Wolf By Wolf by Ryan Graudin

Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin

Title: Wolf By Wolf
Author: Ryan Graudin
Series: Wolf By Wolf, #1
Pages: 388
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: October 20th 2015 

      “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?”

swirl (2)

“The wind tore ice across her cheeks. Her face was so numb, so cold, but the wolves burned under her skin. Howling secrets. Hidden things anyone could pick up if they listened closely enough.”

Ryan Graudin’s Wolf By Wolf is a daring reimagining of our world’s history. In this alternate universe, Hitler and his allies have successfully conquered much of Europe and Asia, as well as the northern portion of Africa. The rest of the world has buckled under pressure, choosing peace over war, agreeing to a truce with the notorious leader. Those opposed to the New Order have been forced underground, working in secret, biding their time. With the annual Axis Tour, a motorcycle race that spans continents, soon underway, the resistance is ready to make its move and at the center of their plan is Yael. As a child Yael and her mother were imprisoned at a death camp, where she was subjected to various scientific experiments. The goal behind these experiments: to find a way to perfect the Aryan race by suppressing the melanin in a person’s system, thereby controlling their hair, eye, and skin color. Unbeknownst to the doctor in charge of these speculative trials, Yael developed the ability to “skinshift,” to alter her own appearance into the likes of another.

As Yael begins her mission, to impersonate former Axis Tour Victor Adele Wolfe, her resolve to take down Hitler is stronger than ever. Yael has lost everyone important to her and has been stripped of her own identity through the experimentation she endured as a child. Though she is full of anger and retribution, she recognizes that this mission’s success has the potential to become a catalyst, a spark that will signal a revolution that could give way to a better future for the world. She knows how much depends on her being able to masquerade as someone else. This scheme puts in her in a precarious situation, where every word, look, or action threatens to expose her. This is made even more dangerous by the presence of Adele Wolfe’s twin brother Felix and former competitor Luka Löwe. Both know more about Adele than Yael, and both challenge her view of what she has learned on paper about each. Yael is a determined character, but what sets her apart is, despite the injustices done to her, there remains a part of her who refuses to become like those she hates.

Wolf By Wolf is as terrifying as it is fascinating. Graudin’s world explores crimes by Nazi Germany that are rarely explored: human experimentation, as well as envisioning a different history that is frightening in its plausibility. Graudin’s novel is heartbreaking, thrilling, and near perfect in execution, whose impact will be felt long after finishing.

Rating: 5/5

★★★★★

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21 thoughts on “Wolf By Wolf by Ryan Graudin

  1. I’m so glad you enjoyed it! It’s such a good story. I’m really looking forward to Blood for Blood. I would like to see how Yael, without the pretense and limitations of being an impostor, would handle herself. Do you feel like Felix is more than he appears to be, too? I feel like he’s hiding something…something good. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am in love with this book! I would love to see Yael be herself without having to impersonate anyone, but do you think that’s possible because she know longer remembers who she was? What a terrible thing to forget. I really liked Felix, I think he could have a larger role in the next book but it all depends on how Yael’s impersonation of Adele unravels. Ah, I need the sequel now!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hmmm. That’s a great point. I think a reminder of who she was is inked on her arms and those wolves play a crucial role in who she was/is/will be. I really hope she doesn’t have to impersonate Adele. I want to know the real Yael. Plus, I like Adele and would love to read more about her in the sequel, too. I think this is the first book that I’ve liked all the characters–even my origami dirt-biker. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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  10. Great review!
    I’ve honestly been dying to read this book for ages! I’m trying to get into some historical fiction, do you have any other suggestions?
    Lu x

    Liked by 1 person

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