Review: WOLF BY WOLF by Ryan Graudin


Ryan Graudin

SeriesWolf By Wolf #1
Genre: Young Adult, Historical
Publisher: Orion Children’s Books
Pages: 390
Release date: November 5th 2015

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. . .

“The wolves of war are gathering.”

Wolf by Wolf is a fantastic and action-packed adventure. Its unique and intriguing premise delivers an incredible and heart wrenching story, all packed up into some amazing writing. There are motorcycle races, resistance fighters, secrets wrapped in lies, and complex characters.

Ryan Graudin is a new favorite. The writing in this novel is beautiful and hits you right in the gut, leaving you breathless. This alternate universe where Hitler wins WWII is what nightmares are made of, and Graudin’s powerful words and amazing characters hook the reader in right from the start.

To everyone who yelled at me to read this book: THANK YOU! Honestly, thank you for bringing this book into my life. This is such an amazing story. Yael’s strength, bravery, and determination are everything I want for my main characters, and reading about her journey brought both smiles and tears to my face.

Even not being the biggest fan of tournaments and races as the driving force behind plots, I have to give it to Graudin. The execution of this unique premise is done really well. The story is told pretty much all from Yael’s POV, with a few sections about her childhood. It’s heartbreaking to read about how she grew up and her transformation.

The side characters are also a plus. Yael finds herself in a pretty dangerous and odd situation, which colors her interactions with pretty much everyone else. Still, all side characters are interesting in their own right, and are given a little bit of backstory to it. There are a lot of secrets around those stories, though, some which are revealed to us along the way.

The overlaying emotions throughout the book are danger, tension, and a little bit of despair. Graudin sure knows how to create atmosphere through her construction of sentences, leaving you on the edge of your seat as you go on this adventure with Yael. There are also some bittersweet moments, focusing on family, love, and friendships.

Overall, Wolf by Wolf is an incredible read! I definitely recommend it to anyone with a passing interested in WWII, as well as YA and Historical Fiction fans. This is a captivating story that grips you from the get to, and does not let go.



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