Sunday, October 18, 2015

[Review] Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin

Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin
Rating: 4.5 stars 

Series: Wolf by Wolf #1
Version: ARC
Release Date: October 20th 2015
Goodreads Synopsis:
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?
I received this book from the Hatchette Book Group in exchange for an honest review.

As a Tarantino fan, yes. Yes to this book. I was reading Wolf by Wolf and came to the conclusion that Yael is basically YA Shosanna. Her story was my favorite part of Inglourious Basterds.
If a movie for Wolf by Wolf was a thing, she'd be Yael

But this is about Wolf by Wolf. Alternate Universe if Hitler and the Axis won WWII. Essentially, a living hell. In this world, Germany and Japan run most of Europe and Asia with an iron fist, but their ideal perfect world is collapsing from within. Starting with Yael...

Yael is one of those female heroines with a tragic backstory, but it's something that makes her persevere to complete her goal. For her wolves (Babushka, Mama, Miriam, Aaron-Klaus, Vlad), the ones who shaped her into who she is. She's certainly very relentless, to the point of doing rather reckless hurtful things to Felix and Luka. There is no love triangle actually, because Felix is her brother (Adele's brother), and all the love triangle trope haters can read this book in peace.

After all the things Yael did to Felix, I'm surprised her actually kept on following her and didn't hate her for ya' know, knocking him unconscious and stealing his bike. That's sibling love for you.

The romance between Yael/Adele and Luka - There are so many unanswered questions! What happened to them in the Axis Tour of last year? I really want to know, and the fact I didn't know clenched my insides! They were so complicated! It was so great, and the romance in this book was something I really needed because lately I've been reading unfulfilling romance.

Romance isn't even the main part. Graudin alternates between the past and present of Yael, telling the story of her life inside the camps, her escape, and eventual meeting with the resistance of Operation: Valkyrie. The present is the Axis Tour and Yael fighting tooth and nail to become first place and win a Double Iron Cross, and assassinate Hitler.

The pacing of this book was so fast-paced and a quick read. It was full of action and sadness and Yael realizing she can't be as ruthless as she thought. I literally read the last 150 pages in two hours because of sheer suspense - Who wins the Axis Tour? You'll have to read to find out!

But the questions remain... The entire time I wanted to know what happened to Adele? Do we hear more of the other competitors? Ryoko, I hope we see more of her in the sequel. I HOPE YAEL ACTUALLY KICKS HITLER'S BUTT. And not a decoy's.

The sequel, I'm dying to read and the first book still isn't out yet. Ah, the perks of being a blogger/fast reader.

If you read it, do you agree or disagree? Comment below! Also, casting ideas please! Shosanna Dreyfus aka Melanie Laurent as Yael needs to happen.

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