Wizard of the Wasteland

  • by Jon Cronshaw
  • Narrated by Ian Coleman
  • 6 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Finding hope in a hopeless world....
Abel survived the apocalypse, but drugs nearly killed him. He scratches out a living scavenging for anything of value until he witnesses something incredible...the Wizard of the Wasteland.
When Abel joins the travelling showman, passing off pre-apocalypse technology as objects of magic and intrigue, they come upon a horrifying sight: a group of children enslaved by the brutal drug gang The Family.
As he and the wizard take on the challenge of freeing the slaves, Abel must resist the temptations of a world without hope. To keep the kids from reliving his miserable existence, he'll have to risk everything. Even having the wizard on his side may not be enough....
Wizard of the Wasteland is a post-apocalyptic action adventure novel for fans of Fallout, The Stand, Alas, Babylon, and The Road. If you like unforgettable characters, gripping action, and new takes on dystopian survival tales, then you'll love the first book in Jon Cronshaw's thrilling new series.


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Customer Reviews

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Set in a post apocalyptic time when society's remnants have settled into a new rhythm of life, the old magic of technology is mostly forgotten and the Wizard trades on this, making a living revealing to the new generations the magic of forgotten arts, like electricity. A young man, Abel, and his faithful dog, Pip, leave the security of the Trinity community to join with the Wizard and, hopefully, travel in company with him.This is the story of their travels.

This is not the often frequently told post apocalyptic tale of vicious fighting for survival in a world disintegrating. Time has moved on. Not too many had survived. But it is not a tale of sweetness and light, either. There are small enclaves of habitation but also 'loners', too, and the rules are what anyone can make them. So this is not a journey of peaceful transition. But it is one of pain, tentative friendship, fear - and discovery.

Told in the present tense with short, snappy sentences, there is a feeling of meticulous concentration to all that is happening and, from very early in the text there is a growing sense of tension. And the steady narration of Ian Coleman matches the pace and the hard emotions felt by Abel perfectly. His voicings of the various other protagonists is similarly appropriate and distinct. The whole is both disturbing, bleak but also hopeful. People are different and this story reflects this.

I received a complementary copy of The Wizard of the Wasteland, at my request, from the rights holder, via Audiobook Boom. My thanks for that. I found this to be a story which really insinuated it's way under my skin, the main characters in particular becoming very real to me, and I both feared for them and rejoiced in their small achievements. Strangely, a sense of calm seemed to flow from the pages and there was, for me, a sadness when the book ended.
A different type of story and one I certainly recommend.

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- Norma Miles

Has good potential but inconsistent pacing

Would you try another book written by Jon Cronshaw or narrated by Ian Coleman?

Probably not. There were some positives to the story but I wasn't engaged enough to want to continue with the series. I definitely didn't like Ian Coleman's performance and felt it let the story down.

Would you recommend Wizard of the Wasteland to your friends? Why or why not?

I would suggest that readers with an interest in the dystopian genre give it a try and see what they think: it has good world-building and a well-written protagonist. But I'm not so sure about a general audience. The story suffers from inconsistent pacing: outside from the main plot of Abel trying to save some children from slavers, we get a lot of scenes - or even entire chapters - of him going about day-to-day business like finding supplies, cooking food, or playing with his dog. A lot of the time, these scenes don't add anything, and occasionally are repeats of things we've already seen. I often felt bored listening to these.

Would you be willing to try another one of Ian Coleman’s performances?

The narrator's performance did not help the story. His character voices are okay, but everything outside of dialogue is spoken in the same dull monotone, even tense scenes where the characters' lives are in danger. In one scene, Abel briefly believes that he has lost his dog and is deeply hurt by it, but I could only tell from the words; I got no sense of emotion from the narrator's performance.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Wizard of the Wasteland?

I would have cut a lot of the scenes of Abel doing things like cooking beans or playing with his dog. Some of the chapters where he finds supplies could have been summarised.

Any additional comments?

The story's biggest strength is the character of Abel. Jon Cronshaw does a very good job of gradually revealing the kind of person he is over the course of the story, and doing so purely through what he says and does rather than going into his head and describing his thoughts or memories.

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- Richard Southworth

Book Details

  • Release Date: 24-08-2017
  • Publisher: No World Press