Step 1. Forget about life in Alaska. Don’t think about microwaves, pizza, chocolate, movies, summer, the flu pandemic, or your dad—his sunken eyes, frail knuckles. That world’s gone. Move on. You’re a survivor.
Step 2. Learn to hunt, gut, clean, and cook animals without ralfing.
Step 3. Learn to live with the cold, the uncomfortable cabins, and the snow, snow, and more snow.
Step 4. Protect what’s left of your family. Even if it means travelling with a stranger into the frozen north to help find and kill a man you know nothing about.
Step 5. Trust no one.
Narrated by Lynn, a 23-year-old who was 12 when war and flu struck and she, her uncle, mother and brother left their town in Alaska for the remote Yukon territory. Since then she’s grown up in isolation, a surly neighbour 3 miles away the only human contact outside her family.
When she runs into a stranger and his dog while out hunting one day everything changes. Jax stays with them while recovering from an injury and when, a week later, a group of 4 men show up looking for him he kills three of them and runs off to catch the 4th before he can bring more men back.
Lynn and her uncle Jeryl go with him and Jax explains that they are bad men who want to run experiments on him because of his superhuman strength. Their eventual confrontation with the group of men changes their small family outpost forever.
About the author
Tyrell Johnson is an editor at Kirkus Reviews and received his MFA from the University of California, Riverside.
‘With elements of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road and TV’s ‘The Walking Dead,’ the book gets off to a gripping start, blending visceral thrills with existential reflections….A stylishly written debut by a novelist to keep an eye on…..’ Kirkus Reviews
‘An exciting, fast-paced tale…Johnson is an excellent storyteller; the novel is full of action, suspense, and plot twists as the resilient characters fight for survival in a harsh winter wilderness.’ Publishers Weekly
‘If Jack London had written a post-apocalyptic, coming-of-age thriller, it might read something like this. Curl up with The Wolves of Winter by a warm fire, and set aside a day, because this is great, absorbing fiction, with one of the most appealing protagonists I’ve ever encountered. It deserves the widest possible audience.’ Blake Crouch, author of the New York Times bestselling Dark Matter and the internationally bestselling Wayward Pines Trilogy
‘This is fiction at its best: a gripping plot, imagery that arrests and illuminates, and characters that will haunt you well beyond the closing of the book…’Jill Alexander Essbaum, New York Times bestselling author of Hausfrau
‘I read The Wolves of Winter in one sitting because I couldn’t stand to put it down. Gripping, fierce, and a sobering ‘what if’ for our unsure times, this fast-moving debut allies a Katniss Everdeen with a Jason Bourne, lands them in a post-apocalyptic nuclear winter, sets some serious bad guys on their tails, and never lets up.’ Miranda Beverly-Whittemore, New York Times bestselling author of Bittersweet and June
‘With The Wolves of Winter, Johnson has created a stark, brutal and all too believable new world. The landscape and conditions are beautifully realized, the writing is deft, sure of itself and from the first page, you know you’re in the hands of a gifted storyteller…A brilliant book, I loved it.’ Beth Lewis, author of The Wolf Road