ideas take life in Words
A blog following the works (and shenanigans) of J.E. Klimov
Reading About the Apocalypse During 2020: A Book Review of "Rivers, Weak Men, and Wolves"
Title: "Rivers, Weak Men, and Wolves"
Author: Hunter Letendre
Genre: Science Fiction/Thriller (Post-Apocalypse)
Rating: 4.5 stars
I don't think I ever cared so much about the end-of-the-world type books and movies more than I do now in 2020. Back when toilet paper became a scarcity and the world was locking down country by country, I know many of us wondered what would ultimately happen with the Coronavirus pandemic. While we are not out of the woodwork yet, things are looking hopeful- and people have had plenty of time to get some reading done.
So back to the apocalypse.
Hunter Letendre's debut novel marries all the right elements for an A+ end-of-the-world plot. There is suspense, flawed characters, mystery, and action. And while she uses the right formula, "Rivers, Weak Men, and Wolves" still brings a fresh narrative that is worth checking out.
What is most striking is the main character, Jorah Sinclair. She is a strong, female lead with a dark past. Her fear of loneliness (something I know we all fear deep down...and quite frankly, rings all too familiar with isolation during this current pandemic) drives her to manipulate her way into a group consisting of: the temperamental Riley, headstrong Sana, and grumpy yet lovable Geoff. Jorah is a complex woman, who I almost saw a bit of Daenerys Targaryen from Game of Thrones in there.
Let's also take a look at how the novel is structured. In the beginning, we primarily view the story through Jorah's eyes (first person), although it eventually switches to third person and follows James Duran (who, by the way, is my personal favorite character). Overtime, we do see Jorah vanish a little, and sometimes we also read a chapter following Sana as well. A swap between first person and third person is not conventional, and some may find it jarring, however, it did NOT impact my reading experience. In my personal opinion, I think this unorthodox approach is proof that writing does not truly have rules required for a successful story.
I pretty much inhaled this novel in a couple days.
While it's all been done before, the premise to the world's demise was fresh and appreciated. It's not your typical zombie thriller (although we all know if it is written well, it can still avoid being labeled as cliche), and the cause and effect was well thought out.
Overall, Hunter brings a crisp voice to her debut novel, and I recommend this for anyone looking for a good story and diverse characters. If this is how her first book reads, I can't WAIT to see her future publications.
This probably has been my favorite read this year. I RECOMMEND!
About the author:
Hunter Letendre was born and raised in New Hampshire, holds a B.S in Marketing and Entrepreneurial Studies from the University of New Hampshire, and is a Co-Founder and CEO of the self-sustainability consulting company Wildline Solutions.
When not traveling, writing or starting new businesses, Letendre likes to indulge in a variety of author stereotypes. Such as living in New Hampshire, enjoying a glass of something strong, and hanging out with her cat.
Her debut novel, "Rivers, Weak Men and Wolves", will begin a long line of books by Letendre, where the pages slingshot between sarcastic, witty humor, and inevitable doom with intense violence.
Side note: I visited the author's self-sustainability website. This is AMAZING stuff and I recommend you checking it out. Nope. Not some "plug". Just read it to be inspired!