I’m so excited to be part of the blog tour for Tyrell Johnson’s Wolves of Winter! For my blog stop I’m doing a review and have an awesome guest post from the author, Tyrell, himself!
Wolves of Winter Book Review
The Wolves of Winter by Tyrell Johnson
Published by Scribner on January 2nd 2018
Genres: Science Fiction
Buy on Book Depository
Forget the old days. Forget summer. Forget warmth. Forget anything that doesn’t help you survive.
Lynn McBride has learned much since society collapsed in the face of nuclear war and the relentless spread of disease. As memories of her old life haunt her, she has been forced to forge ahead in the snow-covered Canadian Yukon, learning how to hunt and trap to survive.
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 sets in motion a chain of events that will force Lynn to fulfill a destiny she never imagined.
Trigger Warning: Rape/abusive scenes
I really enjoyed this book! I read it when it was snowy and cold so I almost felt like I was there. It’s very allegorical of the fears we seem to be having today, what with a nuclear war then the spread of disease. I find it fascinating that fiction are going back to nuclear threats in their narratives, like they did in the 50s around the cold war. I’m particularly glad that the virus narrative has been incorporated rather than replaced too!
(If you didn’t know, I wrote my undergrad dissertation on virus narratives, it was called ‘From H1N1 to Z1N1: Curing and Creating Disease in a Post-Apocalyptic Science Fiction Cinema’, and I studied a lot about how our narratives have changed from nuclear, around the cold war, to virus’ now. Anyway I won’t ramble on about that now but just thought I’d give a bit of insight to my fascination!)
I really enjoyed the flashback element of the narrative. We got to see key events rather than just being told about them, and I really liked how the information about what was happening in the world was doled out slowly rather than dumped in the first few pages. Not a lot of time actually passes, and in a way not a lot happens in the grand scheme of things, but it still held my attention, and I’m really hoping there’s a second instalment.
I found her brother really really sexist, and he really made me mad. Luckily MC didn’t stand for his crap and stood up for herself, which was refreshing. I see too much of sexist men in real life to have to read it in the fiction I read too. However he grew by the end of the book so that was nice to see. I found her to be quite stupid and naive at the beginning, but as the book went on she learnt and grew as a person. Corbyn was also an ass I couldn’t care for.
Tyrell Johnson Guest Post
I Like Setting
My favorite books tend to be novels where the setting is not simply “the place where things happen” but is also interactive in the plot and the characters’ lives. I like when the setting provides a challenge, or sets limitations, or perhaps simply gives a tangible, meaningful backdrop for a character’s existential crisis. It was for these reasons that I set my novel in a snowy, post-apocalyptic, Yukon wilderness.
First of all, there was something about the setting that was visually evocative for me—a world covered in snow after the fall of mankind: the widespread Yukon wilderness. All that white contrasted so perfectly with my character’s flaming red hair. But there was also the obstacle such an environment presents. Surviving in the immense cold. The constant search for food and heat. And even the cloying feeling of the snow limiting your movement as you traveled. All of it appealed to me as not only picturesque, but also as a challenge my characters would have to endure.
I also found the snowy landscape interesting because it seemed unique in that, with the world slowly warming, a real apocalypse might look drastically different. You see a lot of post-apocalyptic fiction these days with dry, arid climates, or floods ravaging whole cities, which is great; however, I wanted something a little different. A nuclear winter isn’t a new concept for apocalyptic literature, but I haven’t seen much of it lately. Besides, with all the other geopolitical elements in my novel that might feel frighteningly real in today’s political climate, I wanted an element that allowed the readers to escape, if only slightly, to a new world. And, like Narnia, I thought a winter wonderland (the deadly kind) might be just the ticket.
Thanks Tyrell and thank you HQ for the proof and letting me take part in this tour!