Wolf By Wolf
The year is 1956, and the Axis powers of the Third Reich and Imperial Japan rule. To commemorate their Great Victory, they host the Axis Tour: an annual motorcycle race across their conjoined continents. The prize? An audience with the highly reclusive Adolf Hitler at the Victor's ball in Tokyo.
Yael, a former death camp prisoner, has witnessed too much suffering, and the five wolves tattooed on her arm are a constant reminder of the loved ones she lost. The resistance has given Yael one goal: Win the race and kill Hitler. A survivor of painful human experimentation, Yael has the power to skinshift and must complete her mission by impersonating last year's only female racer, Adele Wolfe. This deception becomes more difficult when Felix, Adele's twin brother, and Luka, her former love interest, enter the race and watch Yael's every move.
But as Yael grows closer to the other competitors, can she be as ruthless as she needs to be to avoid discovery and stay true to her mission?
From the author of The Walled City comes a fast-paced and innovative novel that will leave you breathless.
What worked: This intriguing, fast paced alternative universe thriller grabbed my attention on the first page. What I really loved had to be the wicked paranormal twist of Yael, a former death camp survivor who was experimented on by one of Hitler's doctors. Only in this case he created someone who could literally shed her skin and take on the appearance of anyone. This skill helped her survive. Yael's life is shown with flashbacks to the camp, to those who 'earned' wolves tats on her skin. These tats cover the telltale mark of being a prisoner and Jew.
After she joins up with the Resistance, Yael ends up with a task to take on the appearance of Adele Wolfe, the only female racer in the Axis Tour. She needs to not only race but win in order to go to the winner's ball so she can dance with the elusive Hitler. Only then can she do what so many others had failed to do--kill him.
I'm not usually a big fan of flashbacks but these work as readers see what led up to Yael joining the Resistance and the whys behind her agreeing to assassinate Hitler. She holds to herself but readers glimpse a haunting sadness and hunger to be normal and be around others that accept her. In the camps she was called 'the monster'. I think this drives her to harden herself with the task before her.
This story reminded me of HUNGER GAMES meets alternative world. Only add a paranormal element to the mix which is sure to appeal to readers!
There's a big complication though when Adele's brother shows up in the race making it hard for Yael to complete her task without giving away that she's an impostor. Add to that hints of a romance between Adele and another racer. Yael knows how to shoot, survive in war but knows nothing about things of the heart.
The race is fast-paced and goes through Germania to Rome, India, and Tokyo. There's also betrayals, alliances, and a wicked twist at the end! Love when that happens.
Engaging story set in an alternative universe where Hitler won and a girl that will do anything to bring down the man behind destroying her loved ones. Totally recommend for fans of alternative universes with paranormal twists.
2. Great paranormal twist
3. Think Hunger Games meets alternative world