Publication Date: July 5, 2016
Date Read: July 9, 2016
Source: Wunderkind PR / First to Read
True Grit meets The Road in this postapocalyptic psychological thriller--narrated by a young girl who has just learned that her adopted father may be a serial killer, and that she may be his next victim.
In the remote wilds of a ravaged land, Elka has been raised by a man who isn't her father. Since finding her wandering in the woods when she was seven, he has taught her how to hunt, shoot, set snares and start fires--everything she needs to survive. All she knows of the world outside is gleaned from whispers of a cataclysmic event that turned the clock back on civilization by a hundred and fifty years and reduced governments and technology to shambles, leaving men at the mercy of the elements--and each other.
Everything changes when Elka learns that the man she has been calling father is harboring a terrible secret. Armed with nothing but her knife and her wiles, she decides to escape his clutches and sets out on a long journey to the frozen north in the hope of finding her long-lost parents.
But as the trail of blood and bodies grows in her path, Elka realizes that daddy won't be letting his little girl go without a fight. If she's going to survive, she'll have to turn and confront not just him, but the truth about what he's turned her into.
I love a nicely told dark story and that is exactly what I got with this book. I really liked that the story is told from a very unique voice although I would imagine that not all readers will enjoy Elka's rough speech as I did. I thought that the world that this book was set in felt very vivid and realistic. This is a brutal story but also one of hope. Elka meets some wonderful people on her journey and works to improve her own future. I think that this story is one that will stay with me for a while.
The story is set after the apocalypse. The world that Elka knows is rather brutal and the living conditions can be harsh. In many ways, her life was very reminiscent of the pioneer days. The book really had an Old West feel for me. When Elka is separated from her grandmother, she stumbles on to Trapper's cabin and he takes her in. She learns the skills to survive in this harsh land from Trapper, who she thinks of as a father. Her world is turned upside down when she learns that he is actually a serial killer.
Elka begins her journey to find her parents as soon as she learns the truth about the man she has grown to think of as her daddy. Along the way she finds herself in a lot of tough situations. She even gains a friend or two during her travels in addition to a wolf. Her path is anything but boring with one problem popping up right after the another. The excitement of the story never really slowed down for me.
This story is told completely from Elka's point of view. One thing to note is that the story is told as if Elka were speaking. She has a very distinctive dialect which may not work for all readers. I actually liked Elka's speech and thought that it made the story feel even more genuine.
I would highly recommend this book to others. It is a story that was often violent and gory but could also be thoughtful at times. I am amazed that this is the author's debut novel and I look forward to reading more of Beth Lewis's writing in the future.
I received a copy of this book from Wunderkind PR, Crown Publishing, and First to Read for the purpose of providing an honest review.
About the Authors
Beth Lewis is a managing editor at Titan Books in London. She was raised in the wilds of Cornwall and split her childhood between books and the beach. She has traveled extensively throughout the world and has had close encounters with black bears, killer whales, and great white sharks. She has been a bank cashier, a fire performer, and a juggler. The Wolf Road is her first novel.
A Quick Note of Thanks
I am very thankful to the kind people at Wunderkind PR who quickly got a copy of this book into my hands when my electronic copy disappeared with only 20 pages left to read.
It was very generous of them and much appreciated.