The Wolves of Winter
Author: Tyrell Johnson
Published: January 2nd, 2018 by Scribner
Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopia, YA fiction
After their home is plagued with bombs and influenza, Lynne and her family make every effort to survive the now apocalyptic world. Life proves isolated and uneventful in the freezing lands of Yukon, until a stranger appears. Due to the arrival of the strange man, secrets of the world’s destruction are brought to light; secrets also regarding Lynne’s deceased father’s involvement with the deadly influenza. It doesn’t take long to learn this stranger is a wanted man – and Lynne soon becomes a wanted woman. Will she and her family find a way to overcome the danger pursuing them? Can they trust the stranger who brought chaos into their quiet home?
I am extremely choosey when it comes to sci-fi novels. Where I can read almost any fantasy novel placed before me, I cannot do the same for science fiction. Therefore, if I happen to start and finish one, there’s a high chance I greatly enjoyed it.
Yes, I greatly enjoyed The Wolves of Winter. The plot was sturdy and progressed at a fine pace. The characters were well-built, and the ending was satisfactory (for me, of course).
What caught my attention almost immediately, however, was the writing. Innumerous times, the sentences were fragmented. At first, it was very strange, though I had to bear in mind, I was reading from Lynne’s point of view. That was her method of thought. Accepting this, I read on, but two-thirds into the novel, the sentence fragments began to irk me. After all, Lynne is characterized as an intelligent young woman, would she not use more wholesome sentences? Had the sentence fragments been the dialogue (which some were), I could’ve accepted this concept easily. Yet, much of these particular sentences were in the narrative form, and it honestly did not sit well.
If you happen to be on the fence on whether or not to become a vegan, this novel might just make your mind up for you. There was a time or two when Johnson vividly explained just how Lynne and her family attain the protein they need. I’ll admit I couldn’t stomach the realistic description at one point. However, what I can take from all of this is to truly appreciate and respect the meat I consume. It’s easy to take such sacrifices for granted, and I respect the way Johnson incorporated this concept into the story.
For further applause, I found this to be a very enjoyable read about a young female who takes up for herself and makes choices that deem her heroic. I am personally not much of a feminist (yes, I believe in equal rights for all, but I also believe there is more in life worth fighting for), yet it was highly refreshing to see both male and female stand for their own—and for once the damsel saves the ‘lad in distress’.
Having mentioned feminism, I think it only fair to acknowledge that many would find this novel a great supporter of the notion. I pray no one misunderstands me when I say I am not necessarily a feminist. I just believe we are all created for different purposes. Mine just so happens to not be one to pursue equal rights between genders. But, in all earnestness, God speed to those who bear such purpose.
Being Johnson’s first novel to be published yet, I am highly impressed with his work. He is a talented storyteller. I would have to rate The Wolves of Winter four out of five. Should more of his work become made known, I will be sure to look into it.