Kirkus Lauds ‘First-Rate Action Narrative’ in Adam Bender’s The Wanderer and the New West

The venerable Kirkus Reviews acclaimed The Wanderer and the New West as a “tight, thoughtful work” with “first-rate action narrative” in a starred review of my new novel (paperback available here).

The Kirkus Star is reserved for “books of exceptional merit,” so this is a big honor! The star also means my book will be considered for the Kirkus 2018 prize.

Here’s an excerpt from Kirkus Reviews:

The author’s new novel might be summed up by a line from Rosa’s editorial: “Sometimes it feels like America is spinning in an opposite direction from the planet Earth.” As real-life America spins out of alignment with other nations’ gun-control laws, he critiques its obsession with the Second Amendment and shows how it could threaten to shred the nation’s true founding principles. For example, a mayor replies to a sheriff’s complaints of lawlessness with “the government hasn’t made laws for years!” Ironically, Bender packages his message in a first-rate action narrative, filled with the sort of violence that has attracted gun lovers to pop-culture icons like Rambo and Dirty Harry for decades. In one cinematic scene, for instance, a gang member meets his end when “thunder cracked, and blood burst out the back of his skull.” Such indulgent moments of machismo are balanced by superior characterization, particularly of the Wanderer’s sidekick, Kid Hunter, and 12-year-old bandit Lindsay. The fact that the Wanderer still wears his wedding band and is haunted by the ghost of a woman named Helen connects to a complex, satisfying origin story that includes Breck Ammunition itself. Throughout, Bender proves to be an instructive novelist, challenging American readers with basic scenarios that could very well come to pass: “when you leave the house, you’re checking for your wallet, your keys, your phone, and your gun. Like these are equally essential things for the day ahead.”

A tight, thoughtful work that has much to offer readers on both sides of the gun control debate.

Kirkus previously raved about my first two novels, We, The Watched and Divided We Fall. However, The Wanderer is my first book to earn the coveted Kirkus Star.

But I really want to know what you think! So, to celebrate the Kirkus review and five-star reviews from Readers’ Favorite critics, I’ve decided to let loose the Wanderer a little early!

You can order the paperback right now on Amazon. You can also get the eBook edition (EPUB) from Apple iBooks, Barnes & Noble Nook, Kobo, Scribd and Smashwords. A Kindle version will be available in a few days.

When you’re finished, please leave your own review at the store where you purchased the book and on Goodreads. Thanks for your support!

 

The Wanderer is dead-on for 5 Stars at Readers’ Favorite

The Wanderer and the New West by Adam Bender

Ahead of the 2018 release of The Wanderer and the New West, I’m excited to announce my new novel has scored five-star reviews from five reviewers on the website Readers’ Favorite!

Here are some excerpts about the Dystopian Western:

“A dystopian view of an America that many may well see as a path the country is already headed down … I couldn’t put this book down and read it quickly and easily.” — Grant Leishman for Readers’ Favorite (5 Stars)

“The setting is absorbing, pulling in the reader like a captivating movie, and I couldn’t help getting the same feeling I get when I watch the series ‘Arrow.’ It won’t be surprising if this story ends up on screen.” — Arya Fomonyuy for Readers’ Favorite (5 Stars)

“The action is continuous and horrific … revealing vistas of the future and especially the dangerous paths poor and greed based politics are forcing mankind to follow.” — Deepak Menon for Readers’ Favorite (5 Stars)

“Brutally honest and scarily real, The Wanderer and the New West is a brilliant novel. Raw and gritty, this novel lays down the bare truth without sugar coating anything.” — Rabia Tanveer for Readers’ Favorite (5 Stars)

“Bender creates vivid characters in the plot that will resonate with any reader … The author helped me visualize the impact of lawlessness on the media, technology and any nation as a whole.” — Edith Wairimu for Readers’ Favorite (5 Stars)

The cover for The Wanderer and the New West
The Wanderer and the New West — Words by Adam Bender. Cover by Ben McLeod.

I’m thrilled to see early reviewers connecting with my new novel, and look forward to hearing what you think! Stay tuned to this blog and subscribe to my newsletter for updates on the novel’s release. You can also pre-order the eBook version now at Amazon and other online retailers.

Happy New Year!

An update on my current projects

Things are moving forward again on releasing my next novel, The Wanderer and the New West.

Jim Spivey
Jim Spivey, editor

I’m very excited to announce that professional editor Jim Spivey has joined the project to proofread the novel! Jim’s job is to seek and destroy typos and grammar and style problems. Like my first editor, Jim previously edited for DC Comics. He later did production for Hachette and directed editorial for Kirkus. Check out Jim’s full profile on Reedsy, but you can bet his more than two decades of professional experience means a super-polished read when the new book reaches your hands!

Meanwhile, I’ve begun work writing my next next novel! It’s a political satire following Blake “The Hammer” Hamner, PR crisis adviser for a dystopian president. Believe me, this past year has provided a wealth of material! The novel’s working title is Utopia PR. It started life as a short story, but that felt too short. I also tried it as a screenplay, and while I think it would still work well as a film someday, I ultimately decided that a prose version provided some advantages.

Can’t wait to share all of this with you. Assuming all goes well, I hope to announce a release date for the Wanderer in the not-too-distant future. Stay tuned!

What I’m Writing in Spring 2017

It may not feel like it, but spring is here! What are your plans?

Here’s what I’m up to.  I’m writing a comedy screenplay about a spokesman for a dystopian government. I call it Utopia PR. I’ve got the plot outlined and have written about 35 pages. That means I’m about a third of the way through (think of each screenplay page like a minute of a movie). I’m hoping to finish the script over the next couple months and enter it into a contest or two. It’s been a lot of fun to let loose and have a laugh, especially given the current state of the world.

As for my third novel, The Wanderer and the New West, I’m afraid there’s not a lot new to say. The search for a literary agent continues. I’ve received definite interest but I’m waiting to hear more. I really can’t wait to get the book into your hands! I’m hoping to decide in the next few months whether to take matters into my own hands and self-publish, as I did with my previous novels.

Speaking of which, happy to report that sales have been up on We, The Watched and Divided We Fall, especially since the presidential election! Seems that ads about dystopian governments are getting clicks these days. You may have seen that sales of George Orwell’s 1984 are way up, too, so maybe my books are getting some kind of Orwellian bump. Thanks, George!

George Orwell, presumably giving We, The Watch free advertising.
George Orwell, presumably giving We, The Watched free advertising. Photo Credit: BBC

Prepare for ‘Invasion Day’ — a new sci-fi short story by Adam Bender

With the winter holidays nearly upon us, I’d been thinking about what gift I could give my awesome readers. And then… it suddenly occurred to me! “Hey, I’ve got this great unpublished short story called Invasion Day!”

"Invasion Day" cover
Cover for “Invasion Day” by Adam Bender

On his tenth birthday, a boy living on the moon asks his grandpa about the blue planet glowing in the forever-night sky, and why they live the way they do.

I wrote this story earlier this year, based on a several-years-old idea from my notes, and inspired by the writing of one of my favorite authors — the great Ray Bradbury.

You can read the eBook free on Smashwords and other online retailers including AppleBarnes & Noble, Kobo and Scribd. I’d love to hear your thoughts, so please leave me a review when you’re finished.

Happy holidays!