Review: Blood for Blood by Ryan Graudin

blood-for-blood Publisher: Orion Children’s Books
Release date: October 6, 2016
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Pages: 496
Goodreads || Book Depository

There would be blood.
Blood for blood.
Blood to pay.
An entire world of it.

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?

This gripping, thought-provoking sequel to Wolf by Wolf will grab readers by the throat with its cinematic writing, fast-paced action, and relentless twists.


5 stars

Blood for Blood is the sequel of Wolf by Wolf, which means that this review may contain spoilers for the first book.

Wolf by Wolf was one of my favourite releases of last year and I’ve been highly anticipating Blood for Blood since last year. And it definitely did not disappoint. Wolf by Wolf ended on a bit of a cliffhanger and I had absolutely no idea what to expect from this sequel other than more fantastic storytelling and lots of intense action. Ryan Graudin definitely delivered both of those things and I can say that this was one of my favourite releases of this year.

Blood for Blood picks up exactly where Wolf by Wolf ended, with Yael running away from the ball. It’s a little bit hard to describe exactly what this book is about because there are so many things going on, but throughout the novel, Yael and her comrades escape from various foes and work with the Resistance to bring down the Third Reich and the Fuhrer. I absolutely loved the plot of this book. There were countless unexpected twists that kept me on my toes, and it’s definitely a book where nobody is safe from death. There was never a sense that our beloved characters were untouchable and I really enjoyed that about the book (even though I will protect my babies until the end of time). This book was extremely action-packed even though it wasn’t as fast-paced as Wolf by Wolf. I thought the pacing was perfect for the story and I loved the intensity of everything that was going on. Some of the events in this sequel had me visibly shaking and it’ll take me a little while to get over all the feels. The last 100 pages of the book absolutely blew my mind and I really loved how everything was revealed and tied together neatly at the end. There was definitely a lot of internal screeching as I was reading Blood for Blood, but it was completely worth all of the pain and fear I felt.

Was it really so surprising that Yael was nothing like the slurs Luka’s father/teacher/Fuhrer spewed? That out of all the souls Luka had ever come across, hers was one of the brightest? It held the bravery of one hundred Iron Crosses, melted down and forged into something purer – a courage not corroded by cruelty.

I absolutely loved the characters in this book, even though we have a potential traitor in our midst. I appreciated Yael so much more in this book because she was completely herself and not a fake Adele Wolfe. I loved her compassion, her strength and her convictions and she’s definitely one of my favourite fictional heroines because of these qualities. Her resilience was astounding and I enjoyed everything about her character. I also continued to love Luka in this book, which is probably a surprise to no-one because I loved him immensely in the first book. We got to see so much more of his character and I really connected with him and his story. I love every side of his character – his cockiness, his ability to find humour in every situation and his love for doing what he thinks is right. As for some of the other characters, I really did not like Felix in this book. He really grated on my nerves but I did like the way that his character was developed. I also really enjoyed seeing some of the characters that were mentioned in Wolf by Wolf. It was nice to see them make an appearance here in the book and to see the relationship that they had with Yael.

There wasn’t a lot that I didn’t like about this book. While it didn’t have the excitement of a fast-paced motocross race, it did have war, strategy, survival, family and love all wrapped up nicely into one book. My only criticism would probably be that there isn’t another installment.


8 thoughts on “Review: Blood for Blood by Ryan Graudin

  1. Lois says:

    I’m so happy to enjoyed this book so much. I am so nervous to read the book because I know Graudin is not one to sugar coat things so I’ve been fearing the worst for some characters. I love that there’s an intensity to the book and I can’t wait to see where Yael’s path takes her.
    I’m intrigued by your comments on Felix but I’m so glad we get to learn more about Luka. I can’t wait to read it. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jenna @ Reading with Jenna says:

      Yikes, I’m just the worst. I can’t believe I still haven’t replied to this comment from OCTOBER. But exciting news, I got my hands on signed copies of all of Ryan Graudin’s books yesterday! I’m so incredibly happy but now I have duplicates of all of her books haha. And sadly, the signed copies of Wolf by Wolf and Blood for Blood don’t match in size T_T

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Summer @ Xingsings says:

    Ah, I’m so excite for this! Unfortunately, mine doesn’t reach the post until it releases over here though, but not much longer left! I’m relieved you didn’t have many complaints with this. And Yael being herself is something I’m so looking forward to. ☺️

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jenna @ Reading with Jenna says:

      Argh sorry I didn’t get to reply to this until now. I’m sure you’ve read it by now and I hope you enjoyed it! Ryan Graudin came to Sydney for a vacation and left some signed books at our bookstores so I managed to get myself signed copies this week! But now I have duplicates of all of her books HAHA.


  3. Aila @ One Way Or An Author says:

    I’m so glad you liked this one Jenna! I’m (finally) picking it up this weekend and can’t wait to dig in. Sad to hear about Felix being annoying though, since I really liked his character in book 1. But I AM excited to see Yael without the deception of pretending to be Adele like in the first book. Yay!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jenna @ Reading with Jenna says:

      (yes I am finally replying to this comment 2 months late). I GOT SIGNED COPIES OF RYAN GRAUDIN’S BOOKS *CRIES*. They’re sooo beautiful. But now I have two copies of each books haha. And the signed copies of Wolf by Wolf and Blood for Blood don’t match in size *CRIES*


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