice to her father, the pyramid’s maintenance man, who is in charge of making sure the structure is patched to perfection over the years. Art and beauty are totally objective, and if it’s not something that glorifies Arcone in some way, it gets recycled. If you question the history of the pyramid, you are sent to “contemplation,” a series of cells. It’s bleak, but that’s our typical dystopian world, right? 

Then there’s Kean: a Wanderer with six fingers who was kicked out of Arcone long ago, as only perfect specimens get to live in the pyramid. All Wanderers were, at some point, kicked out of Arcone. He is abnormally pale, and he can see extremely far. He helps his group of Wanderers stay clear of carnivorous beasts and the Cruisers, a gang of people that use the precious water as fuel for their vehicles.

Oh, I forgot to mention, water is scarce. Like, super hard to find. Some sort of cataclysmic apocalyptic event caused desert landscapes everywhere, and the Wanderers like at The Lakes, a place ironically named because all the water is underground.

Something like this?

Yeah, something like that.

The POV was the biggest problem for me. Davenport writes as third-person omniscient, so we jump into different character’s minds without warning. This gave me a major sense of disconnect from our two main protagonists. 

Here’s an example of a sudden POV shift, and we are in Kean’s head, then Essa’s all of a sudden:

It confused Kean. He had felt protective about Essa, and now she had the respect of a kind he had always wished for himself. For there was no doubt she was a Waterboy. She had the gift. Hawkerman had set her a series of tests, letting her guide the team when water began to run short, and she led them to it every time, often across great distances. They were all empowered by the talent she had; with water no longer a problem, they were truly a great team, invulnerable.

She asked herself why and how, and she found no answers. It was an affinity she had with an essential element, and that was all you could say about it.

Okayyyy…that’s weird, right? 

You know at some point Kean and Essa are going to meet up, and they do. We think there’ll be romance. There is, to an extent. Here we go:

That was all it took—someone else to make the first move. He began telling her about the skis, and how after his headlong dash in the attack wagon, he had seen a way of making a fast start on a trek over the Big White. Then of course he had to tell her of the others who had tried to get out of the valley over the many years, and how no one knew for sure if anyone had been successful—except maybe that man who’d ridden the bizarre animal . . . and . . . and there was no way he could avoid speaking of the essential condition for attempting such a journey: you had to have a Waterboy. 

The rest of the team had gone back to the trailer. They were alone out here. 

“You thought—what? I’d come with you?” 

“I thought . . . I thought I could ask you.” 

“And are you asking me?” 

“Yes. I am.” 

“But you haven’t.” 

“I did—just now.” 

“I could die, most like, if I do what you want me to—and you can’t even say, ‘Will you please come with me across the Big White?’” 

“‘Please’?”

“Certainly ‘please.’ You’d have to say please.” 

It was absurd. He couldn’t do it. 

She said, “I’m cold out here. Just say it.” 

Well, put that way . . . They couldn’t stay out here forever, and she did look like she was getting very cold. 

“Yes . . . um . . . Essa. Would you—please—come with me and go across the Big White? If we can, that is.” 

“Yes,” she said.

How romantic.

So let’s get on with this, then…

Is It Classroom-Appropriate?

Yes, it is, and I could see some people possibly liking this story. I would recommend for middle grade. It’s honestly not a bad story, but it didn’t have the elements in it that I enjoy. I’d say it could be a good read for younger readers who like adventure stories. 

It was hailed as “The next in a line of post apocalyptic coming-of-age stories that began with Lois Lowry’s The Giver and moved on through The Hunger Games series.”

Umm, no. Just no. Maybe a nice story for a reader interested in desert tales with fighting and survival. Just not for me.

Age Range 

I would say 11-14. It’s not difficult. It’s too indie to be listed on Lexile.com. It looks like Davenport’s other books have been aimed more towards a younger audience to begin with. I’d keep it with a younger audience and wish I knew some younger readers to see how they feel about this one. I know my niece is too advanced for this: she’s reading some regular YA like Peregrine’s and H20. So she wouldn’t like this. I think young boys would like this, like Paulsen books (i.e. Hatchet)

End Result:

You guys are going to be shocked, as I am giving out my first ★★☆☆☆ rating I think ever. Now, I used to feel that this rating would be for books that had tons of errors in it (back then I was reading a LOT of self-published books that did not have good editing jobs), so I will have to change my rating meanings now that I’ve encountered a two star book. It just never came up before!

This book was structurally sound, and Davenport writes well. It’s just the plot, the lackluster characters, and the pitiful attempt at romance. I think Kean and Essa might have held hands. That’s it. For me, I am a fan of romance in my books. The constant shift between being in Kean’s head to being in Essa’s to being in both was just jarring. 

So my goal is to redo my ratings before I rate another book. So please disregard what my current two star rating says and I’ll say two stars means, “The book was readable, but just barely. Plot was lacking, characters flat, would not recommend.”

So, that’s my rating. Are you shocked now? 


I had to DIG for this rating…I’ve never uploaded it before! 🙀

Happy Reading, y’all. Hopefully my next read, Fear The Drowning Deep, stays as interesting as it has been…😊🤞

75 thoughts on “Wanderer – Roger Davenport (Review)

    1. Nah, I’m going to do it. I’m just shy, and I know you wouldn’t suspect that normally, you know…under the circumstances with how I talk on here.
      I’m going to post one…it’s one I wrote a bit ago, but it’s my favorite. And I’m dedicating it to you and Gretchen. Since you guys encouraged me to share. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Well, I think it’s greatl, and about 50 or so ppl who comment on your poetry posts think it’s great….I’m starting to think you’re biased against your poetry. Read it as if someone else wrote it. You might be surprised to see what we find in your poetry! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ha, bad grammar! I had someone inform me in a comment earlier today, ggrrr!😢 I suck at grammar so it’s cool.😂

        I’m biased against most things, I’m not very confident in things and putting writing out there takes confidence and I always question that poetry is often “just words” unless you find meaning in those words. I find meaning in what I write but it still surprises me when it evokes emotion in others to.

        Liked by 1 person

    3. Well, it evokes emotion in me…and a lot of ppl’s poetry doesn’t. I actualiy don’t read a lot of poetry! Teachers ruined it for me…😫
      But yours and Gretchen’s are quality. And I’ve read some crap in the blogosphere (not naming names, lol).😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, thank you, I’ll accept your praise.😀 Gretchen is definitely a quality poet to. Yeah, there’s a lot of crap out there, mine is very simple rhyming style but it’s written with emotion, I can’t do haikus, stanzas or any of that other elaborate poetry and that’s what I think the problem is at times, poets try to hard to write something elaborate when at times, simple is better.😀

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Okay, so yeah I agree.. the initial cover disappointment should have probably been a warning. Ugh. Sorry. It sounds like this was just so messy! I love Dystopian titles and will be avoiding this one.

    I really enjoyed how you approached the review though! You get is honest and managed to find a few positive points. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I try to be positive, lol. I almost gave it three stars, but I just couldn’t do it. I felt so guilty.
      Yeah, def steer clear. I hate how they all tote how they are “The Next Hunger Games” or “Fans of The Maze Runner will love this.” It’s almost always a lie!
      This is how I felt about this book: 🤷‍♀️🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️🙅

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Annie

    OMG, you giving 2 stars!!!!! Hahaha But if you think 3 is already bad, I can’t believe it 😛

    So sorry you didn’t enjoy this one, I hope 2017 is filled with great YA reads ❤ It's been a pleasure reading your blog this year, without you I wouldn't know any YA titles!!! Happy new year lovely!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy New Year’s Annie!
      Thank you for the kind words! I love your blog too, and even though we read diff things, it’s good to see what you enjoy reading! 😊
      I know…two stars is a big deal for me. It’s a landmark moment, lmao! 😂🤣😂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh no, I can understand that you felt a bit disconnected from the characters with this type of narration. I’d feel a bit lost as well! And that cover…well I know we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but that’s too bad the story was just as bad as that cover looks :/
    I hope you’ll read tons of great books in 2017! ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, I hope so too!
      Yeah, that cover…I TRIED not to judge, and I read it anyway…ick.
      I have never two starred a book. I feel dirty. (“Can’t get clean!”)
      I’m not a fan of third person omniscient and I think this is why!
      Happy New Year’s btw! 😘

      Liked by 1 person

  4. It took me such a long time to get my ratings sorted out… for me, I use this:
    1 – couldn’t finish the book
    2 – finished it, but wouldn’t recommend
    3 – finished it, might recommend, but wouldn’t reread
    4 – finished, would recommend, might reread, but not groundbreaking
    5 – OH MY GOSH CAN I LIVE IN THIS BOOK?

    It’s a pretty basic structure and there are occasional exceptions, but I find it works well!
    Good luck with your restructuring!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I like that second cover! Yeah, I do… it’s awesome 😀
    I think it’s cool that you went ahead and wrote a review even though you didn’t enjoy the book and found it difficult to voice your opinion,… but massive kudos for being honest and open… 🙂 Can’t love ’em all, I say! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!
      I honestly thought I could love them all! (Well, Vassa and Stealing Snow weren’t my faves, but I got through them).
      This one was like waiting for something to happen…and then never getting there. The end was just, “there you go.” I looked to see if there was a sequel: nope, it just ended. 🤦‍♂️
      I knew you’d like that cover! 😂🤣😂
      Happy NY, Boss! 😘

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Cheers! 🍻 To a new year, new books (or old books we haven’t read yet), new challenges, and our GR count starting over! (Makes me sad…I didn’t get as high as I would like, and now I’ll be starting from scratch again! Sigh)
        We will ROCK the Casbah!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow that is definitely an extreme cover change! Also I can’t understand why when you downloaded it from Edelweiss it had a completely different cover, that just seems really strange. I do agree with you on preferring the first cover, I probably won’t have picked this book up at all if it had just been the second cover on display.
    I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy this book much at all. The concept sounds interesting but the fact that the plot characters and romance weren’t well developed would have ruined it for me as well. Also the quotes you picked sounded jarring to me as well when it comes to the POV changes as well, I can’t imagine what it would have been like reading the whole book!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Beth, it was HORRIBLE!!
      I never thought I would see the day where I gave a book two stars. Especially a book where the writer makes no mistakes in grammar, syntax, or spelling! It rocked my world. Almost gave it three just so I didn’t have to believe it was so bad.
      And that cover…no coverlove from me. The first one wasn’t horrible, but when I opened the book and saw the skull, I was like, great, this is going to be on my shelf forever?? (I really am a coverwhore, I guess).
      I wouldn’t wish for anyone to read this…except for a younger reader so I can test my hypothesis that it’s better for a younger audience. But I’ll never get to prove that point!!
      It’s finally after midnight over here (1:42am) and I don’t feel any different. I just hope 2017 stays nice. For you too!
      Thanks for getting “it” with me! I know I can always count on you to see what I’m trying to say!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. See now you’ve given one book a two star review you’ll probably find you give others two star reviews as well. I mean, hopefully that won’t be the case, but I guess you’ll be less hesitant about it in the future if you read another book you don’t enjoy. Nah, stick to your guts when it comes to ratings. I’m a coverwhore as well, most of the books one my shelves have pretty covers and I know that’s a large part of the reason I picked them up in the first place.
        Maybe you can see if you can find some reviews online from younger readers, see if you can prove your hypothesis that way.
        I don’t feel much different either but I guess the new year is what you make of it. Maybe after a few weeks you’ll feel a little different! 😀
        That’s all right, seriously anytime! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

    2. That’s a really good idea, Beth!!
      Yeah. I’m redoing my ratings. Probably tomorrow before I post a review for Fear The Drowning Deep. I need to make them more precise and less ambiguous than they are.
      And I will probably feel more comfortable two starring a book now! Isn’t that weird how that works??
      Honestly, I should have known the book would suck bc of the cover: most really bad books have really crappy covers (except for the big publisher house books who can afford nice covers for their books…) or really out there covers that make no sense to the plot. This one made sense…but it was butt ugly!! 🤢

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s how I look at it either way! 😀
        And yeah that’s probably a good idea as well, I need to post my ratings on my blog but they’re more in my head than anything else you know. There’s nothing set for each star it just is what it is. Basically mine will be very ambiguous! 😀
        Yeah sometimes judging books by their covers doesn’t work but you can other times get a good feel for the book based on the cover. Shame this wasn’t a good one, in terms of the story and the cover!

        Liked by 1 person

    3. Well, some good came out of it! I fixed my ratings graphic! Welcome to the Rainbow Brite POP rating system (see sidebar), very simple and nothing to do with classrooms or teaching! 😂🤣😂😂🤣
      Absolutely makes no sense, so I’m thinking of creating a special “teacher” rating for the “Is this Classroom-Appropriate” section…maybe using grades? Apples? That way my main graphic can be fun and whatever I want, like Rainbow Brite POP characters! 🤷‍♀️🤡

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That is good to hear, and in that case I’ll check out your new graphics as well! Also I love your idea for a teacher rating as well. Apples is a great idea, I can’t think of much else teacher related you know? Maybe those hats everyone wears during graduation? 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      1. For sure, I was mainly saying I didn’t drink last night because my wee on shared his cold. Sigh, I was wrapped in a blanket and slugging back hot tea. Welcome to 2017! 😛

        So glad you’ve managed your sobriety!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh! Lol.
      Well, that makes sense, too! 😉🤦‍♂️
      Thank you…it’s been a long road, but a good one! I wouldn’t be where I am today without learning from all the mistakes I made! I’m very happy in Michigan, and I would never have moved from AZ if I didn’t seek to start over and get away from negative influences. Now I’m somewhere with seasons and snow and beautiful people who have told me when I have dropped my wallet or found my dog when she got out! I love my life now. I hope your wee one had a good holiday season!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I was an infantryman, trust me I get it…. I had to have a complete transfusion so they could put blood into my whiskey stream. Bravo for you ma’am! I must say, you appear too young for such troubles!! 😛

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Aww, thank you! I’m 33…started at 18. Quit at 25. I was foolish and young. And seeking attention.
      Wow. Sounds like you’ve been through your share of it. Proud of you for coming out the other side all in one piece.
      Really glad to have met you through the blogs, actually!! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Well, I definitely won’t be reading this one!

    Oh oh oh I can’t wait to see what you think of Fear the Drowning Deep, it was under the tree for me so naturally it’s near the top of my TBR pile! 😀 I hope it’s good. It sounds so atmospheric and creepy.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: 2016 End Of The Year Book Survey – BookNerdMomo

  9. Your first two-star rating! Wow, that’s huge. But remember, you doing the reading community a favour – now we know that there is no point to spend time on this book, there are better ones that are waiting for us. Unless, anyone really, really wants to read this book, thanks to you they know that they should lower their expectations so they can enjoy it more 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha! Thanks so much! You make me smile, Ola! 🤣
      I know: I thought I’d never see the day where I rated something two stars…but I guess there’s always a first time, huh? 😉
      Yeah, I don’t know how often this book will come up on someone’s TBR, but just in case, they might take a second to think twice about reading it, lol.
      Happy New Year, btw!

      Like

  10. 2 stars from Edelweiss? I’m shocked! only because the books I have read through Edelweiss are mostly good 🙂 Possibly it’s because of the unknown publisher.. I tend to request more books from Harper because they are usually good books hehe..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This was my first book from Eidelweiss… It was a read now title and I was trying to get some rep back then. I don’t really count on Eidelweiss anymore because all my requests end up pending forever!! And Harper always declined me!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Well, I reviewed Wanderer and I finished Fear The Drowning Deep, so after I review it, there will be no “outstanding” Edelweiss books…maybe then they’ll start approving me? Are you doing better on there now?
      I did finally get a book from Penguin and from Blogging For Books, but nothing ever from SocialbookCo.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Not as successful as Sammi apparently.. haha.. I’m reading The Inexplicable Logic of My Life. I have some contemporaries but the fantasy you may recognize is Long May She Reign. If you can get Hunted approved, it’s a really good retelling.

        Liked by 1 person

    3. Sammi doesn’t do Edelweiss that much, that I know of…
      But I tried for Long May She Reign…nope. And I’m STILL pending on Hunted. I’ve given up on that one.
      It’s funny: I brought you and others to Edelweiss, and I have so far been approved for one book. The other two were Read Nows.
      Yeah, I’m pretty done with Edelweiss unless they start approving me soon.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. We can’t! And that damn synopsis got me!!
      I’m just glad I got it off my Edelweiss account and hope now that I read both my books from my Read Now selections that I’ll FINALLY be approved for some books!! Trying to look on the bright side of the experience. (And to look up books that I request to see if they have alternate covers bc that one really gives me a better judge of the books than the one I saw!)

      Liked by 1 person

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