The Wolves of Winter

The Wolves of Winter

Forget the old days. Forget summer. Forget warmth. Forget anything that doesn’t help you survive.Lynn McBride has learned much since society collapsed in the face of nuclear war and the relentless spread of disease. As memories of her old life haunt her, she has been forced to forge ahead in the snow-covered Canadian Yukon, learning how to hunt and trap to survive.But her...

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Title:The Wolves of Winter
Author:Tyrell Johnson
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The Wolves of Winter Reviews

  • Erin Clemence

    “The Wolves of Winter” by Tyrell Johnson is a post-apocalyptic novel, where a young woman has the capacity to save the world. But don’t base whether you read it or not on that statement alone. Comparisons have been made to “Hunger Games” (Suzanne Collins) and this is accurate, however “Wolves” is an entirely novel, creative enterprise worth its own ind

    “The Wolves of Winter” by Tyrell Johnson is a post-apocalyptic novel, where a young woman has the capacity to save the world. But don’t base whether you read it or not on that statement alone. Comparisons have been made to “Hunger Games” (Suzanne Collins) and this is accurate, however “Wolves” is an entirely novel, creative enterprise worth its own individual praise.

    This story is not completely innovative- a strong, female protagonist with special skills/powers that could save the world alongside a rough, isolated young man who turns out to be different than expected, and a world torn apart by outside forces. There are some similarities to both “Divergent” (Veronica Roth), and “The Hunger Games”, as well as any of the other immeasurable YA-pocalypse stories out there. However, I can say, I am a huge fan of this genre and really enjoyed “Wolves of Winter”.

    Lynn is a great character, with just the right amount of spunk and sass without being snotty or irritating. The cold, white, winter landscape of the Yukon sets the stage for the feelings of isolation that run through the McBride “household”. The story is also told in small chapters, which makes reading this novel a breeze.

    Obviously, this novel will have a sequel (if not more), so based on that assumption, I will not evaluate the ending. Although no sequel was directly mentioned, it would be against the rules of this genre to not provide at least two more novels and make it into a series (and then eventually a movie, or perhaps a TV series, or maybe both). I am however, excited to follow Lynn’s journey through the cold Canadian north and see if she succeeds in her quest and if she continues her (predictable) relationship with Jax

    This book surprised me and I was impressed tenfold. Please continue this series, oh Great Book Gods!

  • Janelle

    THE WOLVES OF WINTER by Teryll Johnson - Thank you so much to Scribner for providing my free copy - all opinions are my own.

    I am a BIG fan of post apocalyptic reads and this fits the bill! Lynn and her family survive after nuclear war and the plague of disease. They cross the border and make their way to log cabins in the far reaches of the Canadian Yukon. Lynn learns to hunt, protect, and survive in the wild. She then meets Jax and his dog, Wolf, and at that point things really start to take o

    THE WOLVES OF WINTER by Teryll Johnson - Thank you so much to Scribner for providing my free copy - all opinions are my own.

    I am a BIG fan of post apocalyptic reads and this fits the bill! Lynn and her family survive after nuclear war and the plague of disease. They cross the border and make their way to log cabins in the far reaches of the Canadian Yukon. Lynn learns to hunt, protect, and survive in the wild. She then meets Jax and his dog, Wolf, and at that point things really start to take off.

    I’m very impressed with Lynn—she’s a strong female protagonist and I love everything about her. Johnson really nailed it with this book; I love the vivid descriptions and phenomenal character development. You feel as if you’re right there in the snow experiencing everything. The imagery in this book plays its own character.

    Although it starts off slow and steady, I was completely addicted from page one. It felt like no time had passed, and I was finished with the book. It is thrilling, intense, and mysterious! I highly recommend THE WOLVES OF WINTER and please, please, please let there be a sequel!

    I rate this book 4.5 / 5 stars!

    For all my reviews, please visit

  • Debra

    4.5 stars

    "I exist as I am, that is enough."

    Lynn McBride is surviving in the stark Canadian Yukon after society collapsed after a nuclear war and the onset of disease. She is not alone, her Mother, her brother, her uncle and others live in a small settlement relying on their hunting skills to survive.

    One day she comes across a young man, Jax, and his dog named Wolf while out hunting. Jax appears different from others she has met. He is mysterious, and she is intrigued. She brings him back to her

    4.5 stars

    "I exist as I am, that is enough."

    Lynn McBride is surviving in the stark Canadian Yukon after society collapsed after a nuclear war and the onset of disease. She is not alone, her Mother, her brother, her uncle and others live in a small settlement relying on their hunting skills to survive.

    One day she comes across a young man, Jax, and his dog named Wolf while out hunting. Jax appears different from others she has met. He is mysterious, and she is intrigued. She brings him back to her tiny settlement and their entire world changes forever.

    "Forget the old days. Forget summer. Forget warmth. Forget anything that doesn’t help you survive."

    Lynne thought she was struggling to survive before, but now she is really in a struggle to survive. This newcomer is not the only change in her life, his arrival triggers a change of events that threaten their way of life.

    I really enjoyed this post apocalypse tale of survival. I also love how the landscape and climate feel very much like a character themselves. I could almost hear the crunch of the snow under their boots and feel the chill in the air. I found this to be a nice touch to setting the mood of the book. Winter is not coming - Winter is here in this book! Another thing I appreciated was how fast paced this book was. I found it to be a riveting, chilling, and suspenseful read. It's part coming of age tale (even though Lynne is in her early 20's), it's also about family secrets, learning who you really are, learning what you are made of, bravery, hope, fear, desperation, violence, redemption, and starting over. This book is atmospheric, thrilling, and a page turner.

    Thank you to Scribner and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

    See more of my reviews at

  • karen

    an aftermath novel set in canada where a family protects their seeeecrets and struggles to survive in the snowy wasteland with no way of knowing the state of the wider world, the number of remaining humans, whether the sickness that kicked off the apocalypse is still a threat… the only way this book could have courted me harder would have been to have made all the survivors also be red pandas.

    although endangered, we survive, wheeee!

    this lists and is priced as an adult title, but there’s definite

    an aftermath novel set in canada where a family protects their seeeecrets and struggles to survive in the snowy wasteland with no way of knowing the state of the wider world, the number of remaining humans, whether the sickness that kicked off the apocalypse is still a threat… the only way this book could have courted me harder would have been to have made all the survivors also be red pandas.

    although endangered, we survive, wheeee!

    this lists and is priced as an adult title, but there’s definitely crossover appeal for a YA audience: the POV-protagonist is a crossbow-wielding 23-year-old woman named lynne (née gwendolynn, but that’s the worst name you can have in a wilderness survival novel - it's a long dress getting caught on things) and there’s a romance angle that’s full of complications, which is another tick in the “teens’ll dig it” column.

    it’s a post-apoc survival story with a SF filling, but its closest genre-pal is the western; lone man drifts into a town of people suspicious of lone men, wounded but too manly to accept assistance until the womenfolk insist on nursing him back to health, attracting the interest of the fetching young daughter although he is aloof and taciturn and hints about his dark past and things seem to be settling into a routine until, you know, it turns out that hell followed with him. reckoning commences.

    but of course in this case, the “town” is only five people (and one ‘cross the way), and the fetching young daughter is blood-related to two of the three men, so her interest in the mysterious jax is partially rooted in the serious lack of romantic or even sexual options at the end of the world. (because the one ‘cross the way is a unappealing in every possible way) and jax may not have a horse, but he does have a dog, named “wolf,” because he did not know it was a dog. and he has never tasted strawberries. which spotlights both a lack of imagination and an oddly sheltered past, but again - lynn’s not looking this gift horse in the mouth, and as it happens, jax has other attributes of the badass variety that are going to come in handy when the uneventful but safe life her family has enjoyed for seven years is compromised, secrets are exposed, lives are at risk, and the “town” is suddenly under siege in the most spectacular western-y fashion.

    lynne is herself medium-badass - she’s good at killing animals with her crossbow, setting traps, and other assorted wilderness skills her late (and sorely missed) scientist father taught her. but she’s fairly sheltered herself, physically small, and she reads a lot younger than 23 on the page. a lot of it comes down to her never having been tested in particular ways, so she never had to develop certain skills, and as the book progresses, she comes more into herself, but she can be a frustrating character at times for a reader who wants her crossbow-heroine to kick ass and take names on every page.

    my one other complaint is that the ending was a little too tidy.

    still - it’s a fine book, and my complaints are really just the personal preferences of someone who reads a lot of stuff like this and has seen pretty much every variation on the theme. this one is particularly strong in its descriptions and atmosphere-building of the natural world; the silence of the wilderness and the isolation and just the

    is great. there’s a real presence to it that’s profoundly haunting. honestly, you write like that, you don't need the bells and whistles of the world ending to flesh out a harrowing survival story. nature's already scary enough if you're unwary.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Diane S ☔

    Society as we know it has collapsed. The big powes have nuked each other to near oblivion. Many have tried to escape, but then came something with no escape, no cure, trying to finish off those who were left. Lynn, and her remaining family members escape to the Yukon, form a small settlement, hunting and fishing to survive.

    As Lynn thinks back in time, "And really it didn't matter anymore --the lines we drew for ourselves, the differences we created, the fear and hatred we felt simply because the

    Society as we know it has collapsed. The big powes have nuked each other to near oblivion. Many have tried to escape, but then came something with no escape, no cure, trying to finish off those who were left. Lynn, and her remaining family members escape to the Yukon, form a small settlement, hunting and fishing to survive.

    As Lynn thinks back in time, "And really it didn't matter anymore --the lines we drew for ourselves, the differences we created, the fear and hatred we felt simply because there were oceans and deserts and forests between us. The fear of the unknown. The fear that the other guy had a bigger stick. Once the flu hit none of it mattered." It was the one thing confronting society that the bigger might couldn't conquer.

    One day a stranger appears St their settlement. A young man, different, but who is he, what does he want? As in our world now there are people who will exploit people's fear, to gain power. Chaos and tragedy always brings out the worst and the best in people. There are people that desperately want what Lynn has, something she doesn't know herself has. A big force is moving in, and once again her world will change.

    I found this book chilling, not just because of the location, but because it all seems so very possible. There is plenty of action, and the pace is quick. Loved the scenario, and really rooted for this small settlement and those who settled there. A worst case scenario that I hope never comes to pass.

    ARC from Netgalley.

  • Carol
  • Carolyn

    In his debut novel, Tyrell Johnson takes us into a harsh but beautiful post apocalyptic world. After nuclear world war destroyed New York, Lynne McBride and her family fled Chicago for Alaska where they lived quietly for a few years until a flu pandemic swept the world, taking the life of her biologist father. Lynne, her mother, brother and uncle then moved again to a remote region of the Yukon where they learned to fish and hunt to survive. Life is cold and rugged but with plenty of game and ev

    In his debut novel, Tyrell Johnson takes us into a harsh but beautiful post apocalyptic world. After nuclear world war destroyed New York, Lynne McBride and her family fled Chicago for Alaska where they lived quietly for a few years until a flu pandemic swept the world, taking the life of her biologist father. Lynne, her mother, brother and uncle then moved again to a remote region of the Yukon where they learned to fish and hunt to survive. Life is cold and rugged but with plenty of game and even a few vegetables in the summer they have adapted to their new life. Now seven years later Lynne, 23 is an accomplished hunter and loves the beauty of the Yukon but is lonely. They have met no other people since settling in the Yukon until one day a young man called Jax arrives, followed not long after by a group looking for him. Soon Lynne finds herself using all her survival strategies to fight for her freedom from a group called Immunity intent on capturing her at all costs.

    Although this is a post-apocalyptic novel, the first half of the novel is more reminiscent of a novel about early pioneers trying to build a life in a harsh, rugged environment. The writing is very evocative and the descriptions of life in the Yukon are vivid with a sense of the extreme cold seeping through the pages. It is not until Jax is running for his life from Immunity, that a dystopian theme becomes more evident and the reason for the family’s flight from Chicago starts to emerge. The plot is clever and not unrealistic, although I did feel the members of Immunity were a little stereotyped as villains prepared to slaughter innocent people in the name of doing good for mankind. Lynne is a well realised character, strong and spirited, trained by her father to be tough and resourceful and will do anything to protect her family and defend her home. Jax is more of an enigma but was emerging as a more fully formed character towards the end of the novel. The ending of the novel leaves enough of an opening for a sequel and I very much hope there will be one.

  • Matt

    In his debut novel, Tyrell Johnson storms onto the scene with this curious post-apocalyptic piece that pits a rural family against the Establishment. Lynn is a 23 year-old who has seen much in her life. The Wars turned America into a nuclear war zone and forced her family to flee to Alaska when she was still a child. However, along with the bombs came a debilitating flu that knocked out large portions of the remaining population, one of whom was Lynn’s father, not long after she turned twelve. L

    In his debut novel, Tyrell Johnson storms onto the scene with this curious post-apocalyptic piece that pits a rural family against the Establishment. Lynn is a 23 year-old who has seen much in her life. The Wars turned America into a nuclear war zone and forced her family to flee to Alaska when she was still a child. However, along with the bombs came a debilitating flu that knocked out large portions of the remaining population, one of whom was Lynn’s father, not long after she turned twelve. Living now in the Yukon Territory, the remaining family members subsist off the land, forced to forage and hunt when the ground is covered with ice and snow. They are isolated not only because of the drastic drop in population, but also to steer clear of Immunity, a group dedicated to find and annihilate any remaining flu carriers, or use them as test subjects to inoculate the healthy. When Jax appears on their terrain, Lynn and her uncle, Jeryl, take note. They soon discover that Jax is one of the good people, also fleeing from Immunity, but with a number of secrets of his own. As Lynn and Jax get closer, they learn a little more about one another, including things that could jeopardise their safety. Struggling to remain one step ahead of Immunity, they take a chance that could have dire consequences. All the while, Lynn is forced to come to terms with some half-truths her family has kept from her for all these years, at a time when every day could be her last. Steeped in drama and some violent clashes, Johnson’s piece is sure to get people talking for a long time to come. Perfect for those who like a little struggle and angst in a world decimated by political arm wrestling.

    I had heard much about this book before I chose to take the plunge. I am happy that I did so, as Johnson’s piece does not read like a debut whatsoever. His attention to detail and wonderful story development is clear throughout, while he provides a social commentary of where the world is headed in the near future. Perhaps one of the great aspects of this novel is that it keeps a few characters moving throughout, rather than forcing the reader to juggle huge numbers, remembering names and backstories. Lynn and Jax develop throughout the piece at an astounding rate, while also pulling their backstories along to add depth to their characters. Both have suffered much in their young lives, but they refuse to lay down and let the world roll over them. Rather, they build on these issues and create an even stronger foundation for themselves. The rest of those who grace the pages of the book serve their purpose, flavouring the narrative with their unique personalities. While some may look at ‘post-apocalyptic’ and see something a little too out of this world, Johnson keeps things realistic as events develop, allowing the reader to wonder ‘what if’ rather than ‘if only’. The pain felt through each revelation is something that can hit home as a young woman struggles to find her own place in a world that is hanging on merely by a thread. The story reads so easily and the narrative flows off the page, with countless incidents of symbolism that speak directly to the reader. While there will be those who gasp at blood and language peppered throughout, those who can handle it will be glad they took the time to enjoy this wonderful novel.

    Kudos, Mr. Johnson, for stunning the literary world with something so palatable. I am pleased to see you dropped the odd Canadian mention throughout this piece and hope fans on both sides of the border (and worldwide) discover all you have to offer.

    Love/hate the review? An ever-growing collection of others appears at:

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  • Gary

    Tyrell Johnson’s The Wolves of Winter starts out as a reasonably well-written, if undistinguished, post-apocalyptic tale – a sort of YA-ish version of Cormac Mcarthy’s The Road (the “ish” owing to the fact that the protagonist, Lynn, is a handful of years older than the usual YA heroine). It quickly turns into a reasonably well-written, undistinguished, YA-ish post-apocalyptic tale crossbred with X-Men Origins: Wolverine, a development that doesn’t do it any favors. Lynn is a little bit Katniss

    Tyrell Johnson’s The Wolves of Winter starts out as a reasonably well-written, if undistinguished, post-apocalyptic tale – a sort of YA-ish version of Cormac Mcarthy’s The Road (the “ish” owing to the fact that the protagonist, Lynn, is a handful of years older than the usual YA heroine). It quickly turns into a reasonably well-written, undistinguished, YA-ish post-apocalyptic tale crossbred with X-Men Origins: Wolverine, a development that doesn’t do it any favors. Lynn is a little bit Katniss (hunts with bow and arrow) and a little bit more Bella (attracted to dangerous men, makes bad decisions, needs to be rescued a lot).

    After a nuclear war AND a superflu wipe out most of the planet’s human population, Lynn and some of her surviving family and friends band together in the snowy wilderness of the Canadian Yukon. Their difficult if mostly peaceful existence is disrupted when a mysterious, reclusive stranger named Jax wanders through the vicinity, bringing a dangerous governmental agency known as Immunity on his tail. Lynn, of course, falls for super-strong super-fast Jax, whose most marketable skill is murdering people.

    The Wolves of Winter is economical and fast-paced, and Johnson has the basic storytelling skills required to write a not embarrassingly bad novel. Johnson can’t really be blamed too much for the unoriginal setting; your options are limited when you plug “nuclear war and disease ravaged wasteland” into the worldbuilding machine – there’s basically a sliding scale between Station Eleven and Mad Max, which Johnson scoots closer to the former. He can, however, be blamed for all the other trimmings. The characters are rather bland to begin with, but the total lack of chemistry between the romantic leads is unforgivable. Their banter is clumpy and insipid, and Johnson contrives a number of obvious and threadbare excuses for slamming them together (e.g. Jax rescues Lynn from being buried in a blizzard, seemingly only so the old “we have to get naked and spoon to save you from freezing to death don’t worry it’s just science” card can be played). Worse still is the cookie cutter villainy of Immunity; every representative of the organization is a sinister, sneering, underhanded creep lacking any shred of human decency, all the better for Jax to slaughter them indiscriminately and with moral impunity. I kept hoping he would at least hunt down the head of their HR department for their questionable application review process (Are you indifferent to the suffering of others? Yes. Are your employer’s goals more important than basic human rights? Of course. You’re hired!).

    A novel only for the most forgiving of readers.

    Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read this ARC.

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