By Beth Lewis
ARC paperback, 356 pages
ISBN: 9781101906125 (hardcover)
Expected Publication Date: July 2016
After a violent storm causes a seven-year-old girl to lose her home, her grandmother and even her name, she finds a new home with a hunter after she gets caught stealing his food. Trapper, as the girl comes to refer to him, teaches her all he knows about hunting and even renames her Elka. But after years of growing up with a man that Elka privately thinks of as a father, she learns a terrible truth that will forever shape how she looks at Trapper and her past. She runs from him, but now the man who taught her to hunt is hunting her.
Wow. This book was powerful. Elka goes on an incredible and harrowing journey, both physically and emotionally. I loved her as a protagonist – she’s incredibly rough around the edges, especially her dialect, but that served to solidify her character. Here is a character who is smart and an excellent hunter, but she’s still young and makes many mistakes. She learns from her mistakes and experiences however and really grows throughout the story. Trapper was a fairly horrifying character and an excellent antagonist – because of Elka’s relationship to him, it make him complex rather than just “evil.”
I don’t want to say much about the plot – it’s better to let Elka take the lead on that. But the pacing was on point and I had a hard time putting this book down. As I neared the end of the book, I did guess the big reveal, but that didn’t make the horror any less powerful.
This book was unsettling in all the right ways. If you’re interested in a sort of post-apocalyptic take on our world (a la Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, but with a society that started to develop itself again), with a wild west feel and you can handle some disturbing content, I highly recommend Wolf Road.
I received this book for free from LibraryThing in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. All opinions in this post are my own.