Title: Wolf By Wolf
Author: Ryan Graudin
Her story begins on a train.
The year is 1956, and the Axis powers of the Third Reich and Imperial Japan rule. To commemorate their Great Victory, they host the Axis Tour: an annual motorcycle race across their conjoined continents. The prize? An audience with the highly reclusive Adolf Hitler at the Victor’s ball in Tokyo.
Yael, a former death camp prisoner, has witnessed too much suffering, and the five wolves tattooed on her arm are a constant reminder of the loved ones she lost. The resistance has given Yael 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 racer, Adele Wolfe. This deception becomes more difficult when Felix, Adele’s twin brother, and Luka, her former love interest, enter the race and watch Yael’s every move.
But as Yael grows closer to the other competitors, can she be as ruthless as she needs to be to avoid discovery and stay true to her mission?
I always enjoy a book that re-imagines history, and Wolf By Wolf is by far the most haunting but beautiful history makeover that I have read. I was very intrigued by the story, considering that the plot revolved around an idea that might have happened if Hitler had taken over the world. I felt that Ryan Graudin did a fantastic job with portraying the world as it might have been, with both historical elements and science fiction elements, and I enjoyed the flashbacks that were presented to show the motive of the protagonist.
But the problem that I had with this novel was that I felt it moved too slowly for my taste. The elements of the plot tried to move it along, but it still took me three months to finish the book because it didn’t grasp me as much as I would have liked. I also am not a fan of cliffhangers, because I feel that they are a cheap trick to get readers to buy more sequels, and this book left too many questions open; however, in terms of editing, originality, and artistic style, this novel passed with flying colors. It was just that the plot line was too slow, and the characters ended up being flat. I didn’t feel close to many of the characters, and while I will pick up the sequel because I am a fan of Graudin’s artistic style, I felt that this book was lacking in terms of adequate information necessary for the story line, and I felt that the characters were unrelateable at times. If this book had been shorter and the motorcycle race hadn’t been so drawn out, I think that it would have earned a well deserved 5/5. But despite my critiques, I am confident that this book will be a great book to introduce teens to World War 2. Any books that make history fun are winners in my book.
- EDITING = 5/5
- ORIGINALITY = 5/5
- ARTISTIC STYLE = 5/5
- PLOT DEVELOPMENT = 4/5
- CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT -= 4/5
Published by Ashley Nestler, MSW
Ashley Nestler, MSW is a survivor of Schizoaffective Disorder, Quiet Borderline Personality, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, multiple eating disorders, Fibromyalgia, and Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Ashley has dedicated her life to educating others on mental health and illness, as well as providing online resources for those who may experience barriers when seeking help for their mental health.
Ashley is also the author of "Beautiful Nightmare", "Into The Fog", and "Behind Broken Glass Walls". Her short stories and horror poems have been published in various anthologies. She is an educator on writing and loves to help authors through her book critiques and reviews. View all posts by Ashley Nestler, MSW