- File Size: 1800 KB
- Print Length: 372 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: www.rahakok.com (July 10, 2015)
- Publication Date: July 10, 2015
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B011ETZ2WQ
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,986 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$10.99|
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AMONG WOLVES (Children Of The Mountain Book 1) Kindle Edition
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This is a chillingly authentic book about what might happen if a nuclear winter comes to pass. It is lyrical, poignant, and brutally honest in its depiction of a microsociety left to fend for itself after the unthinkable happens one sunshiny school day.
Gabriel's first grade class went to the White House on that day for a tour. When atomic bombs begin raining down on the Eastern Seaboard, they are evacuated, along with the President, to a remote bunker deep within a mountain in the Maryland hillsides.
This is the story of what happens to that class of first graders ten years after the event.
Gabriel, who's sixteen by now, and Marv, a grizzled old soldier who happened to be part of the Presidential guard detail on that fateful day ten years earlier, are the two people charged with venturing outside the bunker periodically to forage for supplies in the ravaged towns nearby.
One frigid winter day, Gabriel discovers the frozen body of one of the Secret Service men who met them at the mountain that day long ago. He had been officially listed as "missing." But the bullet hole between his eyes tells a different story.
Thus, this simple dystopian tale of adolescent survival in a world that has shrunk to the size of a tiny village takes on a mysterious air. Who shot the agent -- and why?
The President, a seemingly affable former preacher, holds sway over the tiny community, which is run like a home for wayward juveniles. There is precious little love, and marriages will soon be arranged by the President and a select group of advisers -- including the former Secretary of Defense, who now acts as Quartermaster for the community.
Gabriel has put Mags, whom he has known with the others since childhood, in his "top five" list of potential mates. But will she requite his feelings and declare her love for him -- or be paired off with someone deemed "more suitable?"
This is a tightly woven tale that is part science fiction, part coming-of-age, and part mystery as the reader is immersed in the daily goings-on of Eden and its regimented citizens.
The second half of the book reads eerily like Stephen King's The Stand, as Gabriel makes his way through the treacherous, snowy terrain to another bunker 80 kilometers away, then returns to participate in the novel's surprise ending. The intervening action will leave you breathless.
This is a truly remarkable piece of dystopian fiction, and I give it five unqualified stars. Many thanks to the author for providing a great summertime read.
I know, I know. I gave Among Wolves a 5/5 star rating, so you would assume that that means I would recommend it (and you would assume right). So why, Paige, would you recommend a book if you wouldn’t ever read it again?
Because it was just that amazing and terrifying.
I was honestly expecting Among Wolves to be a bad cliche book. The synopsis tipped me off with the key phrase “Last Day.” What cliche Young Adult novel in the apocalypse genre doesn’t have something along the lines of “Last Day” to mark the final day everything was fine with the world? So, my expectations were rather low and although low expectations are easier to exceed, Hakok did not take any easy routes to impress me.
The synopsis is rather vague so I don’t want to spoil too many things, but I still have some things that I want to mention.
The characters were solid, incredibly solid. They each had more depth than a 10 foot deep swimming pool and I relished in it. Gabriel, Mags, The President, and all of the people who live inside the mountain were never merely pawns for Hakok to use as one-dimensional characters who push the plot along. They were real. So real, in fact, that when there were deaths, I felt actual sorrow. Yes. I felt honest emotion over the death of a character in a book, which I have not felt in a very long time. My only complaint was the awkward inclusion of homosexuality. That doesn’t go to say that it wasn’t plausible, just that it seemed to be given to two characters as a last minute idea/shot at having diversity. It was too brief to really be considered a major character-identity reveal and it felt like its sole purpose was to push the plot along. Besides that, I’m not really sure that it added any type of substance.
While we’re on the topic of death, any YA author who reads this needs to take note: Don’t Overdue Death. Hakok had the perfect amount of deaths in his plot. Many books have characters dying left and right and up and down and eventually you don’t care about who’s dying. And other times, there are barely any deaths, which is unrealistic. But Hakok managed to find that sweet spot in the middle where there are enough deaths to make it realistic while keeping the me emotionally connected.
Read this excerpt from my notes: “Never, in all of my memory, can I remember being genuinely terrified while reading a book.” I wrote this immediately after I finished Among Wolves and it’s the honest-to-goodness truth. The latter part of the book consisted of horrifying ordeals that were realistic and even though I desperately wanted to continue, I was scared the entire time. Truly, be afraid of an author who can make you feel this way. Hakok’s writing is exceptional, evident in his sound plot-building, excellent world-building, and authentic character-building and I am extremely pleased that I was able to read his work.
Would I Recommend Among Wolves? Dare you even need to ask? Most definitely. It’s worth every second spent reading each word and even worth paying for, although it is free. While, yes, I could not read it again (I’m not sure if my heart could take it), I highly suggest you read it.
So how does this one stack up? First off let me voice that my complaint about the first novel is nonexistent here. We have non-stop action and suspense in a new post apocalyptic tale that you'll love reading.
A nuclear fallout has occurred and our survivors are a group of first graders who were visiting the White House, the President of what was once the United States, and members of his staff.
Ten years have passed and we follow Gabriel and the rest of his class and where they are in their lives now. From a tale of budding love with one of his fellow classmates to a murder mystery to a trek across the barren landscape that takes Gabriel to a bunker that may have supplies there is a lot going on in the novel. Hakok masterly weaves through it and his writing has clearly grown in leaps and bounds from his first novel which I'm quite happy to see.
This is well worth picking up if you are a fan of post-apocalyptic environments. The story is well written, riveting, and has some great character development in it as well. This will be a quick read for many as once you get into it there wont be a chance to put it down until the last page!