Since the Damn Stupid turned the clock back on civilisation by centuries, the world has been a harsher place. But Elka has learned everything she needs to survive from the man she calls Trapper, the solitary hunter who took her in when she was just seven-years-old. So when Elka sees the wanted poster in town, her simple existence is shattered. Her Trapper – Kreagar Hallet – is wanted for murder. Elka flees into the vast wilderness, determined to find her true parents. But she is not alone.

This interesting and unique novel follows a young girl as she attempts to traverse a harsh post-apocalyptic landscape. In a disaster known only as the Damn Stupid (hinted to have resulted from nuclear weapons), technology is virtually non-existent and survival is the aim of the game.

Elka is a wonderful character. She has a truly unique voice that some readers might find difficult at first (‘Lyon’s smarter than Kreagar, got eyes like a sparrow hawk, she’d see me in half a breath and she’d take me too, for what I done’) but if you stick with it you’ll soon be carried along on the rhythms of her narration. Lewis has created a very realistic portrait of a young woman who has never known the love of a family, and though she is strong she has weaknesses that invite the reader’s sympathy.

It can feel at times as though this story is unrelentingly bleak and that every character is selfish and cruel. The wild is a sinister place in The Wolf Road, where, if man isn’t out to get you, nature almost certainly is. But the glimpses of humour and hope – as well as Elka’s endearing qualities – help to keep you invested in the story even when it feels almost too dark to carry on.

The only flaw that really troubled me was the structure – in particular, the fact that we start at the end before going back to the beginning, so we know, more or less, what’s going to happen in the end. This takes away a lot of the suspense, which is a shame, because Lewis is clearly adept at creating tension, so much so that I regularly feared for Elka’s safety despite knowing what happens.

This is a thrilling, utterly engrossing book with a fantastic narrator, one whose voice will stay with you long after turning the final page.