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Saturday, August 19, 2017

BOOK REVIEW: Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin

Synopsis from Goodreads

Over ten years since the Nazis won the war, 18 yr old Yael has one mission: to kill Hitler - a captivating second novel from Walled City author, Ryan Graudin.

Once upon a different time, there was a girl who lived in a kingdom of death. Wolves howled up her arm. A whole pack of them-made of tattoo ink and pain, memory and loss. It was the only thing about her that ever stayed the same.Her story begins on a train.

Germania, 1956. Over ten years since the Nazis won the war. 18-year-old Yael is part of the resistance, and she has just one mission: to kill Hitler.

But first she's got to get close enough to him to do it.

Experimented on during her time at Auschwitz, Yael has the unique ability to change her appearance at will. The only part of her which always remains are the five tattooed wolves on her arm; one for each of the people she's lost. Using her abilities, she must transform into Adele Wolfe, Germany's most famous female rider and winner of the legendary Axis Tour; an epic long distance motorcycle race from Berlin to Tokyo, where only the strongest (and wiliest) riders survive. If she can win this, she will be able to get close enough to kill the Fuhrer and change history forever.

But with other riders sabotaging her chances at every turn, Yael's mission won't be easy. . .

First published October 20th 2015
Series: Wolf by Wolf Duology Book 1
Source: Bought
My Review
(4 Stars)
This book was one of those book which I wasn't entirely sure if it was going to be my cup of tea, but I gave it a shot. I haven't found that many YA history book which have intrigued me, and I can't remember the last alternative history novel I read - if I have ever read one at all - so this was a bit of a new venture for me.

There were three main thing which drew me to buy this book: firstly back when the sequel came out last year this duology was everywhere in the book community and all the booktubers I follow were talking about it; secondly, I was fascinated to see how Ryan created this alternative world created by the victorious Hitler; and lastly Yael intrigued me, not only her unique ability but also as a person who would enter a deadly motorcycle race in the hope of becoming the person to assassinate Hitler. Anyway this book has sat on my bookcase for quite a few months now but I was in the mood for something a bit different, so I finally opened this book.
I was immediately drawn into this alternative world. The book follows two different time periods, we started with the 'Then' where we glimpse Yael in a Jewish concentration camp, followed by a 'Now' where Yael is a resistance fighter with a mission. I was hooked wanting to know who the 6 year old experiment became the 'free' citizen fighting for the resistance.
      I loved watching Yael take on Adele's identity and try to present herself as Adele, despite the histories that Adele had with other riders and the relationships which Yael struggles to fake. It was interesting to see how accepting of the changes in 'Adele's' character the other riders where as Yael try's her best to stay true to Adele's personally. I think one of the thing I loved about Yael, was that although she was hell bend set on killing Hitler she still has a humanity about her. She never damaged or took a life without thinking it through or regretting it. I loved the situations Yael gets herself into with the relationships she continues as she impersonates Adele both the family and romantic relationships.

I also liked the multiple references to the book title, I  loved the meaning of it. The book had a surprise ending and I can't wait to see where Ryan is going to take this story in Blood for Blood.