Saturday, December 19, 2015

Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin

"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." -Goodreads synopsis

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

In the 1940's Yael was living in a Nazi death camp where she was selected for an experiment. She starts receiving injection that are suppose to help erase her Jewish traits. They wanted to turn her into the perfect Aryan specimen. What they didn't expect was that it would turn her into something more.

Yael is now someone she doesn't even recognize. A girl who can't even remember her own face. She goes from living in the camp to living on the streets. Pick pocketing to survive, until she is recused by the resistance. Once she's with them she is 100% committed to the cause. She starts studying, training, and preparing. All of this so she can join a motorcycle race, in hopes that she'll win, so she can get in the presences of Hitler, and kill him.

Yael is one of the most unique females I've ever read. She is the perfect balance of all things. She is vulnerable but strong. She is smart but has moments of doubt. She is wild but knows when to be tamed. You'll feel like you know her without ever really knowing her at all. It's wonderful. She is as unique as the storyline. She is a character that has known true torture, has been willing to be patience, and is now ready to seek revenge. We get to go on the journey from her from start to finish. The side characters in this book do a good job of adding angst without overshadowing the true message of this story. Felix is the kind of brother most wish for and Luka is the mysterious hooded bad boy that we all love to read about.

This is what leads me to what was truly amazing about this book... A plot that is unlike any other. It was so unique. I usually hate stories that bounce back and forth from the past to the present. I always feel like they never flow well. This wasn't a problem for Wolf by Wolf. It flows back and forth seamlessly and always transitioned at the right time. I also thought that I was going to love the action packed race moments (I really enjoyed those moments), but I found myself looking forward reading about Yael's youth. Those moments were so heart-wrecking and real. Truly heart-punching. We get a look into how could have continued and would be if Hitler would have stayed in power.

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

Wolf by Wolf surprised me. This was a slow burn of a book with so many twist and turns. With the ultimate betrayal that will come out of nowhere. It was suspenseful, gritty, and intriguing. All these things combined together bring for on a powerhouse jaw dropping ending that I did not see coming!

Wolf by Wolf has a writing style all it's own. Soul gripping metaphors. A tale like nothing I've read before. And brings something new and original with it's characters. I don't know where this story is headed, but I'm very excited to find out.