Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin

Wolf by Wolf is the first book of two in a YA historical fiction series with a sci-fi twist of the hypothetical scenario in which Hitler would have won WWII. In 1956, the Axis powers of Japan and Third Reich (also known as Nazi Germany) rule. The allies lost, and Hitler rules the world. Yael has lost everything she loved. She was a prisoner. She was also a victim of human experimentation, and it worked too well, leading to her secret ability to skinshift, allowing her to morph into other people. She escaped and joined the Resistance, what is left of the Allies.

Her mission is simple. Kidnap Adele Wolfe and skinshift into her, taking her place in an annual motorcycle race, which awards her a dance with Hitler himself at the Victor's ball. Finally, stab him and topple his empire. However, it soon becomes much more complicated than she had planned when having to deal with her twin brother and former boyfriend.

I enjoy alternative history very much, and I loved the author's train of thought of "what if," and I would certainly hope that if this happens at all in the future with another war, there will still be people willing to fight. I also enjoyed that the author made the setting believable. The book was so exciting and fast-paced!  The adventure aspect was very strong, and I loved how every chapter was going somewhere- literally. I felt at times that I was on that motorcycle, racing as well.

Yael doesn't remember what she looked like before. She spends her life impersonating other people, so much so that the real Yael is just a faint memory. She is an extremely unique character. Held together with the memories of torture and those she's lost, Yael is wild, strong, and brilliant. She has done what many of us try our whole lives to do; she has used her pain and turned it into strength. Her fire to succeed and her determination is stronger than any other female heroine that I know. The romantic interest between Yael and Luka was very interesting to say the least, especially when she doesn't know about the huge elephant in the room, whatever big thing happened between them. Even though she was in the lead of the race, she was far behind in becoming Adele. Pretending to be someone else is a very hard feat to accomplish. The book was quite stressful, and I was scared for her a few times.

My only critique would be that there was so much action and adventure with the race that I wanted more action and adventure with Hitler, what he's up to, and how evil he is currently. Readers see her need for revenge given her past, but not any reasons given the present. My concern is that it was not made clear how the world would be better off without him. This is something that I hope will be expanded upon in the next book.

I highly recommend this book, and I cannot wait to read the next one, Blood For Blood!

Title: Wolf by Wolf
Author: Ryan Graudin
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Pages: 388
Series: Yes, Book 1 of 2
Rating: 4 Stars

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