The Wolf by Wolf Series Has Some Impressive Storytelling Chops!

In a world, where every villain is a Nazi, I introduce to you… a book where all the villains are Nazis 😉 But wait! This one’s slightly different to your average book- because this is set in an alternative reality, where the Nazis won WW2.

Things kicked off in Wolf by Wolf in a strong fashion. With incredible pace and writing that was nothing short of magnificent, Graudin introduced our heroine, a genetically modified Jewish girl, on a mission to kill Hitler- sounds good right? Well, I’ll admit there were some teething problems for me when it came to world building (possibly because I often struggle with alternative history- something about my brain leaves me totting up all the details and wondering “but could it have happened this way, really?”). For me personally, though this won’t be a problem for everyone, the story snagged on a few details:

  • hitler-nein-nein-neinFor starters, if the Nazis had won, I don’t think there’s any version of the Third Reich that didn’t mean more fighting and more flames and more death camps.
  • While there were points when the Allies could have lost, Hitler, poor strategist that he was, never could have taken over the world (let alone held it). This was something Graudin pointed out in her notes, but pointing something out doesn’t solve the problem. Aside from the instability of the regime, the idea that Hitler was somehow superhuman (propagated by Aryan propaganda) was smashed to bits long before the Allied victory with his incompetent decision making. In fairness, the book does a lot to dispel this myth (which I can’t get into for spoilery reasons)- nonetheless posing the idea baffled me for large portions of the first book.
  • Lastly, I liked when Japan was used as a setting, yet the whole Nazis wearing kimonos thing is beyond ridiculous- Nazis weren’t known for appreciating other cultures.

I think I could’ve liked the first installment more if I hadn’t been distracted by this. Still, even if I had trouble suspending my disbelief, this didn’t deter me from continuing with the story. Although I saw some of it coming, the finale of Wolf by Wolf was so exhilarating, I knew I had to read on. I made a brief detour into the novella Iron to Iron, but while the writing was as incredible as the other two books, I unfortunately I found the story a bit of a waste of time, since there really wasn’t any new information here or purpose to the story.

However, when I entered the last lap of the story, Blood for Blood, I was happy to see this was where the narrative really hit its stride. All the highs and lows were in the right place; I was on the edge of my seat, feeling the roar of tension around me. The mounting drama had me engaged and ending was as explosive as you’d want. And it didn’t hurt that it tugged on all the heartstrings! Sure, parts were predictable, yet ultimately I got everything I wanted out of the story. And I found, because of that, I had an easier time just getting lost in the world and not in the minutia of history. Like all the best series, it ended on a high and you can’t ask for more than that!

Overall, I gave this series:

Rating: 4/5 bananas

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So have you read this series? Do you plan to? Let me know in the comments!

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36 thoughts on “The Wolf by Wolf Series Has Some Impressive Storytelling Chops!

  1. Emma's Library says:

    I read this duology a few years ago and really enjoyed it. Although the alternate history is a bit on the illogical side, I didn’t mind it that much.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. alilovesbooks says:

    Great review. I’ve had Wolf by Wolf on my kindle for a while but have never gotten around to reading partly I think because I was never entirely sure what it was about. I do like Graudins writing though and think I could suspend my disbelief. I love alt history more than actual history.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Zoe's Library says:

    I’ve had the first book in this series on my TBR in the past, but I never got around to it. I honestly don’t know if I ever will considering I read mostly adult fiction these days, and I have tried Graudin’s other novel ‘Invictus’ and didn’t like the writing style. It still sounds intriguing though, so it’s sitting at a comfortable ‘maybe someday, but probably not’ for me.

    Great review as always! Keep being awesome

    – Zoe

    Like

  4. cryptomathecian says:

    The subject of Axis supremacy as a fictional dramatic device began in the English-speaking world before the start of World War II, with Katharine Burdekin’s novel Swastika Night coming out in 1937. Subsequent popular fictional depictions of an Axis-powers victory include: The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick (1962), SS-GB by Len Deighton (1978), and Fatherland by Robert Harris (1992).

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Lois says:

    I agree with you about Iron to Iron and truthfully the only reason I read it was because I wanted more Luka, who’s fate I’m still bitter about!! I can understand why those illogical mechanisms would frustrate you, even I was questioning some of them, but what I loved the most about this series was that exploration of identity and Yael’s journey was beautiful. I’m glad that overall you enjoyed it.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Krysta says:

    I have similar problems with alternative history. Once I saw a review for one where the South won the American Civil War. I think it was set in the 1960s? and there was still slavery. But I think the South would have had to abolish slavery by then if they wanted to trade with the North, England, etc. I just think diplomatic pressure would have been too great for 1860s America to be going strong 100 years later. I found the premise so far-fetched I never even looked for a copy of the book.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. BookerTalk says:

    I can’t see Nazi’s adopting the culture of a non Ayran race either. Th only altrnative WW2 book I’ve read was Dominion by C J Sansom – at least he is a historian so we know he bases his ideas on a good grasp of the situation

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Beth (Reading Every Night) says:

    I’m glad you enjoyed this series. I really love the Wolf by Wolf books and I didn’t pick up on some of the historical inaccuracies (can you call them historical inaccuracies when this isn’t technically real history, I’m not sure what else to call them) but I’m glad you were able to look past them to enjoy Wolf by Wolf. Blood for Blood was intense, especially the ending that was an incredible end although one part of it broke my heart (you probably know what part.)
    Great review for this series. 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • theorangutanlibrarian says:

      Thank you! (hehehe I think so… but then I’m not sure what else to call them either 😉 ) I’m glad I was too- because I think it’s a great series- and I think I was able to because the writing is just so good!! Definitely agree!!!
      Thank you!! 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  9. waytoofantasy says:

    The story must have been pretty engaging if you had those nitpicks and still gave it four bananas! I can see how some of those things were nitpicks though, they probably would have stood out to me too.

    Like

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