The Wolves of Winter by Tyrell Johnson
Book of the Month
Lynn McBride has learned much since society collapsed in the face of nuclear war and the relentless spread of disease. As the memories of her old life continue to haunt, she’s forced to forge ahead in the snow-drifted Canadian Yukon, learning how to hunt and trap and slaughter. Shadows of the world before have found her tiny community - most prominently in the enigmatic figure of Jax, who brings with him dark secrets of the past and sets in motion a chain of events that will call Lynn to a role she never imagined.
On the surface, this post-apocalyptic tale of infection, nuclear fallout and scattered, savage humanity is no different from the many others that have gone before it. But what saves it from being just another drop in the great maelstrom of dystopian novels is the author’s taught and affecting storytelling of one girl’s struggle to come to terms with her place in an uncertain new world.
Told vividly through flashbacks, Johnson’s set-up is unveiled through the story’s narrator and protagonist Lynn, a 23 year-old living in wooden shacks with her family in the blisteringly cold Yukon.
One of the novel’s strengths is how human Johnson’s lead feels. Lynn’s thoughts are real and relatable; her flashbacks fascinating and heartbreaking in equal measure as she processes the loss of her beloved father. Her grief is well positioned, binding the story together and giving it a warm heart beneath an often bleak body.
Johnson smartly equips his lead with Katniss Everdeen-levels of survival and defence skills (her designated weapon, a bow rather than gun, is justified through her brother’s casual sexism) so there’s no need continually justify her presence in his harshest of environments.
‘Immunity’, the organisation ostensibly trying to cure the killer flu rumoured to have been released by the US in China to retaliate after their nuclear attack, plagues the survivors. Wrapped in conspiracy, mystery and aggression, it provides the driving force for the action and adventure, feeding into a very believable scenario that is all too poignant in today’s climate.
Wolves of Winter is a beautiful, touching and satisfyingly succinct read with a lot to say. The author’s story-telling is captivating; balancing grief, adventure, heart and curiosity within a wonderfully sculpted and realistic world.
This The Wolves of Winter book review was written by Alice Wybrew
Have you read The Wolves of Winter?
We've found that while readers like to know what we think of a book they find additional reader reviews a massive help in deciding if it is the right book for them. So if you have a spare moment, please tell us your thoughts by writing a reader's review. Thank you.
The Wolves of Winter reader reviews
Sandie from USA
Great debut novel. I'm looking forward to reading more of Johnson's books. A fast, well written novel. The source of the world's calamity seems entirely possible which made it even more frightening.
9/10 from 2 reviews
Write a reader review
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on this book, it really makes a difference and helps readers to find their perfect book.
More recommended reading in this genre
A father and his young son walk alone through burned America, heading slowly for the coast. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind. They have nothi...
Hidden away in the Record Department of the sprawling Ministry of Truth, Winston Smith skilfully rewrites the past to suit the needs of the Party. Yet he inwardly rebels ag...
The year is 2033. The world has been reduced to rubble. Humanity is nearly extinct. The half-destroyed cities have become uninhabitable through radiation. Beyond their boun...
Facing down an unprecedented malevolent enemy, the government responds with a nuclear attack. America as it was is gone forever, and now every citizen – from the Pres...
Oryx and Crake
Snowman may be the last man on earth, the only survivor of an unnamed apocalypse. Once he was Jimmy, a member of a scientific elite; now he lives in bitter isolation and lo...
The Last Man Standing
Italy is on the brink of collapse. Borders are closed, banks withhold money, the postal service stalls. Armed gangs of drug-fuelled youths roam the countryside. Leonardo wa...
The Drowned World
Fluctuations in solar radiation have melted the ice caps, sending the planet into a new Triassic Age of unendurable heat. London is a swamp; lush tropical vegetation grows ...
Wastelands: Stories of the Apocalypse
John Joseph Adams
Famine, death, war, pestilence. These are said to be the harbingers of the biblical apocalypse-Armageddon. The End of the World. Whether by nuclear warfare, a biological di...
The Crystal World
Through a ‘leaking’ of time, the West African jungle starts to crystallize. Trees metamorphose into enormous jewels. Crocodiles encased in second glittering ski...
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages: