The Wolves of Winterby Published 02 Jan 2018
|The Wolves of Winter.pdf|
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.
"The Wolves of Winter" Reviews
"I have heard what the talkers were talking,
the talk of the beginning and the end,
But I do not talk of the beginning or the end.
There was never any more inception than there is now,
Nor any more youth or age than there is now,
And will never be any more perfection than there is now,
Nor any more heaven or hell than there is now."
THE W O L V E S OF W I N T E R
AS THE OLD WORLD DIES,
It's been over seven years since 23-year-old Gwendalynn "Lynn" has used electricity, eaten a Fruit Roll-Up, worn a bra—yup, those good ol' days are lonnnng gone. Everything is different now that the world is at war with each other. And just when you thought things couldn't get any worse... well, they do. A massive epidemic known as the Asian Flu is claiming lives faster than the blink of an eye.
Things weren't always this chaotic though. This mess happened gradually. As the days went by, less and less kids started showing up at Lynn's school. Then one day, the teachers didn't show up at all. Food became more scarce. Then it became time. Time to say goodbye to the life she knew in Chicago. Her and her family needed get away from the hell that had broken loose before it devoured them, too.
After traveling from city-to-city, Lynn and her family finally managed to settle in the Yukon, a freeze-your-balls-off territory in northwest Canada. Only, not everyone survived the shitty journey.
"And nothing happened more beautifully than death," Walt Whitman says.
WE ALL MUST CHOOSE TO BECOME PREDATORS.
Jax isn't quite sure how old he is—27 maybe 28? Here's the thing, you lose track of time when you don't have a watch or a calendar to follow, when the world has gone to shit, no friends to chat with. It's just you and your dog. There is, however, one thing Jax is certain about: do not get caught by the group known as Immunity.
Jax has been taken advantage of long enough, and now he is on the run. With no sense of purpose except to get away as far as he can from the savage people who want to use him as a weapon. Jax is about to cross paths with Lynn and unknowingly help her uncover a secret she's been kept in the dark about for far too long. But here's the thing, Lynn isn't the only one with a dark secret.
OR BECOME PREY.
Rated PG-13: This book deals with two scenes of sexual assault, frequents the use of profanity and references sex.
Many thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC. Quotes are subject to change upon publication.
PS. I will be purchasing this book with my own money when it comes out on January 2, 2018. Yes, that's how much I freaking loved it. Watch out for this up-and-coming author because they are on 🔥!!
Tyrell Johnson’s The Wolves of Winter starts out as a reasonably well-written, if undistinguished, post-apocalyptic tale – a sort of YA-ish version of Cormac Mcarthy’s The Road (the “ish” owing to the fact that the protagonist, Lynn, is a handful of years older than the usual YA heroine). It quickly turns into a reasonably well-written, undistinguished, YA-ish post-apocalyptic tale crossbred with X-Men Origins: Wolverine, a development that doesn’t do it any favors. Lynn is a little bit Katniss (hunts with bow and arrow) and a little bit more Bella (attracted to dangerous men, makes bad decisions, needs to be rescued a lot).
After a nuclear war AND a superflu wipe out most of the planet’s human population, Lynn and some of her surviving family and friends band together in the snowy wilderness of the Canadian Yukon. Their difficult if mostly peaceful existence is disrupted when a mysterious, reclusive stranger named Jax wanders through the vicinity, bringing a dangerous governmental agency known as Immunity on his tail. Lynn, of course, falls for super-strong super-fast Jax, whose most marketable skill is murdering people.
The Wolves of Winter is economical and fast-paced, and Johnson has the basic storytelling skills required to write a not embarrassingly bad novel. Johnson can’t really be blamed too much for the unoriginal setting; your options are limited when you plug “nuclear war and disease ravaged wasteland” into the worldbuilding machine – there’s basically a sliding scale between Station Eleven and Mad Max, which Johnson scoots closer to the former. He can, however, be blamed for all the other trimmings. The characters are rather bland to begin with, but the total lack of chemistry between the romantic leads is unforgivable. Their banter is clumpy and insipid, and Johnson contrives a number of obvious and threadbare excuses for slamming them together (e.g. Jax rescues Lynn from being buried in a blizzard, seemingly only so the old “we have to get naked and spoon to save you from freezing to death don’t worry it’s just science” card can be played). Worse still is the cookie cutter villainy of Immunity; every representative of the organization is a sinister, sneering, underhanded creep lacking any shred of human decency, all the better for Jax to slaughter them indiscriminately and with moral impunity. I kept hoping he would at least hunt down the head of their HR department for their questionable application review process (Are you indifferent to the suffering of others? Yes. Are your employer’s goals more important than basic human rights? Of course. You’re hired!).
A novel only for the most forgiving of readers.
Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read this ARC.
Trigger Warning: [spoilers removed]
Full Review: Thank you so much to NetGalley and Schribner for allowing me to read and review this lovely literary debut by Tyrell Johnson. I really loved the author’s prose. I found this book very similar to an old Jack London novel. Very slow-paced for the first half, gorgeous descriptions of the cold and survival in an unforgiving land. There is very little action in the first part of the book. However, about halfway through, things begin to pick up and the writing takes a very cool, dystopian/sci-fi turn that had me on the edge of my seat.
Johnson’s prose is so, SO strong. Every word choice is absolutely gorgeous. You can see every sunset and taste the snow. He absolutely transports you to the Yukon and keeps you there right on the page. I connected with the loneliness of Lynn and wanted to stay with her story. Very much enjoyed this and look forward to more of the author’s work.
Read this FULL review along with others on my blog at: shesgoingbookcrazy.com
I received this copy from the publisher via Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review.
Content Warning! Two scenes of sexual assault (one full rape) under-aged drinking, and lots of profanity.
Set in future, the post-world war world is decimated. Not only have nuclear weapons wiped entire countries out, the yellow flu hit the remaining population and took out almost all of the survivors. When the flu struck, people fleed from cities, traveling to more remote locations away from the populace. Gwendolynn and her family left Alaska for the desolate landscapes of the Yukon. Their small village hadn't heard from the outside world for several years after the migration, until one day when a stranger appears in their territory. The man, later known as Jax, is an untrusted and unwelcomed guest to the hunters. Jax, knowing his place to be out on the frozen tundra alone, knows that he cannot outrun his past, nor evade his future. Staying with them will only bring harm, but is it already too late?
"First you survive here." He pointed to my head. "Then here." He pointed to my stomach. "Then here." He pointed to my heart. "You have to have all three."
When I was into the first 10% of this book, I immediately thought two things:
1) I want some venison steak, right now!
2) I want to go to the Yukon, right NOW!
This is the perfect read for the Winter months, especially if you like your books with a side of edginess.
Look at me and all my food analogies.
The Wolves of Winter is as feral as it sounds.
It's safe to say (for myself as the reader) that the atmosphere is absolutely indespensible. It makes everything more believable, not to mention tangible. This may be the most realistic post-apocalyptic read I've read to date. While these types of books fall into the Sci-Fi/Dystopia genres, it didn't feel like one to me. The overtly technological futuristic setting that I was expecting didn't exist. This book has the ability to cleanse the palate of overly-indulged dystopian consumers. When these (minor) elements did appear, they felt like an intrusion on the plot. Instead of a decimated world (which is still was in ways), wildlife adapted and flourished. It gave the illusion that everything was still alright in the far reaches of the world, untouched by humans and their corruptible ways.
What had happened to the world had made animals or monsters of us all. Survivors or murderers. Sometimes the line between the two was blurry...
Another major part of this book that I appreciated was the complex simplicity each character possessed. The survival they endured each day in the brutal landscape wasn't overdone. The characters may not have loved their situation, yet, they didn't constantly dwell on the past and wishing for it back. They too, adapted. They too looked to the future. Gwendolynn's character was exactly like this. She shares her honest feelings about the past, present, and unpredictable future, without it being overbearing. Putting myself in her situation, I felt as though I'd feel and think similar things. I appreciated how practical everyone's mentality was. It made me feel like I could really connect with most of the characters, especially Gwendolynn.
The only thing I found in Gwendolynn's character that I didn't like were her frequent thoughts of sex, attraction, and reproduction to Jax. Sure, in this setting, it makes sense. I think it's a natural thing to consider at that point seeing how the majority of the world's population no longer existed. Even so, I thought her deliberations we a bit much, and rather brash.
For how much I appreciated certain aspects of this book, I equally disliked others. There is one scene where the main character Gwendolynn is sexually assaulted and then raped in another by the same man. His animalistic brutality is unprovoked and deterring. On top of that, the amount of profanity throughout left a bitter taste in my mouth. If my calculations are correct, I counted 208 words. I haven't seen this book being marketed as Young Adult, but if it is, know that it is not Young Adult appropriate! The amount of detailed violence, sexual content, and profanity are far too graphic and frequent for immature eyes.
I believe this will be one of those reads where the reader either loves it, or hates it. There isn't much room for middle ground. Because some of its traits are so extreme, they may make the entire plot off-putting, or, entirely engaging. While I felt strongly pulled to love this book, I couldn't due to its negative points mentioned earlier.
My Rating: 4 stars.
THE WOLVES OF WINTER by Teryll Johnson - Thank you so much to Scribner for providing my free copy - all opinions are my own.
I am a BIG fan of post apocalyptic reads and this fits the bill! Lynn and her family survive after nuclear war and the plague of disease. They cross the border and make their way to log cabins in the far reaches of the Canadian Yukon. Lynn learns to hunt, protect, and survive in the wild. She then meets Jax and his dog, Wolf, and at that point things really start to take off.
I’m very impressed with Lynn—she’s a strong female protagonist and I love everything about her. Johnson really nailed it with this book; I love the vivid descriptions and phenomenal character development. You feel as if you’re right there in the snow experiencing everything. The imagery in this book plays its own character.
Although it starts off slow and steady, I was completely addicted from page one. It felt like no time had passed, and I was finished with the book. It is thrilling, intense, and mysterious! I highly recommend THE WOLVES OF WINTER and please, please, please let there be a sequel!
I rate this book 4.5 / 5 stars!
For all my reviews, please visit https://shereadswithcats.com