WOLF BY WOLF Iron Cross country
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.