True Grit meets The Road in this post-apocalyptic 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 if gleaned from whispers of a cataclysmic even 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.
Not 5 minutes after I finish writing about how well the author of Spontaneous wrote about high school students spontaneously combusting without making it too icky, I started reading Wolf Road. The first paragraph of the book describes a man that has just killed a boy and still has blood on his knife and his scalp hanging from his belt. The irony was not lost on me, and I seriously wondered what I was getting myself into.
Let me first say (well, first after the lovely disclaimer above, warning you that this book may contain some gore), if you do not like reading books written in the dialect of the characters, you may not enjoy this book. The book is written in first person, and the main character was raised in the wild and talks like a hillbilly from way back when. Here is an examples from the first chapter:
Nana let out one a' her big signs. Seen other folks from Ridgeway sign like that, like they weren't just sick a' the person giving 'em ire, but sick a' the whole world what was full a' them.
The rest of the book follows suit, but I think it adds to the story. The dialect kind of reminded me of The Knife of Netter Letting Go (awesome book btw). Not using Elka's dialect would have made for a completely different reading experience, though. It would have taken away from the story and we would not have been able to get as clear of a picture of her and the world she lives in.
I really enjoyed this book! I do have to admit that the last chapters were a little slow, but necessary to wrap everything up.
Overall, it was a GREAT book! It was well-written and had a wonderful story, and I hope to hear more from Elka, very soon!
I love that Elka is a strong, independent woman, and the book doesn't focus on any romantic relationships. She's got much more important things to worry about! You do not have to read about her falling in love with an unlikely choice or her conflicting feelings about two boys that are total opposites but equally compatible with her. I'm not knocking those books. I like some of them, but I hate that it seems to be the recipe for waaaay too many YA books nowadays.
This book is not like any other YA book that I've ever read. It is completely original and definitely work a read!
I receive this book from the publishers, via Blogging for Books, in exchange for an honest review.