Blood for Blood (Wolf by Wolf #2)
Author: Ryan Graudin
Publication: November 1st, 2016
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Format: Kindle Edition, 496 pages
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Science Fiction
Read: November 2016
There would be blood. Blood for blood. Blood to pay. An entire world of it.
For the resistance in the Third Reich, the war may be over, but the fight has just begun. Death camp survivor Yael, who has the power to skinshift, is on the run: the world has just seen her shoot and kill Hitler. But the truth of what happened is far more complicated, and its consequences are deadly. Yael and her unlikely comrades dive into enemy territory to try to turn the tide against Hitler’s army, and there is no alternative but to see their mission through to the end, whatever the cost.
But in the midst of the chaos, Yael’s past and future collide when she comes face to face with a ghost from her past, and a spark with a fellow rider begins to grow into something more. Dark secrets reveal dark truths and one question hangs over them all—how far can you go for the ones you love?
Plot – 4.5 out of 5 stars
I was totally and completed pulled into this book from the minute I started it, no joke. The plot is powerful, emotional and full of suspense. It was slow at first which threw me off a bit since the first book was so action packed. However, it was filled with twists and turns and dealt with death, violence, lots of blood, power and hope. I do have to say that every time I stopped reading, I was reluctantly to pick up the book again because I knew that it was gonna hurt and it fucking did. Not sorry for that curse word.
Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
I’ve come to really like Graudin’s writing style. It’s poetic in the way that she weaves sentences which sounds weird but it’s actually really cool while still keeping up the intensity, power and emotional within the characters’ voices and narratives. There’s several POVs and they all read very distinct to me. It’s simple, detailed, descriptive and very engaging.
Characters – 5 out of 5 stars
Goodness, this cast of characters. They definitely make this series for me, they are amazing and complex and interesting and I just love them so much. Yael is the baddest badass lady to hit the book world. Honestly, I don’t know this series isn’t more popular because she’s freaking amazing. She’s angry and yet kind and open to people. She’s really smart and savvy about the world she’s a part of. She’s determined and strong and stubborn. I absolutely love her development, specially in this second book. There’s so much that happens around her and to her and it changes the way she is in such a deep way but makes her so much better as a character. I just think she’s amazing and it’s astounding to me how she could push forward in life so much to get to the point where she is at the end of this book. There’s a lot of side characters in this book, specially ones where we get their POVs. I loved most of them, I can say that there’s one in particular that I do not like at all in this book. My opinion of them quickly went downhill and I am very, very mad about how their specific story line came out. However, there are a few other side characters that I love with every fiber of my being. I keep them in a safe little place inside my heart where all my little cinnamon rolls live happily ever after. Yes, I’m a weirdo.
This has become one of my favorite series of all time but it’s just so heart wrenching and intense! Like I could not handle everything that happened in this book!
The plot is powerful. We follow Yael right after the end of the first book as she works to escape Japan and warn the rest of the resistance of an unplanned obstacle in their cause. I will say right now that it’s really hard for me to properly articulate how I feel about this book. There’s so much fangirl energy connected to how this book makes me feel that I might not even coherently review it so I apologize in advance. The plot jumps between the past and the present in the lives of three of the more prominent characters in the series. It really helps get a different perspective not only on what’s currently happening, but also on what life in this crazy alternate history world is and can be from three completely different lives and perspectives which I think was very smart of the author to do. Every scene feels deliberate and intentional. Every single word, every single thing that happened, every character felt like it had a purpose, that it was meant to be there at that point at that moment to shift your perspective on everything you thought was going on in the book and it was just so. well. done. While I do have to say that there were some slow parts throughout the plot that dragged it and slowed my reading momentum, the action that was present was just as intense and brutal as I came to expect from the first book. There’s just something about it that makes you feel like you’re in particular danger yourself. I don’t know how she does it but I always feel like screaming and running away when there’s a particularly crazy action scene that has my heart in my throat. There were a lot of crazy and unexpected twists and turns that I did not see coming. I don’t know how I feel about a lot of them, it’s been a month and I’m still kind of shocked by the way some things went in this book. It’s still painful yet sometimes hopeful to think about them because yeah, that’s the mindfuck that comes with this book. It’s so agonizing for me to know that this is the last book in the series. That’s it. No more. And while I honestly believe that the ending was satisfying, it was so bittersweet and just freaking painful okay! I don’t think there’s any other way for this book to have gone that wasn’t as authentic and true to its story than the way it did here, but I still wanted something different dammit!
Yael is amazing. I feel like this little paragraph might be totally irrelevant to read because I’ve praised her already above but I just can’t help myself! She’s officially one of my favorite female characters, actually just one of my favorite characters in general honestly. She’s so so brave, more than I ever would be. She’s filled with a clear and intense determination to make her life matter and to make the best choices for the people around her that deserve peace and happiness. She’s kind and sweet and trusting (which by the way was not the best thing at this time but totally makes her such a great freaking person in general!). She’s just beautiful. And I’ve seen some people say that they don’t connect with her and I get why since she doesn’t even understand her own identity, but that just made her so much more real to me. Her struggles with identity go so far beyond my own and yet I still felt a sort of kinship with her.
I want to talk very briefly about my feelings on the side characters because there are a lot of them okay! First things first, I really fucking hate Felix in this book. In the first book, I really felt bad for him and his situation, considering how he didn’t ask for any of it and he just wanted to take of his family. But like, HOW DARE YOU BRO?! You are so easily brainwashed and conditioned that you screwed EVERYONE OVER! And he got the best ending out of everyone in my opinion which just made me really fucking salty to be quite honest. I’m still mad. There’s a character that is introduced in this book that pretty much blew my brains out through my ears because I was not expecting their presence whatsoever. It was a total game changer and an amazing addition to the way the narrative was told and I was definitely a fan by the end of the book. Last but not least, there’s Luka. I cannot articulate how my heart feels about him. I am in pain, I am in agony, I love him to tiny itty bitty pieces and no one can take that from me. He’s the humor in this dark time, he’s the stand out guy whose whole world is flipped over and he’s my precious cinnamon roll. That is all.
Overall, as you can see, I freaking loved this book. The plot was intense, it had action and it was emotionally powerful. There were some slow points and I had trouble picking up the book after I put it down but I’m so glad I completed it. The characters are amazing and complex and just really well written in my opinion. I wish there were more about them, I wish I could see from them more but I can’t and I am heartbroken. However, I am really looking forward to seeing what other amazingness the author brings to the world of literature.
So that’s it for this post! I am sorry if this makes no sense at all, it’s 11:30 pm on Sunday, Dec. 18th and I have a lot of feelings still. If you have read this series, please find me on Twitter and let’s talk about it! I need more people to agonize with me over it. I really really do. Thanks so much for reading and I’ll see you on my next post!