Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Me on Wolf by Wolf

Title: Wolf by Wolf
Author: Ryan Graudin
Release Date: October 20, 2015
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (Hachette Book Group imprint)

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's twin brother, and Luka, Adele's 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?

Wolf by Wolf is dangerous. Deadly. Deceptive. It's a race against time, a race towards revenge and away from the past. A race of secrets and lies and plots and plans.

Yael is a survivor of the death camps where German troops sent Jews to die. Yael is a soldier for the resistance, their secret weapon in a highly dangerous but hopeful plot of assassinating Adolf Hitler. Yael is an impossible thing, experimented on in the camps and made to be able to skinshift, to shed her own appearance and take someone else's. Yael is strong, powerful, passionate. She knows pain, suffering, death. Few things can break her. She rarely shows her true self to the world, the part of her that lives inside herself. The little girl that spent days on a train. The girl that was filled with chemicals until everything she was was stripped from her. She will get her revenge. But first she must survive the race.

This is the plot of the Reistance: to win the Axis Tour with Yael as Adele. But plots and plans are never so simple, never without complications. Disguise herself as Adele Wolfe? Yes, Yael can do that. Learn Adele's mannerisms and habits? Days are spent studying the files created on her, detailing her life. Recreate the secrets and relationships she had with those racing with her? With Luka? With Felix? Impossible. Yael can only hope that she says the right thing, knows the right thing. But secrets are called secrets for a reason. There are some things Adele Wolfe kept so hidden no one else knows. Yael's job goes from highly difficult to nearly impossible when these two appear in the race, up in her face. Yael knows how to fight, not how to handle family and personal relationships.

This is an exploration of survival and resistance, of oppression and hatred. Of defiance. The crimes of Adolf Hitler and the National Socialists were great and horrific. No human being deserves to be treated like that. Like they were unclean, trash, less than human, because of the colour of their skin, hair, or eyes. Because of their faith. Because of something they have no control over or cannot change. This alternate world is frightening, steeped in fear and caution. A must-read for historical YA fans, for fans of alternate histories. For those looking for a fast-paced story about a survivor and the lengths some go to for revenge.

(I received an advance copy of this title to review from Hachette Book Group Canada.)

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