I am such a sucker for any sort of dystopian novel or any novel with a dystopian landscape. Usually, anything that has a Hunger Games vibe gets me; I just love it. So, when I stumbled upon The Wolves of Winter by Tyrell Johnson.
The novel sort of has a young adult vibe with the perfect blend of a young, coming of age vibe and dark, disturbing plotlines. I find this so rare when an author can accomplish this balance (especially since I struggle with any novel that feels too YA). The story opens with a society that has collapsed after facing nuclear war and spread of disease. Lynn McBride and her family are some of the only ones left. Living in the Canadian Yukon, she has learned how to hunt and trap to survive this landscape of ice and snow. However, when a stranger stumbles upon their camp setting in motion a chain of events that leads Lynn away from the life she has come to know and into great danger, she must face challenges she has never dreamed of and fulfil a destiny she never imagined.
So let’s break this book down.
Told through the eyes of our teenaged protagonist, Lynn was a pretty awesome and gave me serious Katniss vibes. She is strong-willed, sarcastic, takes no crap and will sacrifice anything for her family. I found her to be incredibly relatable. I really loved how Johnson was able to capture her multi-dimensional nature and, from her first moments in the novel, she demanded my attention.
There were also some pretty spectacular and well-developed secondary characters that I found myself attached to. Once Jax, the stranger, enters the picture, I loved how the pace quickened and the story began to unfold into something so much more. I obviously knew the general direction of the story based on the synopsis but was pleasantly surprised with how Johnson chose to have the story unfold. Now, call me biased, but I also loved the Canadian wilderness as the backdrop to the story.
Overall, from what I can tell, this is an excellent debut to the start of a series that I will be looking forward to reading. Truly, I was captivated from the first pages and think this novel would appeal to lovers of various genres. It really hits the mark on many different fronts! If you are a fan of dystopian fiction, science fiction, YA fiction or just really enjoyed The Hunger Games, then I think you should start 2018 off right and choose The Wolves of Winter. I doubt you’ll be disappointed.
This novel publishes today (January 2, 2018)
Thanks to the author (Tyrell Johnson), the publisher (Simon & Schuster Canada) and Netgalley for a digital copy of this novel; it was my pleasure to provide an honest review.