Blood for Blood by Ryan Graudin
|Blood for Blood by Ryan Graudin|
|Reviewer: Jill Murphy|
|Summary: Second and final book in sequence set in a world where Germany won WW2 and Nazi experiments on Jewish children has produced shapeshifting humans. Can Yael defeat the Wehrmacht? Interesting, moving and absorbing.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 496||Date: October 2016|
|External links: Author's website|
A quick recap and some spoilers so if you haven't read the first book in this sequence yet, scroll down...
There you go.
It's 1956. And a very different world from the one you'd expect. Germany won World War II and the Nazi project is in full flow. Lebensraum is expanding. The extermination project has spread to Slavs. Defeated Britain is irrelevant and the United States is pursuing an isolationist policy, hoping Nazism never makes it to the Americas. The main Axis powers of Germany and Japan have pretty much divided territory between them. To commemorate a victorious war, the two powers host the annual Axis Tour, a continental motorcycle race.
This year, the race had been infiltrated by the resistance. Yael, a young Jewish girl changed into a shapeshifter by Nazi experiments, took the appearance of Adele Wolfe and competed so that she could attend the Victor's Ball and assassinate the Fuhrer. But the man she shot wasn't the Fuhrer: it was another shapeshifter. Now, Adele is on the run from the Wehrmacht and fellow competitor and Hitler Youth hero Luka is on the run with her. Meanwhile, Felix, Adele's brother, will do almost anything to save his (real) sister and his parents.
Can Yael and the resistance find and kill the Fuhrer before the Wehrmacht finds and kills them? Is Luka to be trusted? Can Felix save his sister?
Ooh! You know, I think I enjoyed Blood for Blood more than I did the first book in this sequence, and I thoroughly enjoyed that. The action comes thick and fast as each of the three protagonists are forced together even though they don't trust one another and with the entire might of the Wehrmacht against them. Yael is a central character you can't help but root for - she's been abused and tortured and she desperately wants revenge. But she has a big heart and an unshakeable moral code. She has to kill but she never rejoices in it. There is a burgeoning attraction between Yael and Luka that is truly bittersweet and Luka himself has a journey of awakening that worms its way into your heart. And poor Felix! Caught in an impossible situation.
I won't tell you much more because you should take this rollercoaster ride for yourself and feel the exhilaration of it. Likewise, you should probably meet - and think about - the serious themes of racism, fascism and freedom for yourself.
Blood for Blood is a satisfying conclusion to the story and a great piece of alternate history fiction. Recommended.
You might also enjoy Auslander by Paul Dowswell, a well-researched and pacy WWII thriller about a Polish orphan taken in by a Nazi family because of his Aryan appearance. It's thoughtful and exciting - the perfect combination. Or, if alternate history is your thing, you could try Ancient Appetites by Oisin McGann - set in an alternative Victorian Ireland and in which the young heir to an important family becomes the reluctant hero in a Godfather-like journey to power.
You can read more book reviews or buy Blood for Blood by Ryan Graudin at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Blood for Blood by Ryan Graudin at Amazon.com.
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