Title: The Wolves of Winter
Series: No (TBD)
Author(s): Tyrell Johnson
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release Date: January 2nd 2018
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.
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.
MY OVERALL RATING: ★★★☆☆
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Till next time,