Review of Cold the Night, Fast the Wolves (2022)
Read a NetGalley eARC
Content warning: gun violence, weather disasters, blood, explosions, loss of parents, colonialism, implied nonconsensual medical experimentation, mentions of torture. There is a wolf. The wolf experiences some peril, but the wolf does not die or suffer permanent injury
Once again, Meg Long takes the reader on a journey that is full of feeling, fun worldbuilding, and the complexity of friendship and surviving trauma. Sena and her wolf, Iska, are side characters in this adventure told from Remy’s point of view. It takes them to Maraas, a lush, jungle planet plagued by a hellstorm which rests the landscape every two weeks and the corporations at war with the syndicates. Remy searches for a good friend who she lost several years ago, and that might mean teaming up with the boy who betrayed their partnership at the same time.
Excellently paced, intriguing, and healing, I really enjoyed this return to Long’s slice of the cosmos, this time in stormy jungle rather than in a frozen tundra.
This book has close to everything: female friendship, corporate wars, coups and intrigue, a very good girl. Once again, I had a blast reading another story in this world. The details are incredible, and the web of corporations, syndicates, and people just trying to get by lends itself well to plot-twisty intrigue. Weiland (I see what you did there) is such a great villain because she fully embodies evil, but the story continually reminds the reader that taking out one head doesn’t kill the hydra of greed. Their goals and objectives will feel familiar as far off-world colonialization and power greed go.
If you’re a fan of the trope of brainwashed, genetically-enhanced spy learns to love and trust people, you are in a treat. Also, good news for people who would prefer their young adult books to be absent of a romance arc: this book has none. Its heart lies with Remy opening herself up to the possibility of another friendship and finding what trust means to her. That journey of healing and recovery really resonated with me. Though one thing I did find rad was the mention of the possibility of a romantic entanglement between Remy and Alora. This is ultimately avoided as Remy isn’t sure where she stands on love and romance, but the intensity of the friendship is palpable throughout the entire novel, especially as more people come into the fold of the brewing rebelling. The same goes with her continued relationship with Sena and mending partnership with Kiran. Having so many friendships at different phases allows for much room for nuance and development. There’s an impressive breadth of emotion presented amid the high octane escapes and fight scenes.
A science fiction adventure with even more espionage and sabotage, with great choreography and world-building the nails a bunch of tropes that make the genre so cool to begin with.