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Overwinter by David Wellington

*Warning: spoilers lurk below.*

Overwinter wasn’t a disappointing read, but it didn’t “Wow” me. The characters seemed distant compared to the first novel, Frostbite. One reason for this could be Wellington knew their fates before he began writing. Either way, I gave it three stars. What I found more interesting about the book was the werewolf mythology Wellington employed. The origin of these werewolves comes from the prehistoric indigenous peoples of Canada. Several characters, one a main character, isn’t human but an animal spirit/god.

Wellington’s werewolves were created when a Neanderthal tribe tricked and killed their wolf spirit, imbuing their tribe members with the essence of the wolf spirit Amuruk. Why? So they could kill the prehistoric ancestors of the Inuit. They didn’t realize the monsters that would spawn. People cursed by Amuruk change whenever the moon rises, even if it is not seen. They become Dire wolves, massive beasts with one goal. Kill anything human.

Maybe it’s the Anthropologist in me, but I wanted more of this story line. I wanted to delve into the culture of the Neanderthal tribe and the early Inuits. Of course, it would only be fiction–speculation of the past. (Yes, I’m a fan of Auel’s Clan of the Cave Bear series.) But we only get a glimpse of this in Overwinter and then the main characters are off in search of their cure. That’s when things began to fizzle out for me.

I think my next foray into Wellington’s world will be 13 Bullets, the first of his vampire novels. If you are looking for a different sort of zombie tale I recommend checking out Monster Island, the first of a superb trilogy.

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