[Review] Blood for Blood by Ryan Graudin

18:40 Cilla P 4 Comments

"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?"

Title: Blood for Blood (Wolf by Wolf #2)
Author: Ryan Graudin
Publisher: Orion's Children Books 
Source: Bought
Release Date: 6 October 2016


Blood for Blood gave me one of the worst book hangovers I've had in the last few years, and I wasn't even finished reading. I read this book on a tram one morning, and had this moment of having to remind myself that I was in a peaceful, beautiful city - not war-torn Germany. There were times when I had to put the book down for a moment because I was getting upset, yet I'd pick it right back up. It's intense in terms of emotions and actions, and the stakes never let up once. In short, it lived up to every expectation I had following Wolf by Wolf.

My one complaint about Wolf by Wolf was that we saw the world solely through Yael's eyes, when the war was global and the side characters so compelling. In a way, however, that choice of point of view reflected the story. Wolf by Wolf was about Yael's mission; Blood for Blood is about the ripple effect of that mission.So, having multiple points of view makes sense this time, and boy did I love it.

During the Axis Tour, Luka Lowe and Felix Wolfe inadvertently became a part of Yael's journey, and now we get to see them actually be aware of the rebellion. Each reacted in their own way and, more importantly, we get to see why they reacted the way they did. I wanted to scream at some of the decisions one of them made, but those decisions make sense given the character's motivations. I wasn't particularly enthralled by the romance, but I understood why and how it happened for the characters.

Internal screaming wasn't my only reaction to the book. Graudin didn't shy away from the ugliness of her fictional war, or of the very real Holocaust. At one stage of the story, Yael found herself back in the camp, and I think I might have held my breath for her that entire time. It strikes me afresh how horrifying that period of history was every time I read it. That particular stage of the story also reminds me how easy it is to be ignorant to atrocities when you're on the safe side of the war, even if you don't mean to be. The vivid description of the scenes made my reactions stronger (see aforementioned book hangover).

Not only was it an emotionally intense book, it was also intense in terms of action. There was no real moment of rest, only terse pauses in between action. If the book had gone on for longer, I would have found it exhausting. As it was, it was well-paced and engaging, with just the right amount of plot twists.

All in all, it was a thrilling and fitting conclusion to Yael's story. I came to it with high expectations, and I walked away a happy (and emotionally wrecked) reader.

Have you read Wolf by Wolf? And if so, are you looking forward to Blood for Blood?
Do you like novels set in an alternate history? Any recommendations?

Reading this book contributes to the following challenges:

  • Goodreads Challenge
  • Around the World 2016


  1. IM SO HAPPY YOU LOVED IT!! I'm still in the middle of it (slow reading bc of exams, but i reckon I'll speed right through it now), but I can't wait to finish it now! :D

    1. I saw that you finished it! I look forward to reading your thoughts on it :D

  2. I loved this book too!! Hoping to get my review up this week---I want everyone to read this series!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    1. I'm looking forward to reading your thoughts on it! It's definitely one of those series I'd push on everyone :D


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