Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
Winter of the Wolf is a work of fiction set in the mystery genre and penned for young adults by author Martha Hunt Handler. Recommended for more mature teens due to some thematic content such as death and suicide, this engaging and well-written novel explores themes such as spiritualism, grief and the culture of the Inuit people. Bean is our hero, a fifteen-year-old with an empathetic heart, who is suffering deeply with grief from her brother’s death. Though Sam’s fate points towards suicide, Bean has other ideas and sets about an investigation with her close friend Julie to find the truth. What results is a highly emotive tale of spiritual truth and realistic life dramas.
Author Martha Hunt Handler writes with passion on her topic, combining culture, nature and realistic teenage angst and emotions to create a truly impactful work of fiction. Bean is a superbly well-developed central character, with many beautiful flaws and lessons to learn, but also admirable emotional strength and fortitude in the face of extreme tragedy. She is an inspiring hero for whom teen readers can root, and with whom they can empathize greatly as the investigation and mystery plot heats up around her. The storyline plays out with great pacing to keep the readership intrigued from start to finish, and what results is an accomplished novel that touches on powerful messages to take away. Overall, Winter of the Wolf is a highly recommended read for all YA fans.