“The Wolf Road” by Beth Lewis
Genre: Fiction, Thriller, Mystery
Page Length: 400 pages (hardcover edition)
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. (description from Goodreads)
The Wolf Road is a first person, psychological thriller that follows a girl name Elka who is raised in the wilderness by a man named “Trapper”. When she finds out the man she loves as a father is a possible serial killer she tries to escape from him and her past.
There is so much attention to landscape in this novel as it takes place in a wilderness setting. Readers get this vivid imagery that immerses you into the novel such as the freezing waters of the river, snow-covered grounds, and types of various wildlife. You quickly see how cruel mother nature can be and how difficult it can be to survive in these conditions with no supplies. Readers also get a taste of what it’s like being alone in the woods for such long periods of time, how fast time elapses, and how lon periods of isolation can play tricks on the mind.
Elka, the main protagonist, is kind of brash and has an attitude. Though is very sure of herself and confident, her arrogant nature sometimes gets her put into sticky situations. Elka is also resourceful and she knows how to hunt, camp, and survive in the wild. She realizes during the entirety of the novel that her survival skills are based off of everything Trapper taught her through the years. On top of that, she struggles with the accusations being held against Trapper, and is terrified at the fact it is probably true. While she is running away from him, she is also running away from her own haunted past. Though Elka feels betrayed, she also knows she has to be on her a-game in order to survive and outrun Trapper.
Elka is so intelligent about wild life, which I was in awe of. However, when it comes to society and real world affairs she is so out of her element. She is quick to judge others due to her own shortfalls (lack of book smarts). By being exposed to society it makes her realize how truly isolated she’s been for most of her life even though she lived with Trapper for ten years. Watching her character development throughout the novel was intriguing because the reader gets to see all her thoughts, emotions, and feelings.
I think that Lewis’ own hands-on encounters and research of wilderness/survival helps to enhance the book’s entire experience. The whole novel is like one big cat and mouse game in the wild wheee Trapper is the predator and Elka is the prey. Every moment of the book something is new unfolds and I kept getting surprised at every new occurrence. I also loved the way Lewis writes her action scenes in this book. She builds suspense and tension into the smallest moments and keeps the readers constantly guessing at the possible ways the plot could turn.
On a side note, be warned that there are trigger warnings in this book! It was way more gory and graphically descriptive in certain parts than I thought it would be initially.
FTC Disclaimer: I received this book from Blogging For Books in exchange for a fair and honest review.