Ziad's Reviews > The Wolf Road

The Wolf Road by Beth Lewis
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it was ok

Sometimes I write these long, rambling book reviews, and often I write no reviews—just slap a few stars on a book and move on. I wasn’t quite sure what compelled me to gush about some books and toss others aside without comment, but I think I get it now: I need to be surprised by a book, either pleasantly or unpleasantly. If I expect a book to be great and it is, I’m satisfied. If I expect the worst and a book lives down to my expectations, I’m satisfied. But if a book turns out to be much better or worse than I expected, I feel like I need to tell the world about it.

With that in mind, let me tell you that when I saw a post-apocalyptic thriller with almost 2000 reviews and 4+ stars and on Goodreads, I really, really expected to love it. So, guess what happened!

On paper (so to speak), The Wolf Road is a gruesome, action-packed page turner. In practice, however, I just found it boring. Maybe boring isn’t the right world, but definitely not engrossing—totally flat—enh, blah, meh, and other monosyllabic grunts.

I felt no emotional attachment to any of the two-dimensional characters—they weren’t people, they were just characters. I never quite got used to Elka’s voice and vernacular, and I never got sucked in to the story. I didn’t really care about any of it—I didn’t care if Elka survived, I didn’t fear Kreager or Lyon, I didn’t fall in love with Penelope, and I didn’t care about the kids—any of them. I felt like I was supposed to, but I just couldn’t. The Wolf might have been the only character I found vaguely compelling, and he just made a few appearances here and there.

As for the post-apocalyptic aspect, it was really just an afterthought. Clearly “the big damn stupid” was some sort of nuclear war that made the climate volatile and poisoned the water, but it hardly mattered—this book read much more like a western than it did a post-apocalyptic thriller and, truth be told, outside of Larry McMurtry and Cormac McCarthy, I reckon I really don’t much care for westerns.

Oh, and I didn’t appreciate the painfully transparent setup for a second book, like one of those (many, many) mediocre superhero movies that only exist to tell enough humdrum backstory to start a franchise.

So, it’s not a bad book, but it’s not a good one. Perhaps you’ll like it more than I did—you’d be hard-pressed to like it less. I can see how a lot of people might eat it up, like people happily eat up so many mediocre airport books—The Bourne Whatever and The Da Vinci Whogivesashit. Now add to that list: The Wolf Somethingorother.

So that’s it, I guess. And that’s how I felt when I finished it—so that’s it, I guess.
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Reading Progress

December 27, 2016 – Shelved
December 27, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
December 29, 2016 – Started Reading
January 5, 2017 – Finished Reading

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