The Wanderer and the New West by Adam Bender is a dystopian view of an America that many may well see as a path the country is already headed down. Federal rule has virtually ceased and all power lies with the States - no longer is it the United States of America. Even the individual states have virtually given up trying to rule and law is implemented at the behest of corporations, one of the greatest of these being the Breck Ammunition Company. Into this lawless environment strides the impressive Wanderer. Nobody knows who he is or where he came from, but his mission, it seems is to protect the innocent and to fight injustice. With his trusty sidekick, Kid Hunter, the Wanderer joins forces with wannabe journalist Rosa Veras as they attempt to "clean up" the New West.
I came to this book expecting to be reading a Western, but was more than pleasantly surprised to discover this is so much more. Set some time in the future, in a world not too dissimilar to where we currently find ourselves, the values and importance of the free press and of morality shone through this story. The characters themselves, especially Kid Hunter and The Wanderer are necessarily caricatures of the old west's most famous gunslingers and fighters of injustice. I found myself incredibly caught up in Rosa and her group's fight to expose the evil and corruption inherent within the corporation and to bring some justice to the State of Arizona. The story was reminiscent of the old westerns I'd read as a child, without becoming overly soppy. The humour was genuine and some of the banter between the Kid and the Wanderer, truly inspired. I couldn't put this book down and read it quickly and easily. An excellent story - The Wanderer and the New West by Adam Bender; I recommend it highly.