Wolf Country by Tünde Farrand – Review

I am a sucker for dystopian novels. The Hunger Games and Divergent remain two of my favourite YA trilogies, with the concepts within the books being scary, yet the scariest factor being that they aren’t completely impossible. There are no real monsters, no truly fantastical characters, indeed the monster at the centre of these books is the human.
You can imagine, therefore, my excitement when I received a copy of Tünde Farrand’s novel Wolf Country – a novel of no exception to the thrills and chills of dystopian fiction. Yet what makes it that bit more eerie, that bit more horrific, is the proximity of the events in this novel. We aren’t talking about a dystopian and warped future hundreds of years from now. Oh no! This is a society where its evolution is based on opinions you may hear floating around in conversation whilst doing your weekly food shop (or book shop, in my case.) Maybe this could actually, TRULY happen in less than a hundred years from now…
The events of Wolf Country are set in a 2050 society in which assisted death becomes not just legal, but necessary at old age, following growing attitudes that the elderly is hindering our progression and draining us of money and resources. Of course, this idea is presented with the “at least they go peacefully and whilst still looking good” concept, sugar-coated and sinister, sending a shivering tingle down your spine. Alice, our protagonist, is pretty chilled with this society and demonstrates no rejection of resentment towards it at first. But when she starts questioning the circumstances surrounding the disappearance and assumed death of her husband Phillip, the cracks in this seemingly perfect world begin to show themselves…
Life in this world seems pretty fair – you contribute to society, you work, you get rewarded by basking in the luxuries of a ‘High Spender’. If not, society deems it a waste of money to spend people’s hard-earned money on you. And why should this money be wasted? It’s either live in the perilous ‘Zone’, or you can be sent to the ‘Dignatorium’ to be euthanised and die in a peaceful, dignified manner. Seems fair, right?…
Farrand has managed to mix together everything I love about a dystopian novel in this intense, gripping debut novel – I found myself completely intrigued by the world she creates for her story. My impression of Alice at first was that I didn’t like her – and this was the main aspect of the novel which made it so different to my other well-loved dystopian fiction staples. Our protagonist is no Katniss Everdeen or Tris at first, that’s for sure! But her quest to discover the truth behind her husband’s mysterious disappearance means Alice becomes more open to the concept that this society isn’t as perfect as it seems! I was completely invested in her journey towards the realisation of the obvious flaws in this lifestyle, making this novel a truly gripping page-turner.
Overall, this stunning debut had me horrified and thrilled, and is a fabulous choice for anyone who loves dystopia as much as I do! Can’t wait to see more of what this author has to offer!
Many thanks to the publisher for the copy of the book.

The Bookmark Blogger 🙂



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