Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin

review by Maryom
Even as a young girl, Yael was nothing if not a survivor - at first by keeping quiet, doing as she's told, despite the pain and suffering she undergoes as a scientific 'guinea pig', then when she sees a way, she escapes. Personal survival isn't enough for her though. Working with the Resistance she's determined to overthrow the vicious National Socialist organisation that has ruled Germany, Europe, the Middle East and much of Africa for years - by taking the fight right to the top, and killing Hitler. Now, she has her chance - to take on the persona of Adele Wolfe, the seventeen year old girl who won the round-the-world Axis Tour motorcycle race in 1955, and looks likely to do it again this year, and by impersonating her, get close to the Fuhrer himself. Yael's unique abilities, ironically given to her by experiments carried out in the camps, make her the ideal, if not the only, choice for the task, and the wolves tattooed on her arm, not only serve to hide her camp numbers, but to remind her of those who helped her on her way.
 So Yael changes her appearance, and learns to ride a motorbike, to become as competent and competitive as the girl whose place she will take, but all her research can't let her into Adele's mind - and the relationship between Adele and her brother Felix, and with fellow competitor Luka Lowe could prove to get in the way of Yael's plans.  
Set in an alternate past where Germany won the Second World War, rules Europe, and the resistance is still fighting to topple Hitler, Wolf by Wolf is both an exciting, fast-paced action adventure thriller, and a story of suffering, fear and determination to survive. Yael is a strong, independent heroine in the Katniss Everdeen mould, inspired by her personal history and by the injustices she sees around her, to take on this seemingly impossible task. The story slips easily between the 'present', 1956, and flashbacks to the years that Yael spent in Nazi concentration camps or in hiding with the Resistance, building up the back story that created the person she's become. 
It's a great read, gripping, and exciting, with every page filled with incident as Yael races her way from Germany to Tokyo, up against riders of equal calibre and determination - none of whom are going to accept second place without a fight!

Maryom's Review - 4.5 stars 
Publisher - Indigo/Hachette 
Genre -  teen/YA fiction

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