About the Book:
Title: Cold the Night, Fast the Wolves
Author: Meg Long
Page Length: 368
Publication Date: Jan. 11, 2022
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Synopsis: A captivating debut about survival, found family, and the bond between a girl and a wolf that delivers a fresh twist on classic survival stories and frontier myths.
After angering a local gangster, seventeen-year-old Sena Korhosen must flee with his prize fighting wolf, Iska, in tow. A team of scientists offer to pay her way off her frozen planet on one condition: she gets them to the finish line of the planet’s infamous sled race. Though Sena always swore she’d never race after it claimed both her mothers’ lives, it’s now her only option. But the tundra is a treacherous place, and as the race unfolds and their lives are threatened at every turn, Sena starts to question her own abilities. She must discover whether she’s strong enough to survive the wild – whether she and Iska together are strong enough to get them all out alive.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, including Amazon, and I may earn a small commission, at no cost to you, if you purchase through my links.
Cold the Night, Fast the Wolves is a fast-paced survival story with a dynamic protagonist, an immersive setting, and strong messages. A pickpocket who scrambles to survive on an unforgiving planet, Sena wants nothing to do with the race that killed her mother. All she wants is to save enough money to get off the planet that took everything from her, but Sena might not have a choice.
The story is told in the first person, which gives you a deep and fascinating look at Sena’s character. Sena goes through so much throughout the story. She is a stubborn and determined seventeen-year-old who has suffered much loss in her life. She doesn’t always make the best decisions, but she is fierce and independent, and she shows tremendous growth over the course of the story. As Sena goes on a physical journey, she also goes on an emotional one, and she learns so much about herself, her friends, and the world around her.
The relationship between Sena and Iska is the highlight of the novel. I loved how this pair slowly learned to trust each other. They are similar in many ways, and I love that they forge such a strong bond. This relationship helps Sena through her grief, and Iska, as well as some of the other characters in the novel, slowly helps Sena break down her emotional walls. The side characters are interesting too, and the family that Sena finds in the people she journeys with is a bright spot in a bleak and deadly world.
The world-building is vivid and immersive, and the author is skilled in creating a fantastic picture without overloading the reader with information. Also, I think the personification and imagery are really well done and enhance the often dark and ominous tone. The frigidness of this ice planet, the myriad of characters, the woods, the race, the futuristic elements, and more create a unique and often terrifying world.
Messages about survival, grief, corporate greed, and the dangers of capitalism are woven expertly throughout this high-stakes story, and the race is exciting, dangerous, and deadly. There is never a dull moment in the book – it starts off with a ton of action, and it never stops. It’s a pretty exciting and suspenseful read, and I like that the themes are relevant and thought-provoking.
This is a great book for readers who like YA dystopian survival stories with fierce protagonists, a wonderful relationship between girl and wolf, and a fascinating setting. Thanks so much to NetGalley, Wednesday Books, and Meg Long for providing a copy of the book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
- The action.
- The found family.
- The immersive and vivid setting.
This is a good book for readers who like YA survival stories.