BLOOD FOR BLOOD by Ryan Graudin


From the "Wolf by Wolf" series, volume 2
Age Range: 12 - 16
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Graudin returns to her what-if-Hitler-won alternate 1956, concluding the story begun in Wolf by Wolf (2015).

After Yael’s failed assassination of Hitler (actually a skinshifter wearing his guise), the resistance seems doomed. Fortunately, opponent Luka follows when she flees; less fortunately, Felix, twin brother of the woman Yael has been impersonating, saw Yael’s tattoos (which do not change when she shifts appearance, although everything else, including mass, does) and conveys that clue to the SS-Standartenführer. All three are imprisoned, Felix as a double agent, then escape and fall in with the Soviets. The road trip back to Germania to again attack Hitler makes up the heart of the story, culminating in a showdown and war compressed into a few pages. As in the first book, Graudin’s unconventional syntactical choices (“the wolf-fierce…of her iron voice”; "blitzkrieg" as a verb) and frequently overworked metaphors (“Gossamer feelings…as sticky, fragile, complex, and beautiful as a spider’s web silvered in morning dew”) combine with a tendency to tell rather than show emotions, resulting in a strangely flat affect. Most problematic is the treatment of religion: Yael’s rediscovery of her Judaism is symbolized by eating challah, and the pivotal romance between a Jewish camp survivor and a Nazi poster boy will disturb some readers, no matter how conflicted and ignorant Luka may have been.

Strictly for fans. (Historical fiction/fantasy. 12-16)

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2016
ISBN: 978-0-316-40515-7
Page count: 496pp
Publisher: Little, Brown
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2016


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