Ryan Graudin’s Wolf by Wolf is an alternative history story that takes place in a world where the Axis powers won World War Two and is set during the 1950s. Our main character, Yael, enters a motorbike race, the prize of which includes a chance to publicly meet Adolf Hitler. The story follows her journey on this race, and her plans to assassinate Hitler and start the resistance.
The race aspect of this story often reminded me of The Hunger Games as in many parts in was not so much a race to win, but a race to survive the longest. The race was thrilling and exciting and had me on the edge of my seat. During the race we are introduced to a potential for a romance. As the romance was hinted, I couldn’t help but think it was hugely unnecessary to include a romance in the plot, as surely Yael has enough on her plate and would be prioritising other things? Though I wasn’t a fan of this relationship, I did really enjoy the Felix/Adele relationship throughout, as we aren’t often shown sibling relationships in young adult literature to the same extent, and their relationship was all the more important than the romantic one.
I really enjoyed the historical fiction/alternative history aspect to the story, and I also enjoyed the science fiction aspect too, but I really struggled to believe both at the same time. In isolation, both of these ideas are great concepts, but together I found them a little unbelievable. I also didn’t realise that this book was the first in a series which disappointed me a little because I was looking forward to a historical fiction standalone.
The action scenes were great and the concept was really intriguing, though at times the book fell a little flat for me. Overall I’d give it three and a half out of five stars.