Release Date: October 20th, 2015
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Source: Publisher via Negalley
Genre: Alternative Historical Fiction/Sci-Fi
Rating: 4 STARS
Code Name Verity meets Inglourious Basterds in this fast-paced novel from the author of The Walled City.
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?
Wolf by Wolf was an entirely refreshing read. I haven't read an alternative historical fiction book and I was quite pleased with the way Wolf by Wolf turned out. I loved the mix of the shape shifting element and the idea of a race specifically in a post World War II time where Hitler wins the war. It creatively sets a riveting plot against a horrific backdrop. The shape shifting aspect wasn't at all out of element and we see how Yael was experimented on in a concentration camp to get a lighter skin tone creating an Aryan look. It was horrific but despite it being alternative historical it had a perfect mix of both fiction and realness to it.
Yael was a very determined character. She consistently remembered her mission and she wasn't flaky. She did not have much information on Adele which made her job all the more hard. She was torn on both sides with Felix, Adele's brother, and Luka, Adele's competitor and maybe something more? To be honest, if the story was just about Adele and the race, this book still would have worked but just not as complicated and I would have totally been into it. But Yael's role in the story just added to the complexity of Adele's life and the plot with Hitler.
The race itself was very intense and Yael had to make hard decisions. She needed allies and she needed to make quick choices. After the beginning, everything happens quickly and the fast paced-ness of it added to the danger of the race. Felix was an interesting character who I would most likely ship with Yael if there actually is anything between them. He made this race so hard for Yael. He was Adele's brother and she was in the dark for most of their conversations (even with Luka's) because she didn't understand the context which made it more suspenseful. I'm not exactly sure what I think about Luka. Both are characters I would really like to see in the next book.
Wolf by Wolf enraptured me and I was turning the pages until I reached the end. I'm so excited to see how Yael's story will play out and how the roles of Luka and Felix will also transform in the next book. I definitely would recommend this to anyone this seems interesting to especially those who are iffy because it's historical fiction. Everything about this book just worked out well. Happy Readings!