Title: Wolf by Wolf
Author: Ryan Graudin
Genre: YA Alternate History
Publication Date: October 20, 2015
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.
I received this book through NetGalley, and I was also given a physical ARC.
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 (along with Becoming Darkness) allowed me to discover just how freaking obsessed I am with WWII alternate history novels. I have officially found a sub-genre that I could sit and read all day long. I’m not sure why, but I’m totally addicted now.
Anyways, back to the book. I don’t think I’ve ever read anything by Ryan Graudin to this point, but I definitely plan on it now. Her writing style was out of this world amazing. From the moment I started reading, the story just clicked with me, and I was sucked right in. It was kind of similar to how much I love Taherah Mafi’s writing, though the styles are quite different. The words just flowed from page to page. There was never a moment when I felt like anything was progressing at a strange pace. Everything from the phrasing to the word choice was just deliberately gorgeous, and at times haunting.
The characters in Wolf by Wolf really come to life. You encounter some very complex people throughout the story, and I found them all to be very well developed and thought out. Everyone had “life”, if that makes sense. I was fascinated by Yael. I had this urge to understand her, to understand why she does the things that she does, and why she thinks the things that she does. I was invested in her within the first few pages.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants a story that will take them away from reality for a while. Five out of five stars, without a doubt.