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 twin’s brother, and Luka, her 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?
A speculative world where Germany won World War II, Wolf by Wolf, follows the story of Yael who has been tasked with the responsibility of killing Hitler. To do this, she must ‘shift’ into the guise of Adele Wolfe, the only female Victor of the Axis Tour, and win.
This book is amazing. I was enthralled from start to finish. Ryan Graudin has crafted an amazing world of dark intrigue and surveillance. The tension is palpable and you find yourself holding your breath on a number of occasions as you join Yael on her mission.
Yael is a likable character. She is as strong as she is haunted, and her focus is clear. Unlike a lot of other YA novels, her mind is on the task and romance is a far thought. With her strength comes fragility, and in this fragility is where we bond with her.
Our supporting characters are well realised. They are liked and loathed in equal measure (as they should). The presence of the Axis Powers is strong and foreboding. It permeates each page.
The action of the Tour is also an added excitement, and a strong metaphor for Yael’s task at hand. There are setbacks, disasters, and victories. The road is where allies and enemies will be tested, and these are captured strongly within the novel.
A strong start to the Wolf by Wolf series, I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for something different in the YA genre.