Blood for Blood (Wolf by Wolf #2) by Ryan Graudin
Buddy Read with Summer @ XingSings
Publication Date: October 6th 2016 by Orion Children’s Books
Rating: 4 Star
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Historical
Find: Goodreads | Amazon
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.
An exhilarating, addictive and emotional conclusion to what has become a favourite series. Blood for Blood picks up exactly where we left off, with Yael on the run and a series of events set in motion as a consequence. No one is safe and with more secrets set to be unraveled, this world is upended into warfare and chaos.
A lot can be said about the events of the book but it’s hard to do so without spoiling. However, the moments that made this book so impactful were due to the character insight in their fight for survival and demand for truth and justice. The theme of identity was at the heart of Wolf by Wolf and this theme is carried through into Blood for Blood. Yael’s skin shifting abilities and the torturous way she acquired them meant stripping away her identity. Shifting from one person to another helped ensure her survival but left a deep hole in her life and identity as she slipped one mask for another. In this book, Yael’s sense of self starts to take hold but to do that she has to face the ghosts of her past so she can embrace the possibility of a future. Her journey is remarkable and her strength is inspiring and incredibly moving.
Perhaps the most surprising development came from Luka Lowe. His cocky yet charming demeanor made him a likeable character in Wolf by Wolf, but his heart and compassion made it impossible to not love him in Blood for Blood. His decision to assist Yael at the beginning of this novel was driven by the need to survive. His decision to stay with her was one fuelled by emotions. As a character, his growth was beautifully developed and throughout the book we see Luka let go of the need to live up to the expectations of others and become his own man. His compassion and ability to see the real horrors of this world and the need to change it was exemplary. This is a man that can admit his fault in choosing to ignore the realities of this world. He uses his previous ignorance and compassion for those that suffered such horrors as a means of ensuring a change in this world, no matter what the cost. His devotion to Yael was also a high point for this book as both of them break down the barriers that shielded them from embracing the feelings and longing they held in securing a brighter future for themselves and each other. They were a team from beginning to end and the connection they had was unbreakable.
The realities and horror of war are a constant presence in this book and it is through Felix that we get to see how desperation and fear can lead people to do the unthinkable. The direction his character took was saddening and frustrating. His choices led to some heartbreaking consequences but the beauty of his characterisation is that you understand why he ultimately made those choices, no matter how painful they may be. Adele didn’t have much of a presence in this book but she was the character I genuinely disliked. Her words and actions were that of a girl who deemed herself a victim of the actions of those who suffered at the hands of the real monster.
This book was phenomenal. It’s was beautifully crafted and the character insights and their complexities were incredibly developed. As a story this had everything you could possibly want, but on an emotional level, this book was incredibly brutal and heartbreaking. A certain event left such a bitter taste in my mouth and it’s one I’ve struggled to accept due to the absolute injustice of it all. It’s an event you’ll either love or hate and personally I felt that a different consequence could have been just as, if not more impactful.
Regardless of the emotions I felt regarding this event, Blood for Blood is a satisfying conclusion to an addictive series. The characters remain to be the heart of the series and through them we get an insight into the complexity and struggle of those trying to survive in a war-torn society.
To sum up: