Series: Wolf By Wolf #2
on November 1st 2016
Source: Author Review Copy
Genres: Action & Adventure, Historical, Romance, Young Adult, War & Military
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The action-packed, thrilling sequel to Ryan Graudin's Wolf by Wolf.
There would be blood.Blood for blood.Blood to pay.An entire world of it.
For the resistance in 1950s Germany, the war may be over, but the fight has just begun.
Death camp survivor Yael, who has the power to skinshift, is on the run: the world has just seen her shoot and kill Hitler. But the truth of what happened is far more complicated, and its consequences are deadly. Yael and her unlikely comrades dive into enemy territory to try to turn the tide against the New Order, and there is no alternative but to see their mission through to the end, whatever the cost.
But dark secrets reveal dark truths, and one question hangs over them all: how far can you go for the ones you love?
This gripping, thought-provoking sequel to Wolf by Wolf will grab readers by the throat with its cinematic writing, fast-paced action, and relentless twists.
Disclaimer: May contain mild spoilers for Wolf by Wolf, which you can find the review here.
Fast-paced and full of action and raw emotion, Blood for Blood tells an unforgettable story of revenge, redemption, and revolution. We start immediately from the end of the previous book Wolf by Wolf, as Yael realizes that the Hitler she shot was not Hitler, but a skinshifter pretending to be him. However, the beginnings of revolution are already set in place and all she can do is go with the flow until touching back with base. Along for the ride is the double victor Luka and the family-oriented Felix Wolfe, both of whom realize in the beginning of the book that Yael is not Adele Wolfe.
Although readers are thrown into pandemonium, the author does a good job in reminding us what previously happened. This duology is set in an alternate WWII period where Hitler used Jews and other “unworthies” as lab experiments. Yael, or experiment 85, was the breaking point of these experiments, as the SS finally discovered how to create a human who can shift skins – basically become whomever they can visualize. Unlucky for them, Yael escaped and became a part of the rebellion against the Nazis. In the previous book, Yael pretends to be a renowned racer, Adele Wolfe, to get close to Hitler and assassinate him. What she didn’t plan on was meeting the unknown variables named Luka Wolfe, Adele’s protective twin brother, and Luka Lowe, Adele’s ex-boyfriend and enemy. She develops unexpected relationships with these boys. One thing I didn’t really like in Wolf by Wolf was all the deception going on, but that is quickly rectified in this book. Luka realizes that the not-Adele he still had feelings for was actually a rebel with bright eyes, while Felix gathers a new fear on where his actual sister is.
Who was she then?
Who was she now?
How much blood does it take to create a devil?
How much red would it take to change things?
Would the world ever be even?
The characterizations in this book was absolutely amazing to read about, and I enjoyed it immensely. Although the story is packed with action, Graudin doesn’t skip out on the character development and revelations. The book alternates between the POV’s of Luka, Felix, and Yael, all of whom discover different things about themselves and the world they live in. Their voices were so raw, so real, that my heart couldn’t help but crack a little while reading. Especially Luka – so many feelings for him! We see him as the poster boy for Nazis, someone who had their own motivations for racing but never had the courage to reach out to make a change for what he believes in – until it was almost too late. His progression was one of my favorites, and I loved him in this story more than ever. Felix is waging his own inner conflict between saving his family, and saving the hegemonic Nazi belief that is plaguing the world. How far will this boy go to save his family? And how far can the word “sorry” take you against threats and blackmail?
‘There will be blood. There will be more than enough. The world is about to drown in it.’
Yael was so strong, so fearless in the book despite all that was going wrong. When she finds out that the Hitler she killed wasn’t actually Hitler, she doesn’t stop and cry in failure but restarts with new purpose. Props to her for taking Luka and Felix as well, even when there were so many moments to leave them. Yael undergoes her own character arc (which is technically continued from the previous book) as she discovers old friends and sets out on new missions that would confront the past. The whole book was just non-stop, heart-pounding, and really makes you think. (While ripping your heart to shreds but hey it’s all good).
There was some minor progress with the romance in this book, but it’s still put in the background with all that’s going on. Luka has to work out his own problems with Adele, Yael, and Yael-being-Adele. It’s never too dramatic, and definitely an addition that enhances the plot without becoming too cumbersome.
Scheisse, he loved her. It was a painful, razor feeling. An emotion that rose up in him like a phoenix – made of ashes and burning, so much stronger than it had ever been before.
While I adored the characters and plot in Blood for Blood, the book also cuts into important matters like fear blinding us and the consequences of just standing by. Humans aren’t perfect, and we’re susceptible to matters of the heart like family and lovers, but nothing will change if we don’t try to make a difference, which is what Yael and her rebellion lives for. People may be passive and believe in lies, but they also have to realize their weakness may be the death of others. We all know the painful story of Hitler and the Holocaust, but how much of it could have been prevented if people ignored the mob mentality that covered the country?
Yael was not a monster. Luka was not the next generation of national Socialism. They were what the Reich would come to fear the most. A Jewish girl and a German boy holding the future and the past in their hands – together.
Get ready to jump on this emotional, action-packed, heart-wrenching ride of a book. Reading from Yael, Luka, and Felix’s perspectives had me tearing at times because the author writes them with such raw emotion. The satisfying ending is enough to be bittersweet yet understandable, creating an unforgettable conclusion. Fans of historical fiction, science fiction, and adventure can’t miss out on this. I would still recommend it for fans of all stories though, because this is one unforgettable story.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Thank you The Novl and Little, Brown Books for the review copy!