Scribner | January 2018 | 320 pgs
Source: Library

Before the nuclear war and the flu pandemic, Lynn McBride used to live a normal life in Chicago. She lived there till she was twelve before moving to Alaska, and finally to the snow-covered Yukon Territory when the world came crashing down. There were attacks, bombs were dropped and countries got labeled as either enemies or allies but the worst was the flu pandemic. People died and those who haven't gotten it fled and isolated themselves. 

Lynn, together with her mother, uncle, her brother and a friend's son stayed in a cabin hidden in the snowy wilderness for years until a stranger barged into their so-called peaceful life. Jax is mysterious yet Lynn was both intrigued and fascinated by him; especially she viewed him as a link to the world beyond their little settlement. In the end they allowed him to stay a short while, but that short period stretched to a long while until their hideout was spotted by the DCIA (Disease Containment and Immunity Advancement) - a research group on the deadly flu and they seemed to be targeting at Jax. With this question in mind, Lynn decided to follow his trails and soon learned that she was connected to the mystery surrounding Jax. 

The Wolves of Winter pulled me in from the start due to the post-apocalyptic theme. What's so scary about this story is it seems plausible and makes you think about survival and humanity and what you'd do should that happen. It's a frightening thought, yet one which I couldn't help thinking during and after reading this book. Without revealing too much of the plot, all I could say is as much as the topic was a depressing one, there was still a portrayal of hope in it and most of all, I liked Jax as well as Lynn for her fighting spirit and her sense of humanitarianism. An intriguing first novel by the author and I hope his next book won't be a long wait.  

This book was chosen as a buddy read with Lark and like our previous buddy reads, I enjoyed our book talks and the notes comparisons via emails. Reading is fun, but reading it together with someone (or a group) makes the reading experience a richer one. Thank you, Lark! And finally, here's our usual Q&As and my answers to Lark's questions are as below. And don't forget to visit Lark's blog for her review and the Q&As, too!  

1. What did you think of the dystopian world that Tyrell Johnson created and how does it compare with other dystopian worlds you've read about?

I think Tyrell Johnson's world in The Wolves of Winter is a scary, scary one. I don't read a lot of dystopian books, but I thought the author has painted a vivid account of the world destruction through Lynn's eyes (as well as her family members); it's also a portrayal about humans' ambitions and to what extent they would do to accomplish the goals they want to do. As I mentioned, I don't read a lot of dystopian books but one book came in mind while reading this and that book is The Road by Cormac McCarthy. In fact, there's a bit of The Road "feel" in this, just that the former wasn't specific about the world destruction and it's more about the survival and the relationship between a father and son. It's emotionally driven and McCarthy has captured their moments beautifully albeit a sad one. 

2. What are Lynn's best and worst traits and how do you think they helped her survive?

I think Lynn's best traits are her courage, her determination and her fearless mindset. Without these combinations I think she'd have given up and stay where she is - always in hiding and living in fear. As for her worst trait, I'd say it is her stubbornness. Once she has set her mind in doing something, there's no turning back for her. I suppose this could be a good trait too, depending on the circumstances. 

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10 Responses
  1. Jenny Says:

    You’re always tempting me with these books!

  2. Melody Says:

    Jenny - I'm glad Lark listed this book as one of the choices. I wouldn't have known of this book if not for our buddy read. :)

  3. jenclair Says:

    I'm glad that you and Lark both enjoyed this one. It is certainly one I'm eager to read!

  4. Melody Says:

    Jenclair - Hope you'll enjoy it as much as we did if you do read it. :)

  5. Kay Says:

    I've been on the fence about reading this one. The flu thing is 'appealing' (if flu can be appealing) and also the setting. I might try it or see if my library has it on audio. More and more, I'm using audio to 'try' books. All checked out from my library. It's fun that you and Lark do these buddy reads. I enjoy hearing about them.

  6. Melody Says:

    Kay - I hope you'll enjoy it if you do read it. I'd only tried audio once but still prefer the print version, ha.

  7. Lark Says:

    Hey, Melody! Love your review of this book. So glad that we could read this one together. :D

  8. The Bookworm Says:

    This sounds very good, I enjoy good dystopia and sci-fi. Great review! Reading together is great.

  9. Melody Says:

    Lark - I'm glad you suggested this book, Lark! Thanks! :)

  10. Melody Says:

    Naida - Thank you, Naida! I hope you'll enjoy it if you do read it.

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