Title: The Wolf Road (2016)
Author: Beth Lewis
Review: This is a stunning debut novel. The story follows Elka, a rugged orphan girl who is on the lam due to her association with the murderous brute who raised her. Set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, where modernity has been reset to something mirroring the Old West, Elka must traverse a brutal landscape to bring her former caretaker to justice.
The story lives and dies with Elka–she is the narrator, setting a gripping tone that carries the novel. Her outward strength paired with her naiveté of the world makes for a compelling combination. She has little interest in the apocalyptic event that is the basis for her environment, which creates a similar disinterest from the reader and allows the characters to shine.
Author Beth Lewis structures the novel with the opening chapter revealing the ending to the story, but it is a hollow event to the reader. It is not until we reach that same moment again at the end of the novel that we understand how much meaning is imbued in a moment that once meant nothing to us. It is a choice that worked to maximum effect for me and made me appreciate the ride even more.
★★★★¼ out of 5