Author: Beth Lewis
Published by: Crown
Publication Date: July 5, 2016
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.
So here’s the thing: True Grit is one of my all-time favorite movies. And I mean the one with John Wayne, not the re-boot I refuse to watch. Anyway, when I saw The Wolf Road described as “True Grit meets The Road”, a psychological thriller with a serial killer, I was all over it! I don’t think True Grit is quite apt in this case, but, oh boy, was it ever full of gritty, disturbing goodness!
This takes place in a post-apocalyptic world, where it’s like living in the 19th century with some crazy-deadly storms. It’s a rough and dangerous place to live, especially when you’re raised by a man like “father”. When Elka discovers who he really is and what he does, she hightails is out of there and decides to go cross-country to find her real parents. Only thing is, he’s right behind her and the outlook is bleak.
Elka is a wonderfully written heroine. She’s full of mettle and drive, and is someone I found easy to root for. We follow her on this perilous journey where she encounters various obstacles and menacing people. It’s not for the weak, that’s for sure. As the story progresses, we begin to discover more and more about Elka – memories and truths slowly emerge.
Not all is bad, though. Elka gains two companions along the way, who teach her about trust and friendship. Even if being with her can have dire consequences.
The Wolf Road is a gripping dark tale that will keep you totally enthralled until the very last page. This is a thrilling debut that has me eager for what Beth Lewis writes next.