Reviewed by Melanie on May 15, 2017
Last week I went into our local library to renew the first Harry Potter book for my seven year old. The librarian said “I’ve been waiting to see you! I think you’ll really like this book!” She’s never steered me wrong, so I checked it out and headed home.
The book immediately piqued my interest, even just reading the inside flap. Can you imagine a world where Hitler won? Where the Nazi Youth is not something we see in black and white on TV, but something that still exists, and all children are expected to participate in? Neither could I, but for Yael that is the world she lives in. The book is not set in our time, but a few years after World War II. In an alternate ending where Hitler wins and joins forces, not with Russia, but with Japan, conquering most of Europe and Asia for their play at world dominance. Enough with the history though, let’s get to the story itself.
Yael, survivor of horrible things, trained assassin and now part of the resistance has a very special set of skills that makes her the perfect person to end Hitler’s life. Every year, to celebrate the success of the Great War, Germany and Japan host a motorcycle race from Germania (formerly Berlin) to Tokyo. Posing as former victor, Adele, Yael must win the race to be invited to the exclusive Victor’s Ball to take her shot at Hitler.
The story takes so many twists and turns through. The characters are well developed, and even those that are supposed to be the villains are easy to like, and hope that they have a change of heart, or are secretly part of the resistance as well. The story did lag in places, but quickly picked back up and moved forward, giving us brief pieces of Yael’s history through the thousands of miles of the race.
As always, I don’t want to spoil it, but make sure you have book two waiting (my library doesn’t have this yet!) because after the ending you’re going to want to jump right back into Yael’s world to find out what happens next.