The Wolves of Winter by Tyrell Johnson

wolvesTitle: The Wolves of Winter
Series
: No (TBD)
Author(s): Tyrell Johnson
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Format: ARC
Release Date: January 2nd 2018
Pages: 320
Genre(s): Science-Fiction
ISBN13: 9781501155673


The Wolves of Winter, Tyrell Johnson’s debut novel, is a post-apocalyptic novel that strives to bring life to the shivering, freezing climate in the snow-covered Yukon. It embraces its end of the world scenario with open arms and shows readers a future that truly isn’t that far-fetched, but still covers all grounds on the typical tropes of the genre. With a dose of coming-of-age sprinkled onto the survival narrative, The Wolves of Winter delivers a riveting and immersing story that will have readers go blind from the whiteness of the setting, and maybe even some blood red on the side.

Following a political war that lead to a biological warfare, humanity has been dragged into ruin as warmth became nearly non-existent and winter became the only season to look forward to. Lynn McBride however barely remembers anything about the days where society was sort like the one we all know in real life. Twenty-three years old now and most of her skills are oriented toward a day-to-day survival routine alongside her mom, brother, uncle and uncle’s friend’s son. All she has as a family is in these four, as well as the haunting memories of her dad that passed away when she was young. Craving for social interactions beyond their current camp, it is the arrival of Jax that throws them on a course filled with adventure and danger.

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Tyrell Johnson’s writing style is extremely easy to fall in love with as it captures your attention and swallows you whole the moment you’re hooked. Addictive and fast-paced, the story unravels smoothly and efficiently as the author masterly mixes in world-building through memories told by Lynn herself. The first-person narration also helps in connecting with Lynn, especially with her sassy and strongly-independent personality that glows throughout the story. Having very little possibility to make friends and to connect with anyone beyond her family, she does have a touch of awkwardness in her behaviours and it is throughout the story that she learns to become the woman she desperately wants to be.

I won’t lie that my enjoyment did fluctuate all along the book because of the whole young adult vibe that came from it. Unexpected, but Lynn’s character strongly portrays the typical YA heroes and a lot of event that occurs reinforced that feeling throughout the book. But then the author also manages to pull the story towards a much more adult voice with certain heavy moments, I found ground to enjoy what I was reading without falling into territory that we could label as irritation. The complicated romance was also not my cup of tea, but it was still handled properly, especially when you think about the main character’s complex situation and what she’s been through during most of her teenage years.

If anything, The Wolves of Winter is a clean post-apocalyptic story, but it doesn’t bring anything particularly new to the table. It is easy to get into, quick to read and wonderfully written, but its frequent dipping into young adult territory despite having a protagonist who is in her 20s made this a tumultuous ride. While that essentially comes down to personal preferences more than anything, this debut novel is still a fantastic look at what Tyrell Johnson is capable of and promises readers that what Tyrell Johnson has in store for us in the coming future will probably turn out to be quite good.

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Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for sending us a copy for review!

MY OVERALL RATING: ★★★☆☆

Have you read it yet? Do you plan to?

What do you think about The Wolves of Winter?

Share your thoughts with me!

Till next time,

lashaansignature

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44 comments

  • I don’t read sci-fi normally but this is one that still feels real and I could possibly enjoy.. I don’t mind the YA vibe or romance either and would even find it positive ;-). Are there any real wolves in it though? They kind of fascinate me and I’d love it if she could have a friendship with a pack of wolves. Wishful thinking ?

    Liked by 2 people

    • It does feel real, both in atmosphere and characters, but there’s definitely some sci-fi elements that kicks in as you progress. Yep, the YA vibe and romance could be appreciated soooo much more differently by other viewers. After all, the book is adult fiction. 😀 Yep, there are wolves! What goes on with them however will be for you to discover if you ever pick up the book! Thanks for reading, Inge!!

      Liked by 1 person

  • “its frequent dipping into young adult territory despite having a protagonist who is in her 20s made this a tumultuous ride”

    Man, authors need to grow up. I wish they’d read about some of the situations settlers from the 1700 and 1800’s faced and you have the perfect setup for a “we’re all alone dystopea” and you can see how the children back then acted. Stop feeding the downward spiral of being big fat babies. And here in America, I mean literally fat.

    /rant

    On a side note, are there going to be any posts about the updating of the site theme and layout?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hahahah I like that American hate for all that’s fat. But honestly, I couldn’t shake off the YA vibes I was getting from the protagonist even if she was my age (23). As I was reading I kept on thinking about the survival dystopia stories that I have yet to read and that are waiting on my shelf (i.e. The Road) for which I feel will turn out to be FAR better in exploring human condition and giving characters that stray away from the typical stuff you find in YA nowadays.

      Nop. I don’t think there will be a post about it, maybe a random one or just a mention might happen by Trang, but otherwise I don’t think there’s anything planned by us to explain the change. The change was actually completely random and was done by Trang when she realized that some graphics weren’t so cool in the other blog’s limited presentation. She wanted a more simple and professional look for which I completely agree and this happened. An update to the blogger’s about page should come soon too, but nothing will be put into a post I think.

      She did mention having a project for the blog’s design planned for summer, and when that update happens, I think a post about it all will definitely occur since we’ll probably migrate to something much more complex than the layout design we have right now. Should look pretty cool. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  • Hmm, well that sounds promising. I was upset when I got this book in my fantasy PageHabit box because (a) it didn’t strike me as fantasy and (b) I’m not a fan of sci-fi postapocalyptic novels, but your review there makes it sound good.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Promising, it is. But damn. How did they fail to the point of tagging this as fantasy… That stinks. At least it’s not a bad read and is actually a really quick one. A girl surviving winter climates and then uncovering a bunch of things of organizations that put her and her family in trouble. Who knows, maybe you’ll end up enjoying the ride. I hope so anyways!

      Liked by 1 person

  • I think we have established that I am a huge dystopian fan. So it goes without saying, I have been eyeing this one. I was stoked to see your review pop up! I am a tad disappointed to learn of the YA elements, as I was not expecting that. I like YA but in this genre often struggle with a few rare exceptions. I will leave it on the radar though, as it sounds like it was enjoyable enough 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • I sort of hate going into adult fiction and finding a YA vibe to it. It’s a horrible feeling for me hahah Not everyone feels it though, so maybe you’ll enjoy it more than I did! In general it really covered all grounds for a standard dystopian survival novel, and at least its page-turning’ly well-written. Hopefully when you get around to it, you’ll enjoy it! Thanks for reading, Danielle! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Kim! Yep, the YA vibe I got from reading it was a bit bothersome, but as a whole, the book is not bad at all! Hopefully you’ll enjoy it when you get the chance to try it out! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    • I know, right? It is adult sci-fi though and no one officially tags it as YA, but while reading it, the main character’s coming-of-age story arc sort of screamed YA to me and it sort of also flirted with my low level of tolerance for adult fiction have YA vibes hahah Definitely don’t let that stop you from trying it out yourself! Could definitely be just me. 😀 Thanks for reading, Nicole!

      Liked by 1 person

  • Great review! I definitely like the sound of this one, although I get your comment about it being too YA and not bringing anything new on the table. With a character in its twenties, you definitely don’t expect that haha. It does sound like an entertaining enough read though.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much Yvo!! For reeeaaaaal! She’s exactly my age (23) and she had quite the YA vibe to her that sort caught my attention and bothered me occasionally. It could also be just me though heheh In the end, it was still a nice adventure that anyone could read really fast!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I probably would have been annoyed as well… I don’t mind YA but when my character is over 20, I want them to behave that way. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

    • It isn’t labeled YA though. It’s adult sci-fi. It’s just that as I was reading it the protagonist really gave me a YA vibe that I didn’t expect or want hahah But picking it up at the library is definitely a nice way to go with it if it was never on your radar in the first place! Thanks for reading, Asia!! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  • Great review! I’ve added this book on my TBR after reading Trang’s review and I’m hoping to pick it up next month. I’m sorry the YA vibes ruined your enjoyment of this book. I hope you enjoy your next read! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Raven! Yep, that’s excellent! She was on the blog tour for it so she got to read and review it first. I waited a bit for the hype to calm down to read it. The YA vibe I got from the protagonist was not a really nice surprise for me, but it didn’t ruin my enjoyment though. Definitely a nice quick read that is worth checking out. Hope you enjoy it even more than I did though! Thanks for reading, Raven! 😀

      Like

  • This book has always sounded interesting to me though I have to admit I be getting tired of the YA elements that involve romance. I be glad of the warning because it may have otherwise pissed me off. I still think I will read this one. I am just not in a rush.
    x The Captain

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ll admit however that the romance is a bit more complex but it’s obvious and predictable. Hopefully my warning of the whole YA vibe will be exactly what’s needed to enjoy this more though. And I do hope you’ll have a fun, cold, ride through the Yukon with this one when you get the chance to read it, Captain. 😉

      Like

  • You guys changed your theme!! What prompted it? It looks great! Although I loved the first theme too 🙂 did you have any trouble switching between the themes with older posts? Hope not 🙂 your quote format meshes with this theme really welll.

    Actually, what do you do about the quotes when it’s an ARC? I often want to quote stuff, but it says “don’t quote without checking with the published version”, and yeah, that’s gonna happen xD what do you do in these cases?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yep. Absolutely random decision by Trang. She suddenly realized that some of her graphics weren’t fully exploited through the previous theme and decided it was time that Bookidote has a bit more of a professional and simple look. It is still in development and another much more complex theme will probably be experimented in the Summer. Don’t think we have any issues, except that it blows up some of our banners that were made according the previous theme’s banner size. Super old posts also have the whole photobucket problem, but there’s no way we’d take the time to fix such a thing hahah

      To this day, no one complained about that event if I always noticed the “check with published version before” thing. A marketing expert once told me that I could still quote anything in the first chapters or something since those were usually available in samples so there was no problem quoting it. Over time I really didn’t bother and just went on to share what I thought were cool. It’s not like I’m making money off these reviews, so all my quotes don’t really fall into any copyright stuff too. And anyone who notices my book pictures will notice that they are ARCs so anything I quote comes from an ARC. They might as well assume that such quotes could MAYBE (probably not that often) be different.

      Like

    • Yeh, if you end up feeling the YA vibes, it’ll certainly be turn off.. Otherwise, it’s still a nice debut novel. Whatever he does next will probably be a better indicator of desire to pursue any more of his books. 😀 Thanks for reading, sir! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  • Fabulous review, Lashaan… I have to admit the points you make about the book have me intrigued. I have seen this book around that that snow quote you included gives me enough to want to read it 😀 there’s something about me and proper snow and a survival story that just speaks *hearteyes* hahaha… I shall have to keep this one in mind 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Liz! It’s really well-written so don’t let me discourage you from trying it out. The issues I had could have easily have been a “it’s me, not you” kind of thing. Hahahah I do enough of the surviving during our winter to drool for these kinds of stories! 😛 Still enjoy them from time to time, especially if it’s well done and explores human nature properly! 😀

      Like

  • Hmm. It actually totally sounds YA. I don’t know the author but it sounds totally misgenred. It still sounds good though! I’m not sure how complex romance can get with maybe 2 love interests?! In that kind of world it’s basically who likes YOU enough to hitch their star to yours and are you willing to do the hitching. But I totally want to read it now to evaluate these YA tendencies. I’ve found recently that genre labels like adult vs. YA can seriously determine if you love or hate a book! 😁 Spot on review Lashaan!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yep. When I think about it, the whole story does sound very YA, and I guess I went into it thinking it would be a solid adult dystopian story. Not bad, but not the best thing I’ve read or wanted to read either. You should totally give it a try yourself. I’d be curious to see what your take on it all is. You might enjoy its cold and freezing vibes. 😀 😀 Thank you so much! Appreciate that you dropped by! Missed hearing from you. 😀

      Like

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