Shana stood looking at her little sister’s -Nessie- empty bed and though she ran away again. The first time Nessie ran away was when they went to Giant Eagle and their mother was just gone. After seeing the camera it showed their mother walking out the front door and out of their lives for good. So two years ago almost to the door Nessie packed some can goods, bottled water, and a couple of candy bars and ran away. They found Nessie four hours later at the wooden bus shelter in Granger. Nessie was fifteen now and Shana was almost eighteen and couldn’t figure out why she wanted to runaway. Than out of the corner of her eye she saw Nessie come up the driveway still in her pj’s and barefoot. Shana ran out to meet her and Nessie bumped into her and kept going, she didn’t blink , nothing, she had dead eyes and just kept going. Staring straight ahead Arms stiff by her side. Shana tried to stop nessie as they came to Herkimer Covered Bridgethat had broken glass all over and will cut Nessie’s feet all up. Shana hugged nessie to stop her and she did stop but she kept struggling to be free and her body temperature was going very high and her nose started to bleed , and a low whine, an animal sound rose out of Nessie. Shana let go and Nessie blinked for a minute but then her eyes clouded over again. Nessie kept walking. Right across the broken glass, seemingly not to feel it. Shana ran back to get her dad and he got his old truck and found Nessie still walking and staring at nothing. The Shana saw mr Blamie who was her geometry teacher. But he was just like Nessie and turned to go nessie’s way. Than he reached her and walked beside nessie. Benji ray felt teh jet lag in his bones. He just wanted to go home. As he went toward the front door, a young woman said his name and she said she was Sadie Erniku and she worked for Benz-Voyager. She needed to speak to him. He said not today , he just got off a very long trip. Then she said something’s gone wrong. An outbreak maybe… In Pennsylvania. He told her to come in he’d fix some coffee. She said her and Black Swan thought it maybe an outbreak. Benji told Sadie he was wary of their growing fascination with replacing human work with artificial intelligence. Black Swan was a PMI or predictive machine intelligence. Benji distrusted Black Swan and its predictions . Sadie said Black Swan wasn’t something she merely designed; it cut her. Benz-Voyager created Black Swan specifically with the ability to detect upcoming outbreaks, pandemus and every zoonetive jumps where a disease leapt from the animal to human. A third joined Shana sister and teacher. EMTs were called and tried to give Nessie a sedative by a needle in the butt but the needle broke. The three sleepwalkers and they became called just kept walking. Bengi went to CDC- which had been his home for almost two decades. Sadie had designed Black Swan -she lead the team. Benji was to meet black Swan. A cop had tried to force her teacher into the car. When he got him in there the man exploded. Shortly after the cop died in the hospital. The number of the sleepwalkers grew. Four more people joined Nessie and the woman they now knew was Rosie. Shana now thought of them as the herd. Shana’s father said it was time to go home, the farm wouldn’t run itself. But Shana refused to leave her sister, she had to protect Nessie. Shana called Zig -her best friend, to hang out with her as she followed nessie , he was always there for her. Zig loved her bust she didn’t love him like that. He had gotten a gun she put in her backpack that way she had it encase she had to use it to protect Nessie. Now there was a total of ten people that joined Nessie in their zombie like shape still walking. Shana’s father bought an old RV and he caught up to her again -saying he hadn’t been there for his girls since his wife had left but he was here now. The herd didn’t seem to have to eat or drink, or rest, or even go to the bathroom. As more people joined the “sleepwalkers” more family and friends joined to watch over their loved ones as the sleepwalkers walked to a destination only they knew of. They families and friends were eventually called “Shepherds” and the walkers “ the herd.” As time goes on Benji becomes a protector of the herd. Than a former rock idol joins the group of Shepherds but to be back in the limelight but things do change as time goes on as does reasoning for following the herd in some cases.
I really enjoyed this book. I loved the author brought in many things such as compassion and empathy, right or wrong. Or the way to treat the herd and so much more. I also really liked the author used people from all walks of life and ages both as Shepherds and Sleepwalkers-or part of the herd. I didn’t want to put this down. As I wanted to see what was going to happen next. This grabbed my attention right from the beginning until the very end. I also liked how the author brought in issues like politics, and religion as well as others. I did feel this book could have been a ;little shorter and I felt the end was a little rushed . This did drag for me at times but nowhere near enough to stop reading this book. I really enjoyed the characters and the ins and outs of this book and I recommend it.