Forget the old days. Forget summer. Forget warmth. Forget anything that doesn’t help you survive in the endless white wilderness beyond the edges of a fallen world.
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 been forced to forge ahead in the snow-drifted Canadian Yukon, learning how to hunt and trap and slaughter.
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 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.
I fell into this one and read it fast – beautifully described and utterly chilling (I mean there is a LOT of snow!) it is just the kind of after the end tale that I love – small groups of humans, desperate to survive and mostly being pretty horrible to each other, as would likely happen…
Into this snowy landscape, following a huge loss of humanity from both nuclear war and the flu, comes Lynn and her family, who have fled to the Yukon and built something of a home. They are close knit, if divisive with each other, Lynn would probably live out her life here if not for the arrival of mysterious stranger, followed by a series of revelations that send her reeling.
There are a lot of typical themes embedded here but Tyrell Johnson has a way of making it more vivid, more visceral whilst also using a gently rolling prose that really sinks into your subconscious. I loved how Lynn felt as if she was treated like a child then tended to do the things that children stomping their feet do – however when the chips are down her inner toughness comes out and she is an engaging protagonist that you root for along the way. The aforementioned mysterious stranger, Jax, has an edgy, animal feel to him that is very attractive and the whole novel has a brilliantly addictive plot that never dulls.
It’s a kind of a hybrid but I won’t give away why, however if you like a good apocalypse, a good origins tale, with an excellent premise and a great set of characters then Wolves of Winter is probably for you. It is a contained tale that also demands a sequel – it has the feel of a story that could shift focus and expand it’s reason for being – so I’ll look forward very much to what comes next. This one had some real edge of the seat moments, a definite sense of horror and melancholy, plus was fascinatingly riveting. Very enjoyable indeed. Shiver.