Monday, October 19, 2015

Review: Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin

Title: Wolf by Wolf
Author: Ryan Graudin
Publication Date: October 20th, 2015
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Source: eARC from NetGalley
Where to find: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository
Summary: Code Name Verity meets Inglourious Basterds in this fast-paced novel from the author of The Walled City.

The year is 1956, and the Axis powers of the Third Reich and Imperial Japan rule the world. To commemorate their Great Victory over Britain and Russia, 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.

Yael, who escaped from a death camp, has 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 victor, 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 begins to get 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?
This book was amazing and everyone needs to have it on their radar and read it. The premise alone drew me in, but this book was so much more than an alternate WWII outcome. This book focused on how it is who we are inside that matters and that we are all the same on the inside, we were all created equally.

That being said, this was I'm sure a massive undertaking for Ryan Graudin. This book focuses on a society in the 1950s where Hitler won and took over basically the world other than the Americas. It was fascinating for me to read about this different history where WWII did not end when it did. Added to this alternate reality was this epic motorcycle race across the continents. This was a great plot tool to add adventure and action to the plot as Yael attempts to complete her mission of killing Hitler and ending his reign.

The characters in this book are really great. We get a lot of background on Yael and this strange ability she has but we also get background on this alternate world and how the war unfolded. Yael is such an important character in terms of identity and self-confidence. She was terrorized as a child and physiologically altered (trying not to give away too much), but she still fought for what she believed in and ultimately joining the resistance.

I really enjoyed this book, however, I'm a little bit disappointed by the ending. I have so many questions still and feel unsatisfied with where the characters go from the end and how everything ties up. I can see how ending where it did works though in terms of deciding for yourself how the alternate world as a whole responds to the end of the story, but I wanted more. I feel like a huge plot point was introduced in the last few pages but not fully explained. I do know there is a sequel to this, but I still feel like there was an info dump at the end that seemed out of place.

Overall, this is a great book that you need to pick up. It has both amazing writing and an amazing message about identity and being yourself.

*I received this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

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