Blood for Blood

blood-for-blood


Title: Blood for Blood

Author: Ryan Graudin

Series: Wolf for Wolf, #2

Publisher: Orion Children’s Books

Release Date: October 6th 2016

Rating:

Five Stars

The action-packed, thrilling sequel to Ryan Graudin’s Wolf by Wolf.

There would be blood.
Blood for blood.
Blood to pay.
An entire world of it.

For the resistance in 1950s Germany, 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 the New Order, and there is no alternative but to see their mission through to the end, whatever the cost.

But dark secrets reveal dark truths, and one question hangs over them all: how far can you go for the ones you love?

This gripping, thought-provoking sequel to Wolf by Wolf will grab readers by the throat with its cinematic writing, fast-paced action, and relentless twists.

– Blurb courtesy of goodreads.com

This review may contain spoilers for previous book(s) in the series.

My Thoughts On…

…The Plot

“The world heard it. People of all stations, colours, creeds…Aryan mothers and fathers with broods of blond children, a balding shisha merchant in Cairo, an oily-faced adolescent in Rome. Many stared at the screen – mouths slack, stunned eyes – trying to process what had happened. Others who watched understood. This was the signal they’d been waiting for. One – a frizzy-haired Polish woman by the name of Henryka – even smiled at her television, whispering, “That’s my girl,” before she stood and got to work.

At the end of Wolf by Wolf Yael thought she’d succeeded in the resistance’s plan to kill the Fuhrer, but the Hitler she shot was not the real Hitler. Instead he was a shapeshifter, like her, part of Experiment 85 which continued long after Yael’s escape from the camp. With no choice but the flee Yael needs time to work out what her next steps will be. When she fired the shot the resistance started moving, unaware Hitler is still alive, but as Yael runs across Tokyo she is not alone.

As the one who invited Yael to the Victor’s ball Luka is well aware that he will be the first person the SS interrogate if she manages to escape. In order to save his own skin Luka follows Yael and prepares to stop her until he sees her change from Adele to an anonymous Japanese citizen, blending into the shadows. Luka doubts anyone will believe his story so with no other option he continues to follow Yael.

“Fear is not an excuse,” Yael told him. “Fear is being human.”

However their escape proves to be for nothing as they are quickly caught by an SS patrol. Alongside Felix, who has already been interrogated and told the truth about the fact that Yael took his sister’s face and her place in the race, the three are transported to Germany. But “luck” proves to be on their side and the three manage to escape again, parachuting down to the ground and fleeing across the country in an attempt to make it back to Germany and reunite with the resistance.

Time is quickly running out for the resistance. With Hitler announcing his survival, reinforcing the idea that he is immortal, the resistance find themselves fighting a battle they aren’t ready for. For every country they take another is stolen back, and the fight for Germy is fought street by street. There is only one change, Yael has to finish the mission she started and kill Hitler. But while she can change her face Luka and Felix can’t, and travelling with the two of them paints a very clear target on her back.

…The Characters

“She’s been fully herself: Yael. Inmate 121358AX. The Fuhrer’s death. I am. I am. I am. And now?”

Yael has always believed that she was the only shifter, that after she escaped from the camp Experiment 85 ended with her, but after discovering the Hitler she killed was not the real Hitler she is forced to face the fact that a lot more happened in that camp than what she remembers. Yael is unsure what is happening to her people back in Germany’s resistance headquarters, but she needs to get back to them and she is prepared to lead Felix and Luka across Germany to reach her home.

However things are much more dangerous now. The SS know about Yael’s wolf tattoos and as the only thing that doesn’t change when Yael changes her face they mark her as the girl everyone is looking for. Yael doesn’t know much about her Jewish heritage but she pieces parts together in this book, trying to find again the girl who existed before the camp. Her religion is a big part of Yael’s character and it was nice to see it explored more in this book.

“Was it really so surprising that Yael was nothing like the slurs Luka’s father/teacher/Fuhrer spewed? That out of all the souls Luka had ever come across, hers was one of the brightest? It held the bravery of one hundred Iron Crosses, melted down and forged into something purer―a courage not corroded by cruelty.”

Luka becomes so much more than just the Victor in this book. As Blood for Blood was not just told from Yael’s perspective, but Luka’s and Felix’s as well, we learn more about their characters and backgrounds than just what the resistance could tell Yael during the race. Luka acts out in small ways against Hitler’s rule but he’s never done anything as dangerous as tagging along with the resistance. Luka’s main motivation has always been his relationship with his father but the more time he spends with Yael the more he starts questing his own motives. He is scared but faced with what happened to Yael and the other people in Experiment 85 he can no longer bury his head in the sand.

The relationship between Yael and Luka developed a lot more in this book. It started off in Wolf by Wolf but with Yael lying and wearing Adele’s face it was built on false grounds. In Blood for Blood, as Yael and no longer Adele, her and Luka connect on a deeper level sharing their fears and their secrets in ways they never could before. Yael makes Felix a better person, a braver person willing to stand up to Hitler and the SS.

“Mark my words, Herr Wolfe…There will be blood. There will be more than enough. The world is about to drown in it.”

Felix has dedicated his whole life to his sister, especially after the death of their older brother. He has given everything for Adele and he gave everything to Yael thinking she was his sister. Discovering Yael was not really Adele was a massive betrayal for Felix; he no longer likes her, or trusts her, or wants anything to do with her. He can’t forgive her deception but at the same time, with his whole family in danger, he knows the only way forwards is with Yael towards the resistance in Germany.

…The Setting

“Monsters cut children open and call it progress. Monsters murder entire groups of people without blinking, but get upset when they have to wash human ash from their garden strawberries. Monsters are the ones who watch other people do these things and do nothing to stop it. You and I are not monsters. If anything, we’re miracles.”

The setting for Wolf by Wolf was mainly the race and it seemed a world away from the Second World War which ended long before 1950 when this book is set. In Blood for Blood the war seems so much more dangerous; with the resistance fighting back against the SS there is so much more risk of death and destruction for Yael. The path she, Luka and Felix walk, outrunning soldiers and lying their way through the blockades, is terrifying at times. There was a lot of attention paid to the details of the war, everything from Hitler’s reign to the concentration camps and the scientists and experiments performed there. What we see in this book is so much more real and raw than what we saw through Yael’s memories, and it is just heartbreaking to read because this isn’t just fiction but something that happened to so many people.


Wolf by Wolf was a brilliant read but Blood for Blood was so much better. The stakes were a lot higher for Yael now that she can no longer hide behind Adele’s face instead she is forced to be Yael again. There was so much more to all the characters and the story was wonderfully put together; terrifying, adventurous and heartbreaking all at the same time.

What did you think of Blood for Blood? Was it a favourite of yours or could you just not get into the story? Let me know.

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12 thoughts on “Blood for Blood

  1. Beeeeeth! Wonderful Review ❤
    I finally got my copy and I'm almost half way through it and I'm loving it so much more than the first book which I didn't even think was possible. I'm loving all the politics and war talk, everything is so well written and detailed that I'm actually mind-blown and you're right when saying that WbW couldn't feel further away from the war but this is at the center of it and I'm just s in love with it *goes back to binge reading the rest of the book*

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Fadwa. ❤
      Oh I'm so glad you got your copy, and I cannot wait to see your review when you've finished as well. I'll be keeping a close eye out for it! 😀 It's amazing so far isn't it? Granted I don't know exactly where you're at but I can say that with confidence because the whole book is brilliant.
      Exactly, there's so much more at stake in this book because there's more for Yael to win or lose than just the race. Her, Luka and Felix are stuck in the very middle of it at the moment and with the resistance fighting there's just so much they could lose as well.
      I hope you enjoy the rest of the book. I'll definitely be interesting in hearing your thoughts on the ending as well. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. IT IIIIS!! I am at that point where the soviets gave her and the other girl the mission (can’t say who because I don’t want to spoil anyone on accident hahaha). Yeees! And I’m actually enjoying the blooming romance as well.
        Aaw! That’s sweet ❤ my review won’t be going up for a while though, I still have some reviews that need to go up before it.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. No I know what part you’re up to, although I guess you’re probably past that now in between you writing this comment and me replying to it. Also I was so surprised when the other girl (not going to say who either) was introduced but wow what an amazing twist right? Oh Luka is amazing, he was definitely one of my favourite characters in this book, just the way he developed and became more than the Victor we saw in the first book.:)

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Yeah now I’m done with it and I’m crushed and devastated and also extremely in love with the book. WHY DIDN’T YOU TELL ME THAT THIS BOOK WILL RUIN ME ? 😭
        Yes that twist was definitely one of my favorite parts of the book. And yes Luka is definitely a favorite of mine too *sobs* The development is incredible !!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Oh my god it was so amazing wasn’t it. I love Yael even more in Blood for Blood than I did in the first one and that ending. It was a perfect ending for her but so heartbreaking as well! I am sorry but I kind of thought it would obvious that this book would ruin you, it completely destroyed me!
        It was so unexpected, I actually had to go back and re-read it to make sure I hadn’t misread or anything and then I still expected it to be some cruel trick. I really wanted it to be some cruel trick and for it to have not actually happened! It really was, god this was just an amazing book, despite the heartbreak!

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Yael is probably my favorite female MC ever, with Lila from ADSOM. I can’t choose between them haha.
        Well I knew it would but not like that, not by doing that certain things that left me crying for the last few chapters of the book.
        I SWEAR I just kept hoping until she got the lion tattoo and then I went “well, I guess that’s it, it’s real!”
        Yes!! Truely brilliant 😍

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Same here, for both characters actually! But both are amazing characters in amazing stories as well so there’s that! 🙂
        I kind of got to a point where I thought it wouldn’t happen, to any character, but then when it did I was just even more heartbroken.
        I literally thought at some point he would just walk up to Yael again like, surprise, didn’t actually happen. (I hoped it was maybe another shapeshifter situation at first) but the lion tattoo sold it for me as well.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I was the same actually, I picked up Wolf by Wolf not knowing there was a sequel and was then stuck with an unbearable wait for this book to be released.
      But both books are amazing, I definitely enjoyed Blood for Blood that little bit more but I think you’ll love both Donna! 😀

      Like

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