Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Review | Wolf by Wolf, by Ryan Graudin

What You Need To Know:
Title: Wolf by Wolf
Author: Ryan Graudin
Number of Pages: 388
Genres: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Dystopia
Standalone/Series: First Book in the Wolf by Wolf Series
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: 20th October, 2015

The Plot:
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?

My Thoughts:
An action packed adventure through and through with one of the most interesting and fascinating plots that I have ever read! I devoured this book in mere hours, which is rather rare really, and felt myself being pulled further and further into this story and believing that the characters could have been anyone in the street. The sign of a magnificent book; I'm sure you'll all agree.

"Once upon a different time, there was a girl who lived in a kingdom of death. Wolves howled upon 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."

This book is based around a "what if" scenario in which Hitler and his Nazi's won World War Two. Now I know what you are thinking, there are hundreds of books that follow this story and most of them are useless. Well this one is not. I'm sure most of you will know the history of the Second World War and the atrocities committed by the Nazis. You know about the imprisonment of thousands of Jewish people. But do you know of the medical experiments that were conducted in these concentration camps? Prisoners were experimented on in painful attempts to cure homosexuality, genetic alterations and other horrific things such as that. But this story follows this idea turned into yet another "what if" situation.

'"She-wolf. An interesting choice."
"I didn't choose it," she told him. "It chose me."' 

Graudin takes the "what if" of Hitler winning the war and then pairs it with the "what if" of an experiment which resulted in a change in genetics. These genetics created a new type of human, if you could really call her a human. The ability to shift their physical appearance so that they could become someone else completely.
This person was Yael.

"These were the names she whispered in the dark. 
These were the pieces she bought back into place. 
These were the wolves she rode to war."

Yael had once been apart of the concentration camps during the War. She had been experimented on and because of it she had lost her identity; lost her self completely. She was a child back then and lost so many people. Whilst she had been experimented on to turn her into such a strange beast. But that didn't stop her from attempting to win back her freedom and the freedom of the rest of the world.
Yael was apart of the resistance and she was going to be the one to kill Hitler.

"There would be no dressing up as a maid. No cyanide slipped into his crystal glass of mineral water. The Fuhrer's death was to be a loud screaming thing. A broadcast of blood over the Reichssender."

In order to find a way to kill this brute she has to become someone else. The Fuhrer is rarely visible in public these days, only at the end of the Axis Tour at the Victor's Ball in Tokyo. Simply all Yael needed to do was disguise herself as another (Adele Wolfe, the only female winner of Axis Tour), win the Motorcycle race and then put a bullet through Hitler's heart when they would dance together. But things weren't going to be as simple as she first thought.

"Not everything was grey ash fall, yellowing weeds, withered blue hands, crimson rivers of blood .... There was still beauty in this world. And it was worth fighting for." 

Her biggest challenge wouldn't be learning to be an expert biker. Oh no. Instead she gets more than she bargained for when faced with the web of jealousy, love and never ending backstabbing from the other riders. Graudin's writing effortlessly reminds the reader of the complexity that is human emotions and none of the character's were that readable making the book far more realistic.

The cliff hanger ending was effortless and I am still thinking about it even though I read it some time ago. This was an intriguing book and I know that I will get my hands on the second book as soon as it comes out.

"He hadn't stood a chance really, but that was the power of hope, the utter cruelty of it." 

This book may be one of the best things I've read this year, even though we are only in March, but I plead with you please pick up this book and read it now!
It really does deserve the rating I have given it.

Book Total of 2016 - 16