A review by librarianryan
Cold the Night, Fast the Wolves by Meg Long

adventurous dark emotional hopeful reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated


This was not a book that was originally on my fantasy sci-fi list. The cover is interesting, but it didn’t grab my attention and say “you have to read me now”. This was picked by my book club and I was greatly surprised. I did enjoy this book and I’m happy to have read it. In this book Sena lives on a planet that is entirely tundra. Meaning, the whole thing is frozen. However, this planet has a plethora of EXO carbon, which is an element that everybody needs for almost everything. However, the permanent frozen condition of the planet makes the mining of this EXO carbon extremely hard. Life on this planet is hard. If the weather doesn’t get to you then the ion storms that take out anything electronic will. The one thing this planet is known for is its great race from the main living commune out to the mining field. Apparently, anyone who can complete the race can get permission to mind the exo carbon. In this book, we follow a young girl named Sena. She was born on this planet to a mother who is an immigrant and another mother, who is version of native. The two types of people don’t normally get along, so both have been shunned. Both have also died in the middle of a race leaving Sena defend her self for the last five years. What Sena really wants is to get off this planet, but the only way she can do that is find a way around her heritage, to make enough money to escape. But when your life is mainly pickpocketing, the mob bosses, casino and fight club, saving enough to live and escape, are not an option. Sena ends up in trouble with the big mob boss, and has  to take a job saving his genetically pure wolf. Volvenwolves are the predominant creatures on this planet that is a combination of cloning and what we would think of as earth wolves that make them superior to living in a tundra. To have a pure wolf just for fighting is an anomaly and this Wolf has been hurt and it’s up to Sena to fix it. All in all the stories a pretty decent one. It’s almost a reimagining of White Fang, or at least feels very much like White Fang would have felt 100 years ago. And it’s an interesting and fast paced book. There is a sequel but the sequel takes the main character and  the wolf off the planet, and focuses on a minor character from book one. I’m not sure if that makes the sequel more interesting or more likely not to pick up. My mind hasn’t been made up. Overall, I liked this book as a standalone. I thought it worked well. It was an interesting take, but for someone who’s lived on the frozen tundra I was ready for this to be over. I can remember being cold in the 50 trees in the forest because nothing can grow under that cold. So overall I like this book but I didn’t love it but I would still recommend it to people.