• The Bossy Bookworm

Review of Cold the Night, Fast the Wolves by Meg Long

I was hooked by Meg Long's debut young adult science fiction novel about tough young Sena, her skittish fighting wolf Iska, and their desperate journey across the ice.

In Meg Long's debut, the young adult science fiction novel Cold the Night, Fast the Wolves, young Sena has lost both of her mothers to the brutal sled races on her frozen planet. Since then she's had to be scrappy, creative, and above all, tough.

That means making tenuous alliances, honing her pickpocketing skills, and maintaining a cursory relationship with her aunt in order to get by.

When she angers a local warlord and becomes eager to escape her world, she's relieved to secure promises of transport out--but the earnest scientists who would help her have one condition: she must help them take part in the planet's most infamous sled race (so they can conduct their research on the properties of the resources being plundered by greedy corporations--"corpos").

When Sena finds herself desperately on the run from certain death, she and her injured young fighting wolf, Iska, leap at the slim chance of surviving that icy journey in hopes of leaving this greedy, corpo-driven, ecologically damaged planet for good.

But first she'll have to trust others for the first time and leave herself vulnerable to them--and she'll need to look out for her oddball team instead of only thinking of herself for once.

In Cold the Night, Fast the Wolves, Long offers an intriguing story of brutal conditions, determined survival, hard-earned loyalty, grudging friendship, and a stubborn overcoming of various vivid dangers. I was hooked by Long's world-building, her evocative, immersive descriptions of the cold climate, and by tough, grumpy Sena, who has a big heart and a soft spot for Iska, her personality counterpart in wolf form.

I received a prepublication electronic copy of this book courtesy of Wednesday Books and NetGalley.

Do you have any Bossy thoughts about this book?

This is Meg Long's first book.

If you like books with cold settings, you might like the titles on the Greedy Reading List Six Books with Cold, Wintry Settings to Read by the Fire or the nonfiction book Wintering by Katherine May.