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Blood for Blood (Wolf by Wolf) Hardcover – November 1, 2016
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From School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—This sequel to Wolf by Wolf continues the tale of Yael—a shape-shifting assassin in an alternative 1950s Europe and Asia in which the Nazis won World War II. Posing as Adele Wolfe, Yael has completed the Axis Tour motorcycle race and shot the Führer on the dance floor at the Victor's Ball. It is then that she discovers that her victim is a doppelgänger like herself rather than the real Adolf Hitler. In a dramatic escape from the SS, she rescues her fellow racers Luka Löwe and Felix Wolfe, Adele's brother. The three flee across the globe, trying to return to Germania as the world descends into a bloody revolution. Along the way, they encounter Soviet guerrillas, Resistance fighters, and ghosts from their pasts. Graudin has crafted a fast-paced historical fantasy that movingly transports readers into a world of hard choices, great injustice, and daring acts of love. The romantic elements are touching and wholesome and provide a welcome counterbalance to the fight scenes and military details. The story's conclusion, while not a completely happy ending, is all the more satisfying for its notes of sorrow. VERDICT Highly recommended for fans of historical fiction, alternate history, or works of espionage and intrigue.—Kelly Kingrey-Edwards, Blinn Junior College, Brenham, TX
* "Graudin's writing is beautiful, her story exciting and consuming all at once, and this sequel to Wolf by Wolf (2015) is not to be missed."―Booklist, starred review
* "Gripping and intricately plotted...this haunting, historical what-if fantasy balances the atrocities of this alternate world with touches of innocent romance."―VOYA, starred review
"Graudin has crafted a fast-paced historical fantasy that movingly transports readers into a world of hard choices, great injustice, and daring acts of love."―School Library Journal
Praise for Wolf by Wolf:
"A haunting portrayal of one girl's courage in the face of a vicious world. I was racing along with Yael until the book's heart-pounding conclusion. A triumph."―Megan Shepherd, author of The Madman's Daughter
"Ryan Graudin opens one of the darkest chapters in history and spins a what if into an incredible tale of survival, identity, and purpose. This is the kind of book you can't put down, and the kind that follows you long after you have. It is, quite simply, a masterpiece."―Victoria Schwab, author of The Archived, Vicious, and A Darker Shade of Magic
"The rush of an action movie combined with a flawlessly executed history, this is the book I've been waiting for. I loved Wolf by Wolf, and I'm not speaking to my friends till they've read and loved it too."―Jackson Pearce, author of Sisters Red and Tsarina
"Wolf by Wolf completely immerses the reader in a story they'll never forget. Filled to the brim with tension and intrigue, nonstop action, and a vivid cast of characters, you'll feel every bump in the road they ride. I simply couldn't stop reading--and wherever Ryan Graudin rides next, I'll follow."―Amie Kaufman, New York Times bestselling author of These Broken Stars
*"Graudin (The Walled City) crafts another fast-paced, enthralling tale of sacrifice and dogged determination as she fuses alternate history and spy-thriller suspense. A provocative rumination on self-preservation, the greater good, and the boundaries that keep heroes from becoming as cruel as those they fight."―Publishers Weekly (starred review)
*"Beyond its breath-taking climax, the novel provokes deeper questions about the 'moreness' Yael begins to see in her competitors' identities, and in her own."―VOYA (starred review)
"Graudin's prose is artful and addictive."―School Library Journal
"Alternate histories can be risky gambits, but in Graudin's capable hands, it pays off in spades. Yael is a compelling protagonist, both strong and flawed, and, even imbued as it is with sci-fi elements, seeing both WWII and the concentration camp experience through her eyes is a terrifying adventure."―Booklist
"Give this to fans of espionage novels, and strong female protagonists; some dystopian fans may even take to the resistance storyline."
―School Library Connection
"With this complex and well-crafted mix of action, emotion, and alternate history, Graudin provides something new and notable for readers of historical and dystopian fiction."
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Top customer reviews
Ryan Graudin’s BLOOD FOR BLOOD picks up right where WOLF BY WOLF left off, with Jewish death camp survivor and skinshifter Yael on the run after killing Adolf Hitler. Or, at least that’s what the rest of the world thought they witnessed. Because the truth that Yael discovered from this one act now threatens the resistance effort’s chances of overthrowing the Third Reich. With unlikely sidekicks in Luka Lowe (Axis Tour winner) and Felix Wolfe (twin brother of the girl whom Yael skinshifted as in WOLF BY WOLF), she now returns to Germany to finish the job she started – and she’s under no illusion that it might cost her her life.
BLOOD FOR BLOOD outdoes its predecessor in the ways that count most. The stakes are higher, the plot even more suspense-riddled, and the twists unexpected. But it also features many of the same ingredients that made WOLF BY WOLF a vicious delight. The re-imagined post-WWII settings are still sobering and grimly realistic. Graudin’s writing is still punchy and vivid. And Yael, though damaged and vulnerable, is still brave and inspiring. If anything, she maintains better control of her emotions this time and is more certain of herself than ever before.
So why did I love BLOOD FOR BLOOD more? Because I like Luka much more this time. He still seems like a cocky dummkopf at the beginning, but once I read his POV chapters I realized that was all a façade. This poor guy was a reluctant poster boy of the Third Reich who suffered verbal and physical abuse at the hands of his wounded veteran father. Luka desperately wants to do something better with his life, something he believes in and can stand for. And once he’s folded into the resistance’s protection and learns what happened to Yael before they met, he does.
And then there’s Felix. He’s still the caring, fiercely loyal brother-anyone-would-love-to-have that he was in WOLF BY WOLF. But gosh, he’s pushed to his emotional brink this time and forced to make some terrible decisions. And during his POV chapters, you can feel the twist and burn of his anger, fear, and despair. He may have disappointed me at times, but I understand why he did what he did – and I feel sorry for him, too.
No critiques this time. In fact, BLOOD FOR BLOOD was such an absorbing read that I lost track of the time and pages within the first 50 pages. This is by far the superior book in a gutsy, gripping, and ultimately hopeful and deeply human duology, and it will probably stay with me for a while longer. Bravo, Ryan Graudin. :)
Yael is one of my favorite literary characters. Her resilience in the face of injustice and hatred is awe-inspiring, and in this second installment, she continues to impress me with her strength. In many ways Yael’s story comes full circle in this one. She’s struggled with identity issues since she was a child when the experiments done on her stripped her of who she was. The accusation of “monster” has been hanging over her ever since her own mother muttered the word. Yael has spent so much time being other people in order to aid the resistance, but in Blood For Blood, Yael’s most important role is being herself. She must comes to grips with who she is and what she’s done, and an important person from her past helps her to reconcile these feelings.
Graudin weaves many of the characters’ pasts throughout, painting both tragic and hopeful stories. In this second novel, we get a look at Felix’s and Luka’s perspectives. Felix’s character was defined heavily by his desperation to keep his sister safe. Still grieving his older brother’s death, Felix is the glue that has kept his family together. He’s convinced that he must keep them all safe no matter the cost. Luka’s character arc is perhaps my favorite. The arrogant two-time Axis Tour victor should be a character you could easily dislike, but he proves to be more and not just through his relationship with Yael. Luka does a lot of soul searching in this one. He’s lived a pretty scot-free life and has had the privilege of not acknowledging the horrors that Hitler and his party have committed. Luka learns to accept his own culpability, realizing that ignorance does not equal innocence. He also must decide where to go from here, if he’s willing to remain indifferent or finally take a stand.
Blood For Blood is just as heart-wrenching as its predecessor. Many of the characters are broken in different ways and healing is a slow process. Sacrifices are not just an option, they’re a given in a cruel world that demands the highest price from those willing to fight for what is right.
Most recent customer reviews
Besides one heartbreaking thing (which I will be pretending didn't happen), this book was very good.Read more
I feel like Graudin addressed nearly everything I wanted to know after the ending of Wolf by Wolf.Read more