Review: Warrior Wolf Women of the Wasteland

Carlton Mellick has made his writing career as one of the pillars of the bizarro community.  To some, he’s already a legend.  But with his newest book, it’s easy to see that Mellick is still evolving as a storyteller.  It seems he’s no longer content to put on a weird spectacle, so he’s pushing himself into new territories.  Warrior Wolf Women is one of his longest books, and strangely enough, it’s not very genre-heavy.  The post-apocalyptic “Road Warrior” theme isn’t so prevalent in Warrior Wolf Women.  This isn’t a simple adventure of barbarism in a blighted future.  In fact, almost half of the story takes place in McDonaldland, a mega-city walled off from the wastelands (similar to the world of Judge Dredd).  The landscape of McDonaldland could’ve been its own book, but Mellick has different intentions for this story.

The main character, Daniel Togg, is exiled from the city to (presumably) die in the apocalyptic wild.  Like I said earlier, what unfolds isn’t your typical post-apocalyptic story.  Warrior Wolf Women becomes a tale of a fierce battle of the sexes.  In this world, women slowly evolve into gigantic wolves while the men tend to sprout extra limbs.  Both are considered freaks in civilized society, and are thrown out of the city and into the wild.  In the wastelands, the Wolf Women enslave the men, and the men have rallied to defend themselves.  The two factions are at war with one another, and Mellick uses this setting to tell a romance between Daniel Togg and his childhood friend, November.  The two are separated by the weird gender roles society has thrust upon them.  They are trapped in a cycle, as the women kill the men to survive, and vice versa.

Some characters manage to break out of the prescribed roles of this world.  The characters of Krall and Slayer seem to have some sort of loving relationship, founded on the fact that they aren’t your typical man or woman.  They’re society’s exceptions to the rules, the ones who fall through the cracks.  Because of this, they manage to create a real relationship when everyone else seems totally trapped by society’s gender roles.  And as Mellick peels back the layers of this social structure, we see just how weird and depraved this gender separation can be.  When Daniel discovers the secret schemes of the war between male and female, it’s absolutely stomach-churning.

Warrior Wolf Women of the Wasteland is a pretty good tale, and it might go down as one of Mellick’s most thoughtful bizarro books.  It was exciting, strange, violent, and sexual, but don’t expect a simple action story in the vein of “Mad Max.”  There are plenty of crazy battles, but these scenes only serve a greater theme in the story.  Despite the grittiness, this story has a lot of heart.  Besides the theme of abusive gender roles, I thought Warrior Wolf Women was similar to “The Island of Dr. Moreau,” a meditation on the animalism of humanity and the sort of atrocities we commit against one another.  There’s a lot going on for this book, and strangely enough, I haven’t really spoiled anything for you.  Make sure you read this one.

Pick up Warrior Wolf women of the Wasteland here:


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