Note: As stated under the Source (above), I received this book for free from Crown Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review (and trust me, honest is always what you’ll get).
Review: This book is a lot of things (great, wonderful, amazing things!), but it is NOT a thriller. Not a mystery. Not suspense. Post-apocalyptic? Yes. Character-driven? In all the best ways. But I didn’t find it to be suspenseful or intense. You know from the first chapter how it ends with Trapper. And that’s because this book isn’t really about him. It’s about Elka.
As she journeys through the wild lands of BeeCee (which I’m guessing to be post-apocalyptic British Columbia) in search of her parents, she begins to unravel the truth of herself. She has to face who she is, what she’s done, and the possibility that there is more to life, more to her, than what she thought.
Some might say that this book is too slow for them. It is a relaxed pace, but I also don’t think it’s a bad thing. It’s a book mostly set on simmer, and under that slow heat, it develops all of these beautiful and complex flavors. It’s a slow awakening followed by a reckoning. It’s a reflection on what we as humans do to each other. What is in a person’s nature and how much we can actually control it? What are we capable of when faced with adversity? How much do we hide from ourselves? Can we be loved for our entire selves, even the dark bits? If we let loose our dark parts on the world and then rein them back in, can we be forgiven for what we’ve done? How much of what we do can be blamed on those who raise us? Is punishment better than rehabilitation? What of second chances? Does it matter who does the forgiving? What does it take to make amends?
This book is spectacular. Truly. It is wild and introspective, thoughtful and unsettling.
It. Is. Phenomenal.