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Publisher's Summary

A father and daughter try to survive the steady decline of all they know in this haunting thriller from award-winning author Ronald Malfi.

First the birds disappeared.

Then the insects took over.

Then the madness began.

They call it Wanderer's Folly - a disease of delusions, of daydreams and nightmares. A plague threatening to wipe out the human race.

After two years of creeping decay, David Arlen woke up one morning thinking that the worst was over. By midnight, he's bleeding and terrified, his wife is dead, and he's on the run in a stolen car with his eight-year-old daughter, who may be the key to a cure.

Ellie is a special girl - deep, insightful - and she knows David is lying to her. Lying about her mother. Lying about what they're running from. And lying about what he sees when he takes his eyes off the road.

©2016 Ronald Malfi (P)2016 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    88
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    57
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    44
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    7
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Performance

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    57
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    17
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    5
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Story

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    75
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    52
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    39
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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Unfulfilling

This is my second book by Malfi. I enjoyed the last. This was a major disappointment. It can be summed up easily: man with daughter possessing special abilities eludes bad guys in a pre apocalyptic world. Natural phenomena plagues them and is never explained away. Then the story ends.

I kept waiting for something to happen. At hour ten I had the sinking feeling this was it, but hung in their for the surprise twist/ending. Nada. I can only believe this is the beginning of a series. Because the only other reason the book would end so quickly is the author had to escape a burning building.

Save your money. Even the bugs were bad. Take half of the story star away above.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

As emotional a story as he ever told

Ronald Malfi is one of the best. My original thought after finishing this book is that Malfi is one of the best horror authors out there, partly because of how he is able to creatively expand the limits of horror, but really, "horror" doesn't feel like an adequate qualifier for his work. I feel others hear "horror" and think of Chainsaw Massacre or Freddy Krueger...though there is a little Krueger mind games in this. They hear "horror" and think the story to come is going to be full of violence. Malfi has a little violence, but is mainly focused, as usual for his stories, on the relationship between parents and their children. His work in this book is an outstanding vignette on loss and the desire to survive and provide for your children in a terrifying world.

In The Night Parade, there is a virus that scientists can't explain how it is transmitted, and which turns people mad until they lose it and take their lives. A father has swept his daughter onto a cross country trip as he fears that virus is infecting him. In this aspect, it is unsettling, and as he tries to keep his daughter safe, not only from this virus, but also the collapsing world around them, we are taken on a dark and emotionally deep experience.

For me, good horror is that which makes me want to hold my family tighter, and this is one of the best examples I've read. The end brought tears as the unexpected turn opened a flood of emotion I didn't think possible.

As to the audiobook quality: the narrator does a great job, and the production is spot on.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Mixed feelings

Is there anything you would change about this book?

The ending was absolutely cliched and incredibly stupid. It ruined an otherwise good book that for whatever reason touched me and kept my interest. How could and author who could create the feeling in this loving relationship be so trite in the end.

Still worth reading but......

What three words best describe Tom Taylorson’s voice?

Another mixed review. Good voices and characterizations.

Sloppy edits at the end. Demonstrates the narrator's distain for the reader. If he had a sense of craft he would have re-narrated the whole chapter, instead of the intrusive edits if he weren't so lazy.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Malfis' best book yet!

Nice plot, satisfying ending. Lacking a little in the "Why?" department but still a delicious read and Malfis' most polished work.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

an atmospheric road trip audiobook

This story follows a father and daughter, David and Ellie Arlen, travelling across the country, trying to evade the authorities and infection from a new disease which is sweeping the nation. ‘Wanderer’s Folly’ is a disease which causes a bunch of hallucinations and ultimately death – no one knows how it started or how to treat it, causing widespread paranoia and fear.

Ellie is only 8 years old and may be the key to the cure but her father is scared about what that will mean for her future. She knows that she hasn’t been told the full truth about why they’re now on the road but she’s a very intuitive child and starts to piece the clues together.

This is very much a slow starter, the author withholds a lot of the story which he shares through a series of flashbacks along the way but we can’t be sure that everything is as it seems, after all the tagline of this book is ‘don’t believe everything you see’.  The relationships between characters is what drives this story, particularly the father-daughter dynamic as time goes on and Ellie starts to figure out what’s going on.
Along the way, they meet other people who are surviving in this world overcome by disease and we get to see how people are coping with the world as it is now.
Truth be told, I was struggling a bit around the middle when I realised that there were another 6 hours to go and very little actually had actually happened beyond flashbacks and a lot of driving. A LOT of driving.

You might wonder in that case why I’ve given it 4 stars, and that’s because despite it being apparently dull… I never considered stopping and worked my way through to the end.

Tom Taylorson is a very effective narrator and keeps the story flowing. The only problem that I found is that his little girl voice was annoying – especially his ‘panicking little girl’ voice which felt like nails on a chalkboard to me. Thankfully Ellie’s a chilled out little girl so there wasn’t too much panicking on her part.

The description of this book does mention that all the birds have died and that the insect population has increased, even now I’m wondering if there’s something I missed. Yes, both of those facts are true in the course of this book but neither seem to affect the plot to any extent…. If anyone has any idea what the meaning behind it was… please let me know?

I would recommend this as an atmospheric road trip audiobook rather than something to sit and listen to while doing other things.

Audiobook was purchased for review by ABR.

Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog

[If this review helped, please press YES. Thanks!]

5 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Disappointing

Given the very positive reviews on good reads I am very disappointed with this one! It sounded REALLY good but was just very bland the entire way through. I was expecting a more spooky, suspenseful read and it just didn’t ever quite get there. You take a kid and go on the run where nothing really over the top happens. Along the way the reader is waiting for some wow moment that never arrives. I don’t get into the whole “people with special powers” thing but even that part ended up a big zero! And even though there was a somewhat moving type of ending, the entire storyline never really got wrapped up into a neat little package in my opinion.
This book was voted for and chosen out of three for my new book clubs first read for June and the month is not over so we have not discussed it yet but I’m quite sure there’s gonna be a consensus of disappointment.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Fast paced and exciting!

This was better than I expected it to be. It kept my interest even while working out - great motivation! I only wish there had been a epilogue; I wasn't ready to be done with the characters.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A well done slow burn, apocalyptic-ish type tale

I like Ronald Malfi. The dude can write. This one is a slow burn, apocalyptic-ish type tale that follows a man and his daughter as they seek comfort and shelter from those who are hunting them for their own agenda. During their travels, their stories will be revealed, secrets unburied and hope reborn. Nicely done. Had a wee Firestarter vibe to it too.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Decent story

This was a decent story overall.
The characters were pretty well described and believable.
The narrator was overall enjoyable and did a good job. Some parts were a bit over done but good.
There were a lot of unanswered questions but not so much that I felt like the story was really lacking.
Interesting concept. Not the usual zombie story or plague tale. A unique take on these concepts.

I'm glad I listened to this one. It was good for my long trips to work and I went through it pretty fast. It was nothing too amazing but I didn't regret the listen.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Unexpectedly Good Novel

I almost stopped reading this book in the beginning - one aspect of the plot did not interest me at all. However, I kept reading and, before long I was totally engrossing. I was captured by the characters and by the quality of the writing. This author had the power to make me empathize deeply with David and his daughter in their grief and terror and moral dilemmas. This is the kind of novel I will FEEL for quite some time because the characterizations were so strong. There were elements of the plot I could not relate to, but the quality of the writing overcame that obstacle.