Monday, October 12, 2015

Mark This Book Monday: ARC Review of Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin!!

Hello guys!

I'm back after a lil break since last week I took a trip to London with my younger nephew and I didn't have the time or energy to leave some scheduled posts!

I promise to share photos from my trip as soon as my laptop and my phone stop acting up and decided they want to talk to each other, because right now, I cannot get the photos from the phone to the lappy! *frustrated groan*

For this week's Mark This Book Monday I have one of my ARC from BEA for review and one that goes very well with my goals for October to read more diverse books because this one has a Jewish protagonist in a Third Reich victorious world, and if that doesn't make us reflect on diversity and the importance to not ignore the voices of all, I don't know what will!

Wolf By Wolf (Wolf By Wolf, #1)Wolf By Wolf by Ryan Graudin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My first Ryan Graudin book and I couldn't have chosen a better one! WWII was always a subject that was engrossing, fascinating and revolting at the same time for me.

A book with an alternate history were Normandy, operation Overlord and Day D did not happen... it's again both fascinating and beyond scary and the author handled it perfectly.

Yael, our main character is as complex as they come. She was a Jewish girl taken into one of the Nazi camps and used as a the first subject in a cruel experiment by Doctor Death himself. But Yael uses her new abilities to escape the camp and finds herself with the resistance. But after all Yael is not sure who she really is anymore, who is the real she if she can be anyone? I loved how she used her pain and her memories to by her center and to feel who she really is.

If you are wondering what the Wolf by Wolf title does have to do with the book, well, you very soon understand that it is extremely important and that wolves have a relevance to Yael and to the story, in more than one way! Very cleverly done by author!

The book is told in alternating both the now and the then, as we follow the unfolding of the plot to assassinate Hitler by getting close enough to him by winning a race (impersonating a previous winner) and as we learn the past of Yael and her wolves.

Jumping from one time to the other was never jarring in the story, at least for me, it managed to give an extra layer to everything that was happening in the now as well as providing context and character growth to Yael without having to insert it forecefully somehow in the main present line of narrative.

The tension of the race was always there, not only in the shape of the dangers of the race itself, the tension of having to win, the rivalry and the probable dirty tactics used by rivals, but also in the risk of discovery by two people that were close to the rider that Yael is impersonating: her brother Felix, and a fellow rider that had relationship with her that was never know in a paper trail, Luka.

Yael has to bluff her way through tangles of a past that she knows nothing of and avoid discovery at all costs to protect her mission, and at the same time, she finds herself tangled in Adele's life and needs more than ever to remember who she really is and what her mission means, to her, her wolves and the world.

The world building was quite fascinating, not just because we visit quite many places along the race from Germania (former Berlin) to Tokyo, but also because the author has to imagine what sort of society would have emerged from a Third Reich victory. And she does that brilliantly, painting a society that keeps on making me thankful to live in the society we do, despite the many flaws that it might have nowadays!

A fantastic book that leaves us with an ending that opens for even more questions and that packs quite a punch of surprises! Cannot wait for the sequel!! Very well deserved 4 to 4.5 stars!

View all my reviews


  1. I have seen a few reviews for this one and it looks so interesting!

    Kate @ Ex Libris

    1. It's fantastic Kate! It wasn't on my radar for BEA but all my friends were grabbing it and pushed it on me and I'm so glad I did!

  2. This sounds so exciting!
    I haven't read many WWII books, but I want to read more soon!
    What a great review, Pili!

    1. This is more of a what if, alternate history, but quite awesome Lis!

  3. Normally time jumps, like multiple POVs are a struggle for me, but when they're done well I love the suspense of them. Sounds like in this case the now/then shifts are definitely a positive rather than a negative:) I have this one on my shelf Pili, I can't wait to read it!

    1. This was done really well, Jenny! I cannot wait to hear what you think of it when you read it!

  4. This book sounds so fantastic! I adore alternative history, especially of the time period that the book is dealing with. Looks like it tackles some difficult issues head on and utilise POV in an interesting way. I am excited to check it out, fantastic review!

    Aentee at The Social Potato

    1. Thank you Aentee! I hope you'll check it out!

  5. Ahhhhh, I loved this book. So, so much. I'd enjoyed Graudin's previous three novels, but this is my favorite of hers. NEED. THAT. SEQUEL.

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

  6. Yaaay :D Gorgeous review Pili. <3 So thrilled that you mostly enjoyed this one :D But aw, a bit sad that it wasn't a five star for you, lol, like it was for me :) But you still loved it, and that makes me so happy. Sigh. It was just amazing :D I simply cannot wait for the sequel. <3 For that ending was evil, lol. Sorry for taking so long to comment. <3 Hope you are having an amazing week sweet girl :D


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