Review: The Wolves of Winter by Tyrell Johnson

Welcome to my first blog post of 2018! I’ve made it a New Year’s resolution that I’m going to focus more on posting for this blog. I let it go for most of 2017, with only posting a handful of times. But this year I want to get more into a schedule and post more routinely. Fingers crossed I can keep it up!

ANYWAY – now that we got that out of the way, let’s get into the review! This book was the second book I read this year (after K.A. Tucker’s Keep Her Safe – review coming next week!) and I’m honestly starting my 2018 reading year on such a great foot. The Wolves of Winter was an incredible debut author by Tyrell Johnson.

the wolves of winter

Title: The Wolves of Winter
Author: Tyrell Johnson
Rating: 4.5 / 5 ⭐️’s
Synopsis: A captivating tale of humanity pushed beyond its breaking point, of family and bonds of love forged when everything is lost, and of a heroic young woman who crosses a frozen landscape to find her destiny. This debut novel is written in a post-apocalyptic tradition that spans The Hunger Games and Station Eleven but blazes its own distinctive path.

Review:

The novel follows Lynn McBride (her full name is Gwendolynn, but do not call her that) and her family, trying to survive in the wild of Canada’s Yukon Territory.  They were forced from their comfortable lifestyle in Chicago years ago, and eventually their escape has brought them to the Yukon. Johnson does an incredible job describing the various situations that the characters run into. With such realistic descriptions, the reader experiences the harsh truths that the wilderness has to tell, and fully witnesses the reality of trying to make it on one’s own with no power or modern resources. It is a dystopian future that feels all too accurate and a potential foreshadowing of decades to come.

With survival at the forefront of everyone’s mind, Lynn starts to uncover the reasons for their change of lifestyle. Situations become more clear (or unclear depending how you look at it) as a stranger stumbles upon their humble “village” of makeshift cabins. Overall, the McBride’s past comes back to haunt them and their solitary utopia may no longer be a place of refuge and safety.

The writing style is fast past and engaging. The reader feels immersed in this world and it isn’t always pretty. There are dark moments, some that could be triggering depending on one’s own experience, but in the end the power of independence and determination is shown. At times the plot did lag – but in a way that was reminiscent of Rae Carson’s Walk on Earth a Stranger.  The daily routines of this humble and harrowing lifestyle could seem monotonous, but it sets the setting of the story up perfectly and shows the reader the reality of the situation.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys dystopian fiction, mixed with suspense and the “unknown”. The reader is truly left wondering what will happen next. Some of the conclusions were predictable, but overall the story was engaging. I can’t wait to see what Tyrell Johnson comes up with next – hopefully a sequel, as this book left a few strings untied.

 

Thank you Simon & Schuster Canada for sending me an advanced reader copy of this book. It is greatly appreciated!