Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Blog Tour Review: Charlinder's Walk

In 2012, the Plague ended the world as we know it. In 2130, Charlinder wants to know why.
The origin of the disease remains a mystery. Their ignorance of its provenance fuels a growing schism that threatens to destroy the peace that the survivors’ descendants have built. Unwilling to wait for matters to get any worse, he decides to travel to where the Plague first appeared and find out the truth—which means walking across three continents before returning home.
Charlinder has never been more than ten miles from home, has never heard anyone speak a foreign language, and he’s going it alone.
He survives thousands of miles of everything from near-starvation to near-madness before he meets Gentiola. By then he’s so exhausted that the story she offers to tell seems like little more than a diversion…until he hears it.
Nothing could have prepared him for what he learns from her, and no one ever told him: be careful what you wish for. The world is a much bigger place than Charlinder knew, and his place in it is a question he never asked before.
A lot of ground was covered in Charlinder's Walk. Not only the ground Charlinder covered as he walked around the world, and that was substantial. But the ideas of religion, feminism, global solidarity, biological terrorism, and even love.  In this post dystopian tale of searching for answers Alyson Miers  gives us a lot more to think about. Could the world really end as we know it?
When Charlinder sets out from his comfortable home settlement and makes way across the world  I had no idea how it would turn out.  Along his journey he encounters settlements more advanced than his, and on the flip side more repressed. The world he encounters is really not that much more different than what we would encounter. Sure there are no modern convinces. (Electricity has long since been lost as well as cars, ships and planes. Most citizens can not read, society as a whole has fallen back hundreds of years and there are no countries or boundaries that one might find now.) Still the cultural differences and the regional characteristics that make up the world are still there. 
Charlinder still has to figure out how to communicate when he doesn't know the language. And  figure out how to assimilate into alien cultures. Along the way he finds out he is stronger than he ever knew and far more valuable. When at home he questioned his role as the village teacher, on the road people marveled at the fact he could read and write. He learns that his world view might have been biased and formed on a one sided history, but that human nature stays the same across the miles. 
 When he meets the women he has been searching for he can't believe what he walked hundreds of miles to find out. Now that he has his answers what are the implications for his village and his friend's fragile peace? How does he go on with the knowledge he received? He has to decided if the truth really matters. I was so excited by this sweet and amazing tale it's hard to not to give too much away. 
In fact, I loved this book. I wanted it to go on. And that's saying a lot considering it was over 400 pages long. I was drawn in from the first chapter and Miers had me hooked. I love a good dystopian story, and hers was believable and relate-able.  And because of that somewhat scary in it's plausibility. I found myself thinking of The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho all the way through the story. In some ways they are similar in the protagonists search for knowledge and his walk around the world. Even the character of Gentiola put me in mind of the alchemist himself. (Although the very person of Gentiola is a mind altering idea.) 
Miers gives us a lot to think about. Through Charlinder, and the vast and varied cast  of supporting characters, we learn a lesson on how not to take the world and her resources for granted. We are forced to think about tolerance, the roles of society, and how things can change in a relatively short time. And a book that makes us think that deep is one to treasure. I wold love to see this book widely read. It is timely and well written. It showcases some of the best of indie writing and publishing. If you have read it, pass it along. That's what Charlinder would have wanted. 

Novel Publicity Blog Tour Notes:
Wanna win a $50 gift card or an autographed copy of Charlinder's Walk? Well, there are two ways to enter...

  1. Leave a comment on my blog. One random commenter during this tour will win a $50 gift card. For the full list of participating blogs, visit the official Charlinder's Walk  tour page.

  2. Enter the Rafflecopter contest! I've posted the contest form below, or you can enter on the official Charlinder's Walk tour page--either way works just as well.

About the author: Alyson Miers was born into a family of compulsive readers and thought it would be fun to get on the other side of the words. She attended Salisbury University, where she majored in English Creative Writing for some reason, and minored in Gender Studies. In 2006, she did the only thing a 25-year-old with a B.A. in English can do to pay the rent: joined the Peace Corps. At her assignment of teaching English in Albania, she learned the joys of culture shock, language barriers and being the only foreigner on the street, and got Charlinder off the ground. She brought home a completed first draft in 2008 and, between doing a lot of other stuff such as writing two other books, she managed to ready it for publication in 2011. She regularly shoots her mouth off at her blog, The Monster's Ink, when she isn't writing fiction or holding down her day job. She lives in Maryland with her computer and a lot of yarn. Connect with Alyson on her website, blog, Facebook, Twitter or GoodReads.


  1. I'm so glad you enjoyed my book! Thanks for this wonderful review, Becca!

  2. It was a wonderful book to review! Can't wait to see what else you have in the works....

  3. Awesome review, Becca. I agree that Charlinder is a fabulous example of indie publishing done right, and, yeah, it's a thinking book (I just posted my own review with that same conclusion). Thanks for joining in on this tour and getting excited, and please cross-post it around. One more thing: There's something funky going on with your tour notes! It's okay to remove them if you have to.

    Em ;-)

  4. Definitely agree that this one makes you think a lot. Thanks for the thoughtful and detailed review!

    1. Thanks Stephanie!!! Hope you stop by again :)