WOLF BY WOLF Iron Cross coun­try

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Re­views -

re­leased OUT NOW! 392 pages | Paper­back/ebook Author ryan Graudin Pub­lisher Indigo

Killing Hitler is such a hack­neyed idea in SF that you could be for­given for putting down Wolf By Wolf al­most as soon as you’d picked it up.

That would be a mis­take, as Ryan Graudin’s novel is re­ally all about con­cen­tra­tion camp es­capee turned as­sas­sin Yael – a shapeshifter. The plot sees Yael pass her­self off as a Nazi mo­tor­cy­cling hero­ine to com­pete in a gru­elling cross-con­ti­nen­tal race. A win will bring her close enough to Hitler – para­noid ruler of Europe in this al­ter­nate re­al­ity – to kill him.

While the en­durance test as­pect has some­thing of The Hunger Games about it and the ac­tion se­quences would trans­late well to the big screen, the del­i­cate han­dling of Yael’s trau­matic past (she was ex­per­i­mented on to change her looks) and re­al­is­tic re­la­tion­ships mean that the story has much in com­mon with Graudin’s ex­cel­lent de­but, The Walled City.

Where the novel falls down is in Yael’s shapeshift­ing abil­i­ties: she’s not able to change her “gen­der” but seems able to al­ter her height and weight – yet surely it would be eas­ier to im­i­tate a male face than to al­ter one’s mass? For­tu­nately the story is fast-paced and en­joy­able enough to speed you past that ir­reg­u­lar­ity. Miriam Mc­Don­ald

Yael was the name of a Bi­b­li­cal hero­ine who killed the leader of an en­emy army us­ing a tent peg.

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