Title: Wolf by Wolf
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…
Please forgive me for this review. I read this in July 2017 but wanted to put out a review for this book still because I feel that the book deals with a very important part of History.
Wolf by Wolf was on my TBR for ages and I finally read it whilst away in Europe. I actually read it on my way to Berlin to prepare myself to be fully immersed in such a historically surrounded place. Wolf by Wolf is a story that follows a young girl who is experimented on during the Nazi regime. She managed to escape but is now living in a Nazi run world because in this story, the Nazi’s won the war.
As someone who finds anything to do with the First and Second World War extremely interesting (no really, my dissertation topic for my History undergrad last year was on The Blitz), I was really looking forward to this book. I will admit, it took me a while to get to it, but I just had to read it. I read it in one train ride from Budapest to Berlin which, admittedly lasted 13 hours, but I just really enjoyed this book and felt that it was a really interesting take on an alternate history that could very well have been a reality.
The story itself was thrilling. A girl on a mission to kill Hitler, without whom, she never would have lost everything that was dear to her. In order to do this, she must participate in the Axis Tour which is a motorcycle race from Berlin to Tokyo and involves a lot of trials along the way.
Yael is such a strong character that I admired in this book. Although it’s fiction, it really made me think of the victims of the Nazi regime. From the experimentation that Yael suffered through, it has given her the ability to change her appearance at will. Yael uses this ability to enter the race as one of the entrants. Yael has obviously been through a lot at the hands of the Nazi regime but this has only helped her become a stronger person as a result. With nothing to lose, it means that she is really able to throw herself into things and her mission. The horrors that she encountered during her time at Auschwitz were especially sad to read through, but despite this book being fiction, it does draw from truth making it important to read.
I felt that the pace of this book was just right and that it kept my interest throughout, which is also thanks to the interesting topic that Ryan wrote about. The writing was wonderful and flowed so well throughout and there was a great amount of dialogue. The writing really helped with the description of settings too, as there are so many due to us following Yael on a tour.
Despite having read Wolf by Wolf back in July last year, I still am yet to read Blood for Blood which I would like to read in 2018. I enjoyed Wolf by Wolf fully and I hope that I enjoy the next book just as much, especially as there is a lot more to come in Blood for Blood which I am anticipating!
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