Saturday, January 2, 2016

Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin

Hardcover, 379 pages
Release Date: October 20, 2015
Published by: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Wolf by Wolf, #1
Source: Library
For fans of: Historical Fiction, Alternate History, Action, Adventure, Series, YA

     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?


    Seeing as this book is categorized under historical fiction, I wasn't expecting too much from it. Me and this genre just don't get along for some reason. I'm not trying to force it on me, but I do feel there are some great books I'm missing out on from not reading this genre. With this book being one of those. If ALL historical fiction was written like that (alternative with a dash of paranormal) I'm pretty sure I'd read every HF book I could get my hands on. 

"Tomorrow will not be forgiving."
pg. 52
     The Axis Tour is a motorcycle race ran every year to commemorate a fret victory of the Third Reich. The prize is an elegant ball with the most famous person in their regime: Adolf Hitler. Yael the shapeshifter must find a way to compete.... Because she and the rest of her resistance want to see Hitler dead. 
"Flowers grew everywhere, but even vast blossoms couldn't overcome the smell of death."
pg. 111
    Earlier when I mentioned that if all historical fiction was written that way I would read it, I meant because it was had a really cool shape shifter element and it gave it a paranormal feel. I think that may be what I have to do for this genre. Find other elements of stories I DO like and it may end up better for me. I also like the writing style of this one. This is the fist book by Graudin I've ever read, so I pleasantly surprised when I found some of the phrases I've added here. The writing style captivated me and made me feel as if I was the one riding the motorcycle. 

"Sometimes it was hard to tell what was sleeping and what was waking since her nightmares were also made of howls and darkness."
pg. 145
     The only thing I didn't like was the way the plot dragged. It wasn't really as exciting as I thought. I think it would have been a little better if there were tasks for them to complete as they came to each stop. But at the same time, it might have made the book extremely long. I also think it would have been a tad bit better with more world building. With all the places visited, there could've been some epic descriptions, but they just weren't there. Even still, this was the coolest HF book I've read so far. 
"By pretending the pain was not there, I had let it root. I'd given it power over me."
pg. 264
     Because of this book I'm on the look out for more historical fiction books with a different sort of element included. I've been told to look at other books by Graudin and j can't wait to get started with them. Even with the tiny things that could stand for improvement this book has opened my eyes to another genre that I can finally see myself reading more of. 
Overall, I give this

(Real rating 3.5 but I rounded up)


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