Wolf by Wolf

Zoe N. | December 14, 2015 | Review

Wolf by Wolf

Summary:

The year is 1956, and the Axis powers rule the world. To commemorate their Great Victory, 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. 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?

Review:

Once upon a time, there was a girl who lived in a kingdom of death. Wolves howled up her arm. A whole pack of them – made up of tattoo ink and pain, memory and loss. It was the only thing about her that ever stayed the same.

Wolf by Wolf is one of the most engaging books I’ve read in a long time. It keeps you on your toes from start to finish, and it’s nearly impossible to put down.

The story is set in an alternate future where the Nazis and their allies have won World War Two. In celebration of their victory, the Germans join forces with the Japanese to host a yearly cross-continent motorcycle race. The winner of the race is awarded an audience with none other than Hitler himself.

Yael is a concentration camp survivor, and she wants revenge for everything Hitler has done to her and her family. Her plan for revenge? To disguise herself as last year’s winner, Adele Wolfe, and compete in the race…and then kill Hitler. But, as the race begins, can she keep up the faΓ§ade of being someone she’s not?

Yael is an amazing character. She is smart and calculated, hellbent on getting revenge against Hitler. Yet, at the same time, she has a soft side hidden under her armor that makes it impossible for you not to root for her.

The strength of the story lies in Yael’s relationships with the other competitors, specifically Felix and Luka. Each of these relationships are filled with secrets and lies as none of the other competitors know that Adele is actually Yael, and if she doesn’t play the part perfectly she’ll risk being discovered.

A gripping read from start to finish. This is a story that historical fiction fans (Elizabeth Wein fans specifically) will absolutely adore.

four-stars

64 comments

  1. Wow, this alternate world sounds positively horrid D: I don’t want to imagine a world where Hitler won, yet at the same time this premise is so intriguing! I’m going to be keeping an eye out for this πŸ˜€ Great review, Zoe!

    1. I KNOW. It’s terrifying, yet utterly compelling at the same time. Curious to see what you think if you end up reading it. Thanks Cilla! <3

  2. This book took me by complete surprise, it was so good! Like you I loved the mc, and her relationship with the other racers was definitely interesting. Felix in particular intrigued me. Luka on the other hand…meh, he felt like a typical ‘bad boy’ – I just wasn’t feeling him.

    I can’t wait to read the sequel now. Great review!

  3. AHHH I’M SO GLAD YOU LIKE IT!! I was tossing up whether to buy it or not??? But now I just am. Because I trust you. mwahahha. And also for FANS OF CODE NAME VERITY?!?! AFJDKSLAD THAT JUST GETS ME RIGHT THERE.

  4. I’m glad to see you liked this one. I really did too. I’m so curious for the second book, and I’m also happy it’s only a duology. I don’t like too long of series and this one doesn’t seem like it needs more than one book. Though I DO like that Wolf by Wolf stands alone in a lot of ways – it’s a full complete story with just enough to make you want to read on! πŸ™‚

    -Lauren

    1. I completely agree Lauren. It could have definitely been fine as a standalone, but I’m still intrigued about the sequel nonetheless. πŸ™‚

  5. I have been seeing this book around quite a lot but this is the first review I’ve read about it, and I have to say that I definitely want to check it out now. I’m extremely curious about this work! It’s especially scary to think about the Nazis winning the war and now I’m really interested. Great review!
    Krystianna @ Downright Dystopian

  6. I’m glad you liked this! Unfortunately, it just didn’t click with me. I couldn’t really get into the characters and though I loved the premise, I felt like it needed…something. I might try to hop back into it at some point. Maybe I’ll hook onto Yael; she’s definitely a badass.

    C.J.
    Sarcasm & Lemons

    1. Awww…I’m sorry this didn’t quite click with you CJ. πŸ™ I can totally see where you’re coming from though.

  7. I’m pretty curious about this one, actually. Ordinarily history isn’t something I’d gravitate toward — but damn, the twist on this one sounds so, so interesting! Yael sounds like a wonderful character too. I actually saw this sitting on the shelf in my local store the other day and was verrrrrry tempted to get it. πŸ˜‰ Maybe I’ll have to go back and get it.

    Lovely review!

  8. I swear I’ve seen this somewhere before, but I don’t think I was really sure what it was about or if it was for me. Now that I finally know what it’s about, it does sound unique! I’ll have to consider it since I’m curious about the characters now. I’m glad you liked it πŸ™‚

  9. I’ve been debating getting this one or not because ugh, what an horrid alternate history, I can’t. I used to love WWII books (Code Name Verity was so good) but now… I CAN’T read about it because it’s so awful. But everyone loved it and you did too so… What do I do?? And I just saw there was a sequel so… Did it end on a cliffhanger? Will I need to read it right after I finish Wolf by Wolf if I do buy it? #bookwormproblems Anyway, great review Zoe πŸ™‚

    1. I completely see where you’re coming from Lucie. It’s definitely horrifying to think about WWII, let alone read about it. Sometimes it feels too horrifying to be true. And it didn’t really end on a cliffhanger in my opinion – it set things up for the next book pretty nicely.

  10. This story sounds very engaging, love the sound of the alternate history and the compelling lead character. I am so glad you had fun with it! Excellent review <3

  11. Wonderful review. I recently received this book in my Illumicrate and now I am so excited to get to it. I just love the idea of the alternate world based on the Nazis winning the war. Plus I just love that they decide to celebrate each year with motorcycle race xD

  12. I cannot WAIT to read this. I was nervous, because to be honest, I didn’t *love* The Walled City. Okay, okay, I downright didn’t like it. I didn’t get any feels, really. But THIS! This sounds totally different! I love that Yael sounds like such an amazing character, and the alternate history thing fascinates me completely. I must get to this one sooner than later! Fabulous review πŸ˜€

    1. I wasn’t much of a fan of The Walled City either Shannon, but this is 1000x better. xD I really hope you do decide to give it a try and end up liking it as much as I did! Thank you!

  13. I’m currently reading this one (and am about 1/4 of the way through), and I agree with you 100% so far. Normally I wouldn’t be a huge fan of things like “skin-shifting” (I feel like shape-shifting is often just a lazy way for authors to make characters more easily accomplish their goals), but somehow Graudin is making it work. And I love, love, love the alternate history – YA needs more re-imagined historical backdrops!

    1. My thoughts exactly Emily. Here, it doesn’t feel like a plot device – it feels real and really helps remind us of all that Yael has gone through. πŸ™‚

  14. EEP so glad you liked this one Zoe!Seriously, it was a wild ride from start to finish. πŸ™‚

    The only slight problem I had was the controversial romance, because while I DID love the relationship between Yael and Luka, IT STILL WORRIES ME THAT HE DOESN’T KNOW WHO SHE ACTUALLY IS. Arhglas;. And wasn’t that ending just *SCREAMS*?! Talk about a cliffhanger to cliffhanger. Need the next book – NOW!

    1. It was SUCH a wild ride (no pun intended xD), wasn’t it? And I completely agree. I kept waiting for her to tell him, but she never did. Maybe in the next book?

  15. I’ve been eyeing off this book for a while now! So glad to hear that you liked it Zoe! I read The Walled City last year and felt like it was a bit too slow paced for me, but still enjoyable. I feel like this imagining of a world where The Allies lost WW2 is starting to become a thing (Amazon did a movie or maybe series on it too, which I’m keen to watch). Will definitely be giving this book a go!

  16. Oh my gosh, I didn’t realize that you read this too, Zoe! I agree with you on all the points you made. Yael is a wonderful female protagonist. Probably one of my favorites for her intelligence and strength (mentally and physically). But that ending though! Not a cliffhanger… but I can’t wait to read the sequel sometime this year. πŸ™‚

  17. Being a character driven reader myself I am loving the sound of these relationships and how much it really shapes the novel. I do need to read more historical fiction as well and this one is set in an interesting time. Adding it to the TBR!

    1. It’s great because this one can cater to both plot-driven readers and character-driven readers and deliver on both fronts. xD Glad to hear you’re intrigued!

  18. Reading this description I keep thinking “Whaaaat?” I have never heard of anything like this before- the synopsis is so interesting! I generally don’t look into historical fiction, but a book where the Nazis win? Totally intriguing. Definitely added to TBR.

  19. I keep hearing AMAZING things about this, but I was a bit apprehensive. The premise definitely sounds interesting, but I am a little worried that the horrors of the genetic experimentation and the concentration camps will be glossed over and not treated seriously, especially since the main character gets a superpower out of it. Do you think that’s an issue?

    I might have to add this to my list because you recommended it for Elizabeth Wein fans and Code Name Verity is probably my favorite book ever. If it’s anything like that, I should like it.

    Thanks for visiting Lost in My Library!

    1. That’s what I was worried about too Clara – that it would be used for plot purposes and nothing else. Luckily, though, it’s treated realistically and helps add to Yael’s fuel for vengeance. Can’t wait to see what you think of it if you decide to give it a try!

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