Ahoy there me mateys! This be the fifteenth book in me Ports for Plunder – 19 Books in 2019 list. I wanted to read this book because it was said to be a dystopian sci-fi set in British Columbia. In the story, Elka finds out her adopted father is a serial killer with the law on his tail. She flees both the law and her daddy. But both are out to get her.
This was a very odd read. First off all I would call this a western in terms of feel – gold rush and all. The murder mystery parts weren’t a mystery. The dystopian setting really was non-existent. Even the sci-fi elements weren’t present as the technology was basically primitive. I had tried to read this multiple times before and couldn’t get into it. But the premise kept drawing me back.
The premise is very interesting and this time the book did keep me very engaged. I very much enjoyed Elka as a character at first. She is tenacious and I love her trapping, skills, and down-to-earth outlook. She is very much no nonsense and focused on survival. The problem is that as the book progressed Elka became more and more of an unreliable narrator. I could guess at many of the bad things of her past and wanted her to stop being naive and in denial. I kept getting tired of all her continual bad choices and the consequences to others. By the end, I had really lost all sympathy for her.
Luckily she has Penelope as a balance. Once Penelope enters the picture, I at least got interested in how her portion of the story was going to work out. Ye only get Elka’s point of view but I found Penelope to be fascinating. She is no angel but I went from finding her to be annoying to her becoming the best thing about the book. I wanted her to be happy.
While I was interested in finding how the story turned out, I ultimately found the entire ending to be unsatisfying. I didn’t like how the killer was caught, I didn’t like how Penelope and Elka’s relationship turned out, and I didn’t like the final plot twist. Also I really wanted to know more about how the world changed in the “Big Damned Stupid” that ended the world as we know it. So this was just an okay read but no real regrets about having finally read it. I do think it was well-written but certain elements were not to me taste. Arrrr!!
Side note: Only four books left in the 19 in 2019! Doable.
Goodreads had this to say about the novel:
Elka barely remembers a time before she knew Trapper.
She was just seven years old, wandering lost and hungry in the wilderness, when the solitary hunter took her in. In the years since then, he’s taught her how to survive in this desolate land where civilization has been destroyed and men are at the mercy of the elements and each other.
But the man Elka thought she knew has been harboring a terrible secret. He’s a killer. A monster. And now that Elka knows the truth, she may be his next victim.
Armed with nothing but her knife and the hard lessons Trapper’s drilled into her, Elka flees into the frozen north in search of her real parents. But judging by the trail of blood dogging her footsteps, she hasn’t left Trapper behind–and he won’t be letting his little girl go without a fight. If she’s going to survive, Elka will have to turn and confront not just him, but the truth about the dark road she’s been set on.
The Wolf Road is an intimate cat-and-mouse tale of revenge and redemption, played out against a vast, unforgiving landscape–told by an indomitable young heroine fighting to escape her past and rejoin humanity.
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