The Wolf Road by Beth Lewis was on one of those lists. And I knew I had a copy buried in the TBR pile. Well.....I should have read it the minute it arrived. What a fantastic read! And I absolutely agree with the 'best of' designation!
Sometime in the future - after the apocalyptic 'Big Damn Stupid' has happened - the world has carried on. But in BeeCee it has reverted back to a wild west, frontier law, fend for yourself society.
And it is into this world that our protagonist is born. Lost in the woods as a seven year old, she is found and raised by a man she calls Trapper. He names her Elka. It's a hard life, but Elka grows into a proficient survivalist, able to fend for herself in the woods. Life seems destined to continue the way it has until Elka sees a wanted poster in town - with Trapper's face on it. It seems that Trapper hunts more than wild game. Now on the run from him and hoping to find her long lost parents up in the gold fields, Elka encounters what the world has now become. Desperate, dirty and dangerous.
What a protagonist! Her thoughts, voice and actions as she makes her way north held me spellbound. I was on the edge of my seat constantly as Lewis threw up one more situation and then another and another for Elka. (And I'm going to admit here, I broke my own rule - I peeked ahead more than once. I just couldn't stand the tension!)
Lewis's setting was instantly recognizable for this reader - the book is set in British Columbia (BeeCee) Couver (Vancouver) is also mentioned. What a unique genre - apocalyptic, western, thriller. Love, love, loved it. True Grit meets Hanna meets Winter's Bone. Read an excerpt of The Wolf Road. I really hope that Beth Lewis is hard at work on her next novel.