I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Wolves of Winter by Tyrell Johnson
on January 2, 2018
Genres: New Adult, Post Apocalyptic
Buy on Amazon
Forget the old days. Forget summer. Forget warmth. Forget anything that doesn’t help you survive.
Lynn McBride has learned much since society collapsed in the face of nuclear war and the relentless spread of disease. As memories of her old life haunt her, she has been forced to forge ahead in the snow-covered Canadian Yukon, learning how to hunt and trap to survive.
But her fragile existence is about to be shattered. Shadows of the world before have found her tiny community—most prominently in the enigmatic figure of Jax, who sets in motion a chain of events that will force Lynn to fulfill a destiny she never imagined.
I’m having a hard time working out how I feel about this book. I’m finding myself well and truly torn. So, in light of the Olympics, I’m going to break down my score into technical and component scores. (Just don’t expect me to do any jumps or flips… nobody wants to see that.)
First, the technical score. I’m going to give it 3 stars. The copy editing is immaculate, but there were little tiny gaps in the plot that got under my skin. Like, she only has four arrows, but suddenly she has a bag full? Maybe I missed the part where they stumbled on a huge arrow stash, in which case I will raise the score, with my apologies. And sometimes things were a little *too* convenient, lining those ducks up in a row in a way that wasn’t natural. It’s just hard to follow the flow of a story when you keep getting jostled by little bumps; like a nice smooth stretch of highway with a pothole right in the middle, and now I’ve just slopped burning hot coffee all over my lap. It’s a little distracting.
The component score was a solid 4 stars. It was entertaining, and I genuinely enjoyed the characters. Lynn (short for Gwendolynn) was my type of character. She’s determined, strong, and (most importantly) introverted. Even in such a small community of only 5 people she still feels the need to go for walks through the silent woods by herself. I can definitely relate to her in that way, and I’m even a little jealous of their tight-knit group. Like Lynn, I wouldn’t miss the technology, the frantic energy of cities. I imagine that I would settle in to the apocalypse just fine.
Enter Jax, obligatory love interest. I’m finished the book, but I’m still not sure how much I know about him. He’s tight-lipped, clearly has some secrets, but with Lynn’s description of him and how she acts around him, he carries a certain charisma. But maybe that says more about Lynn than it does about Jax. It isn’t until the end that I feel like I catch a better glimpse into the man behind the beard.
I did appreciate the slow build to the story. Having lived my whole life in a fairly northern city myself, the winter setting is all too familiar. I’ve taken lessons in school on winter survival and have earned Girl Guide badges on winter camping. I’ve even slept in a quinzee, so I was already quite comfortable with the survival aspect. We’re given a gradual reveal of what happened to the world to bring civilization to its knees. It was relatively believable, sadly, and it could serve as a bit of a warning for our possible future. There are villains of a sort, but I don’t think they lived up to their potential. I’m really hoping there will be an eventual sequel so that they will have a chance to expand on their evil ways.
The book seems to be classified as both adult and young adult, depending on who you ask. I’m gonna lean more toward the NA age group. Lynn is 22, there are a few swears, some mature content, and of course, violence and death. Despite that, mature teen readers would undoubtedly feel right at home.
The judges are totaling their scores, bringing it in at a solid 3.5 star average. A great debut, introducing us to a promising new author. Looking forward to reading his next book!