I want to make one this clear right off the bat: Ryan Graudin is a badass. Everyone should be aware of this. Here’s some proof:
The year is 1956, and the Axis powers of the Third Reich and Imperial Japan rule. To commemorate their Great Victory, they host the Axis Tour: an annual motorcycle race across their conjoined continents. The prize? An audience with the highly reclusive Adolf Hitler at the Victor’s ball in Tokyo.
Yael, a former death camp prisoner, has witnessed too much suffering, and the five wolves tattooed on her arm are a constant reminder of the loved ones she lost. The resistance has given Yael 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 racer, Adele Wolfe. This deception becomes more difficult when Felix, Adele’s twin brother, and Luka, her former love interest, enter the race and watch Yael’s every move.But as Yael grows closer to the other competitors, can she be as ruthless as she needs to be to avoid discovery and stay true to her mission?
It’s been a while, but here’s the story math. It’s very simple.
Hunger Games + Inglourious Basterds = Wolf by Wolf
What Intrigued Me: I haven’t read a lot of Alt History novels. I don’t know why. I find them fun, that slightly off-balanced feeling they create. It’s like watching the weird 1980s part of Back to the Future II on a loop.
Wait, am I the only one who finds that fun?
What Hooked Me: C’mon, this should be obvious. It’s about an international motorcycle race to kill Hitler. All those words separately are cool. Together, it’s fantastic.
What Made Me Fall In Love: Graudin is a beast at crafting thrillers. She gives you just enough rope to slowly strangle yourself with anticipation.
Too morbid? Probably.
But trust me, if you want to stay up waaaaaaaay too late reading, this is the book for you.