ARC Reviews, Book Reviews, Mystery, Thriller/Suspense/Crime Fiction

Book Review: The Wolf Road by Beth Lewis

 

 

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I honestly couldn’t tell you why I requested a review copy of The Wolf Road, as it is WAY outside my reading comfort zone.  Was it the cover?  Maybe.  Was it the thrilling book description?  Possibly.  For whatever reason, I hit that request button and was approved a copy for review.  Later I looked back and wondered what I was thinking?  A post-apocalyptic thriller?  A survival type story that takes place in the wilderness?  Definitely not my typically read…. Despite my reservations, I’m so glad I gave this book a chance!  I have no doubt in my mind that this book will be among my top reads of 2017…

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TheWolfRoadAuthor: Beth Lewis

Genre:  Thriller • Post-Apocalyptic

Version: eBook

Publisher: Crown Publishing (July 5, 2016)

Source: NetGalley

AmazonGoodreads

Book Description

A debut literary thriller from an incredible new voice. What do you do when the man who gave you everything turns out to be a killer?
Everything Elka knows of the world she learned from the man she calls Trapper, the solitary hunter who took her under his wing when she was just seven years old.
But when Elka sees the Wanted poster in town, her simple existence is shattered. Her Trapper – Kreagar Hallet – is wanted for murder. Even worse, Magistrate Lyon is hot on his trail, and she wants to talk to Elka.
Elka flees into the vast wilderness, determined to find her true parents. But Lyon is never far behind – and she’s not the only one following Elka’s every move. There will be a reckoning, one that will push friendships to the limit and force Elka to confront the dark memories of her past.

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MyThoughts

What would you do if the man who has been your father figure for the past 10 years  turned out to be a cold blooded killer?  The man who has taken you in from a harsh and lonely world and raised you… Who has taught you to hunt & how to survive in an unrelenting world?  What if that man started hunting you… With a unique setting, strong female main character, and an intense “edge of your seat” plotline, The Wolf Road completely drew me in and captivated me until the very end.  

This was a very unique post apocalyptic book and unlike any I had ever read before.  If you think the post apocalyptic genre has been way overdone, then I would encourage you to pick up The Wolf Road and let Beth Lewis change your mind.   While this is a post apocalyptic setting, the post apocalyptic elements are not the focus of the story.  We actually never truly learn what really happened to bring about the current situation, only that an event (referred to as “The Damn Stupid”) was then followed by a second event (the “Second Conflict”) which brought about the current world.  These events are briefly mentioned, but not much detail is given, so we are just kind of thrown into this world.  We don’t know much about this new world but we do know that the climate is now treacherous at times and prone to violent storms, and life has lapsed to earlier times.  The setting actually felt more like a reversion back to 19th century “Wild West” era: people live in more isolation on farms & ranches, but still have to travel into town for supplies; food is obtained by hunting & farming; travel is on foot, horseback, or by boat, etc. etc.

You ever seen a bear jump off a cliff ’cause life handed him a few rough draws? No, you haven’t. The wild keeps going till it don’t have strength in its muscles and bones. The wild don’t give up; it’s forever, and so was I.

Elka was such a complex character.  You really see her growth over the course of the book from her sheltered life with Trapper, to where she has to navigate the wilderness and life on her own.  We really get a sense of her strength and determination to survive.  We also get to see the more human side of Elka as she struggles with her internal conflict over Trapper.  How can she just stop “loving” the man who has raised her from the past 10 years?  How could he be the monster she now knows he is?  Lewis chose to tell this story through Elka’s perspective, but since Elka has been raised in the wilderness, she was not formally educated.  The narration and dialogue is not exactly grammatically correct, which I would have thought would have bothered me, but in reality it made the story feel more authentic.

One a’ them rules is don’t go trusting another man’s path…People do it, they do what their mommies and daddies did, they make them same mistakes, they have them same joys and hurts, they just repeating. Trees don’t grow exactly where their momma is; ain’t no room…I weren’t following no one up through life.

This book has more of a “survival thriller” feel where the focus is on Elka’s struggle to survive not only the treacherous wilderness & unforgiving climate, but also the man that is hunting her.  To say that I was on the edge of my seat for the majority of this book is an understatement.  Never in my life have I felt such tension while reading a book.  This book also 100% side swiped me with the twist.  I never saw it coming.  Looking back, I cannot believe the thought never crossed my mind, as the author did leave hints, but it all went way over my head.  Kudos to Lewis for completely knocking me on my ass and making my jaw hit the floor.

I would like to mention that certain situations in this book may be triggering to some.  I am a huge wuss when it comes to gore and graphic violence… The thought of blood often makes me queasy.  I would be lying if I didn’t say this book was a struggle for me at times.  I often had to take a break and compose myself while reading, but I was so engrossed in the story that I just HAD to continue on despite my discomfort.  Needless to say there are a few graphic parts, and some of the subject matter (particularly the big reveal) may be a little much for some to handle.  This book isn’t going to be for everyone.

Since this book spans genres, I think it appeals to a wide variety of readers.  If you enjoy thrillers, sci-fi (post apocalyptic), westerns, or wilderness survival stories, then I would highly recommend this book to you!  HOWEVER if you don’t typically read within any of these genres (like me) and are looking for something “different,” I would still highly recommend this one to you.

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MyRating

5-Star Rating System

*4.5 Stars

Big thanks to Crown Publishing for providing me with a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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About the Author

Beth LewsiBeth 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.

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18 thoughts on “Book Review: The Wolf Road by Beth Lewis”

  1. Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! So glad you liked this otherwise we’d be having words!😂

    It’s so great isn’t it! Glad it’ll be one of your top reads for the year, it was in my top ten books of the year for 2016 last year, just such a great book with an awesome main character.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Such a unique reading experience! I think the best part about it is that it appeals to so many different readers! For example, you and I have such different reading tastes, but both loved this book. I feel that this fact just goes to show you how talented the author is & how good this book really is. Can’t wait to see what she comes out with next!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s very true, I have high hopes for her next book and yes, we don’t read anything that is remotely the same so when a book can be enjoyed by people with such different tastes it means it’s a great book that transcends genre and reading taste.

        Like

  2. Ooh this one really sounds like something I’d like. Also, 100% relatable on the mysteries of why you request random books – sometimes I look at my backlog and question my life. I’m pretty sure I’d pick this one up purely because of the wolf on the cover 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is probably one of the most unique books I’ve ever read. I highly recommend it, and *think* you would love it too. The cover definitely played a factor in the request button hitting process lol It actually has a new cover which is just as stunning 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. “Kudos to Lewis for completely knocking me on my ass and making my jaw hit the floor.” Omg same. I’m so glad you liked it! I totally didn’t see the twist either.

    Like

  4. Happy to read that this made the cut with you! It was a favorite for me last year. I am glad your mentioned that the setting was more like reverting. I thought that the regression aspect and dialect made this book so brilliant. She executed it all so well. It is a truly unique read! Lovely review ❤

    Like

  5. Your review immediately made me think of the Leonardo DiCapprio movie, The Revenant, which was set in the 1800s, if I remember correctly. If this novel seemed very western, I wonder why the author made it post-apocalyptic.

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