Review: Wolf by Wolf Duology

 Wolf by Wolf 
Author: Ryan Graudin
Series: Wolf by Wolf, Book 1
Release date: October 20, 2015
Published by: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
My rating: 4 stars 

It starts with Yael riding on a train. She's standing up and packed in tightly with many, many other women for many hours. Yael's listening to the train say her name, "Ya-el, Ya-el, Ya-el..." 

Yael is on her way to a death camp where she ends up being selected from a line of women just as after they are taken from the trains to be a part of an experiment to create the perfect Aryan "potion". The results? - Yael does become different from the experiments, and feared among the other prisoners because of her extreme physical changes. Except she also acquires an ability that she keeps carefully hidden from the Nazis. Yael can now become any female at any time just by picturing them in her mind. 

After escaping the camps and the Allies losing the war, Yael goes into hiding. In 1956 she has one goal - to kill Hitler. She will train and become the 1st female winner of the Axis Tour, Adele Wolfe. She will win and dance with Hitler at the ball where she will kill him once and for all in front of millions. 

Author: Ryan Graudin
Series: Wolf by Wolf, Book 2
Release date: November 1, 2016
Published by: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
My Rating: 4 stars

Yael is on the run after what happened at the Victor's Ball. She and members of the resistance are now deep in enemy territory. 

Will they be able to make people realize they have power and can resist the Third Reich? Will the tides of war finally turn in their favor? And then there's an epic shock from the past that she never saw coming.

My thoughts on the Wolf by Wolf Duology: This set was a roller coaster ride that grabbed me from the beginning and had me hanging on every turn of the race and beyond. Yael was a great cold-hearted and tough character. She was resilient beyond any imagining.

The things that Yael has to go through herself and the things that she is a witness to are horrific at the hands of the Nazis. Just the fact that she is able to live long enough to get away from them is unbelievable to begin with. The reason she becomes a force to be reckoned with is directly because of the horrific things she has seen and done throughout the war and then afterwards. The big question is, Will she be able to stay cold and distant with a singular goal of winning the Axis Tour while taking on someone else's persona? What about when Adele's brother shows up in the race? Will she be able to keep her head in the game when there's someone dogging her heels that "knows" Adele? In my opinion, she does but she also cracks a bit showing a part of herself she doesn't mean to. Is this a mistake though? Does she know Adele enough to show parts of herself? I'll leave that to the reader to decide.

Book 1: This was filled with characters that were mostly in the race, the camp, or the resistance. They were all fierce in their ideals and reasons for being where they were. I liked how Graudin created these characters with more depth then just "they were there". I think this gave the whole book a deeper emotional hook. Even though it was slightly predictable there were still some shockers here and there which were fantastic. 

Book 2: This book takes us beyond the big goal of killing Hitler, and into the wild yonder of the world. You get a better sense of the "big picture" world-wide and how the resistance functions. There are characters that you meet for the first time who are, again, written deep enough that you get a nice sense of all the big players. Yael also gets a HUGE shocker that blows your mind, her mind and ultimately shifts everything in a big way. 

Last thoughts: I really liked the idea of this set and how it all played out seamlessly form book to book. What I wasn't a huge fan of, was the lovey-dovey bits because they were very "love triangle for teens" which I personally struggled to connect with in this one. Should you read it? YES! Am I going to read more by her? YES - I cannot wait to read Invictus by her! I hear it's great for Firefly fans = AWESOME! If you don't know what Firefly is, I cannot even talk to you. LOL! 
What did you think of this one?