Wolf by Wolf – Book Review

“These were the names she whispered in the dark.

These were the pieces she brought back into place.

These were the wolves she rode to war.”

― Ryan Graudin, Wolf by Wolf

Synopsis: Her story begins on a train.

The year is 1956, and the Axis powers of the Third Reich and Imperial Japan rule. To commemorate their Great Victory, Hitler and Emperor Hirohito host the Axis Tour: an annual motorcycle race across their conjoined continents. The victor is awarded an audience with the highly reclusive Adolf Hitler at the Victor’s Ball in Tokyo.

Yael, a former death camp prisoner, has witnessed too much suffering, and the five wolves tattooed on her arm are a constant reminder of the loved ones she lost. The resistance has given Yael one goal: Win the race and kill Hitler. A survivor of painful human experimentation, Yael has the power to skinshift and must complete her mission by impersonating last year’s only female racer, Adele Wolfe. This deception becomes more difficult when Felix, Adele twin’s brother, and Luka, her former love interest, enter the race and watch Yael’s every move.

But as Yael grows closer to the other competitors, can she bring herself to be as ruthless as she needs to be to avoid discovery and complete her mission? 

Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin left me reeling. From start to finish I was captivated by Graudin’s writing style, which often feels similar to Tahereh Mafi’s in the Shatter Me series.

Let’s start from the top of my reasons I loved this book.

1. Yael. She’s the heroin who hasn’t killed anyone, whose seen terrible, terrible things but hasn’t let them break her. She’s not immune to life and emotions but she also recognizes she has a duty. I love Yael and I loved how strong she was throughout the entire book.

2. Luka Lowe. He’s the poster child for the National Socialists in front of cameras and a cigarette smoking, leather jacket wearing badass off the cameras. I can’t wait for Blood for Blood to see more from Luka.

3. Alternate Universe. I think we can all agree that Adolf Hitler was more than just an awful person. He is the symbol of one of the most horrifying events in recent human history, but Graudin does and impeccable job creating a world, albeit an incredibly terrifying world, in which Hitler won the war and spoiler alert, it’s a terrible place to live in.

4. The action. Oh my god the action in this was amazing. The last 100 pages of the book left me jumping around while trying to finish because so much was going on.

5. It’s a series. I don’t think I would have been happy if this book had wrapped up in a nice neat ending with a nice big bow on top. There’s too many questions I had that hadn’t been answered and knowing that there is more to come means I may get some answers.

The irony of my review is that Blood for Blood comes out next week on Nov. 1 so if you haven’t read Wolf by Wolf yet you’re not actually behind.

Tell me, have you read Wolf by Wolf? If so, what did you think? I’m interested in other people’s thoughts on the AU.

– E


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