***** (5 STARS)
This book was stunning! I was not expecting this beautiful read! I'm so happy I picked it up!
This is an alternate history novel. Personally, I don't often pick up historical fiction; it just doesn't interest me. I get bored, confused and lazy whilst reading them. However, when hearing the synopsis for this book, I knew that this had to be the exception. This novel is set in Germany 1956 (post world war 2) and, in this alternate reality, the Nazis won the war. Hitler has reigned for ten years and this book follows a girl called Yael who is part of the resistance. Her mission is to assassinate Hitler. She just has to get close enough to do it.
This entire book was intense, suspenseful and gripping! I flew threw it and it pleasantly surprised me. It was so intriguing. I would recommend it to anyone- even if you yourself don't like historical reads-and please come back once you've read it so you can continue reading this review.
SPOILER HEAD- SPOILERS AHEAD- SPOILERS AHEAD- SPOILERS AHEAD-
Yael was an amazing protagonist in this novel and I loved reading about her. She was truly inspiring and I admired her, strength, courage, resourcefulness and determination. She was kick-ass and I loved that about her!
It was so interesting to read about her past and about the people that made her into who she was today. I really liked getting to know her 'wolves' and thought that it was a lovely aspect to the book.
Her past was displayed beautifully and these situations in her past really helped me to appreciate the person that she ends up like in the book. She's such an independent character and I think we need many more characters like her, with her head-strong and focused mind-set.
A fantastical element that I was not expecting when going into this story was the serum/disease that allowed Yael to skinshift. This was so necessary to Yael's role in the resistance and, not to mention, really cool. At the beginning of this book I was pretty confused- "How is she changing faces?" How can she look exactly like Adele?"- but when this infection was explained it made much more sense. I loved the fact that the cause of this fantastical power sounded actually believable! Like it could actually happen! The book just felt so real and I really appreciated this.
Felix was another lovely character to read about. There were those annoying times when he was just so blindly overprotective and he just got in the way but his heart was in the right place and I respected him for that. But when he tried to poison Yael/Adele?! How dare he?! 'Let her make her own decisions!' Other than that, though, I thought he was a very lovable character. He provided the support that Yael needed and really gave her the push to carry on (despite him trying to poison her...).
Now, lets get onto Luka... I don't even know where to start with this guy!
At the beginning, I thought that he was okay... kind of arrogant, kind of cocky but it sort of reminded me of Wesley Rush from The Duff and I love him so... I was preparing myself to like Luka. And throughout the book, I did like him, overall. I think he generally cared for Adele and we did get to see a vulnerable and innocent side to him. But when he poisoned her by kissing her!!! I was fuming! I literally placed the book down and took deep breaths because I could just not believe it! It broke my heart! I actually liked him at that point and he just goes and ruins it! That twist was so unexpected- to me, at least. I'm terrible and predicting plot twists.
I don't know whether I've forgiven him or not but I'm fairly confident that he will show up in the sequel so I'll make my decision further down the line.
I enjoyed the race itself much more than I thought I would. I've read similar plot structures before and it has just not interested me. However, Graudin played out the race beautifully. I was gripped to every corner, twist and turn! It was intense and completely suspenseful! They were my favourite chapters and the action was written flawlessly.
Overall, this book smashed and exceeded expectations and I'm thrilled that I picked it up.