Tag Archives: Ryan Graudin

Book Review: Invictus – Ryan Graudin

Published September 26, 2017
Format: Novel
Genre And Theme: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Time Travel, Alternate Universe
Length: 464 pages, ebook
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Ebook SBN13: 9780316503136
Characters: Farway Gaius McCarthy

Blurb: Time flies when you’re plundering history.

Farway Gaius McCarthy was born outside of time. The son of a time-traveling Recorder from 2354 AD and a gladiator living in Rome in 95 AD, Far’s birth defies the laws of nature. Exploring history himself is all he’s ever wanted, and after failing his final time-traveling exam, Far takes a position commanding a ship with a crew of his friends as part of a black market operation to steal valuables from the past.

But during a heist on the sinking Titanic, Far meets a mysterious girl who always seems to be one step ahead of him. Armed with knowledge that will bring Far’s very existence into question, she will lead Far and his team on a race through time to discover a frightening truth: History is not as steady as it seems.

The first book I’ve read from Ryan Graudin was Wolf by Wolf which thoroughly impressed me. The author created an alternate reality post World War 2 in which the Axis Power won the bloodiest war in human history. With that premise, I didn’t think she’d be able to top it. But lo and behold – another time-related world has been created by her genius and it’s nothing short of amazing!

I loved time-travel stories and I am an avid fan of history so this is definitely a double-win for me!

As for  its characters, I thought it would’ve been tricky for the author because of the multiple point of views of most, if not all of the characters in the book. Usually, I tend to veer away from such style but Ryan just know how to do it right. I love the core team comprising the Invictus. They are all likable except for one. There’s Far’s cousin Imogen whose penchant for hair color is the focal point of her character aside from being the Historian of the team. Gram is the genius engineer.  Priya is the medic and Far’s love interest.  And their newest member, Eliot – the mysterious girl who annoyed me to pieces. Her character just didn’t clicked with me no matter how the author tried to justify her existence.

One of the focal points of the story is its time travel aspect throughout history. There wasn’t much really. Most of their adventures were off-page but I loved how Graudin tried to insert minute details in them . I wished that some of them were longer but I appreciate the fact that the author didn’t indulge too much because methinks it might drag the story somehow.

The ending was a bit anticlimactic but satisfying nonetheless. I felt some sort of relief when I finished it but really, I wanted a longer epilogue. Or maybe, I just want more from this universe because it’s just so fascinating. I cannot recommend this highly enough and I think at this point, overall –  it’s got to be the best book I’ve read this year.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars 

About The Author
Ryan Graudin grew up in Charleston and graduated from the College of Charleston with a degree in Creative Writing in 2009. She is the author of All That Glows and The Walled City. She resides near Charleston with her husband and wolf-dog. You can find her online at http://www.ryangraudin.com.

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Book Review: Iron to Iron (Wolf by Wolf, #1.5) – Ryan Graudin

Iron To IronDate of Publication: March 8, 2016
Genre and Themes: Young Adult, Historical Fiction
Format: 104 pages, ebook
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
ISBN: 9780316354042
Characters: Luka Lowe, Adele Wolfe

If you have not read Wolf by Wolf, it is best for you to pick that one up first before you head into this one. I mean, you won’t be clueless with the characters and the story while reading this novella (since this is basically a prequel) but it will make your reading experience more pleasurable with all the a-ha! moments that will connect you to Wolf by Wolf which, in turn will make you excited to read its sequel, Blood For Blood! That I can guarantee you.

This novella’s a very interesting and fascinating read as it was written from Luka’s point of view during the previous tournament before the events from Wolf by Wolf took place.

Luka Lowe is looking forward to becoming the first double cross victor during the 1955 Axis Tour – a feat that he hopes will make his father see his worth. Only his strategy does not include Adele Wolfe – another racer who’s posing as her twin brother in order to enter the competition. As they formed an alliance, victory is already within Luka’s grasp only he discarded the fact that Adele’s eying the honor as well.

It’s just a bit weird because Luka’s such an awesome character and he’s basically the male Yael with his own idealism subtly defying the Reich and all that shit but there’s something about him and the real Adele as well that is equally beautiful! I’m still rooting for Yael and it’d be wonderful for her to have her own love interest with either Luka or Adele’s brother (fingers-crossed.)

This was a really great read and something that would be fantastic to see on-screen!

Highly Recommended!

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Buy Link
Amazon

About The Author
Ryan Graudin grew up in Charleston and graduated from the College of Charleston with a degree in Creative Writing in 2009. She is the author of All That Glows and The Walled City. She resides near Charleston with her husband and wolf-dog. You can find her online at http://www.ryangraudin.com.

 

Book Review: Wolf by Wolf – Ryan Graudin

wolf by wolfWolf by Wolf is nothing if not a very rare literary piece of gem authored by Ryan Graudin that takes us to an alternate history where Hitler and the whole of Axis powers controls most of the world after winning the second world war and holds an annual motorcycle race across their conjoined continents to commemorate their victory.

This motorcycle race popularly known as The Axis Tour will also pave the way for the resistance to assassinate Adolf Hitler and ignite a revolution in the hopes of changing the world’s order. And they are all pinning their hopes with Yael who is competing as Adele Wolfe. Only Yael didn’t factor in the emotional turmoil brought upon by Adele’s brother, Felix and fellow competitor Luka.

Reading this book made me compare Yael to Katniss’s plight to bring hope to the people oppressed by the Capitol in the Hunger Games Trilogy. Then, I thought it’s not a really good comparison since this book could very well be a book that would really make its mark with its readers. The stirring narrative of the book’s main protagonist Yael combined with a flight or fight mentality made me feel nervous and excited at the same time and flipping its pages until the very end left me yearning for more.

The whole skinshifting thing just made the whole book more exciting in a whole new level. I loved the intensity of each chapter and the edge-of-your-seat feel especially when Yael’s gets into a compromising position. And then there’s the secondary characters most especially the five wolves that totally made its mark one me despite their little “screentime” in the book.

One of the themes in this book has always been one of my interests when it comes to reading historical fiction. I still can’t get my head around the Nazi’s atrocities towards the Jews. It’s just beyond my comprehension – these evil deeds. I just cant. Each book with the Holocaust theme always breaks my heart and I end up having to take a break from ‘em because I get overly emotional. This I have to drag on reading for so many reasons and one of them is what I have just mentioned and the number one reason is because it’s just so so good I hate to have to end it.

This is a relatively lengthy book but there’s something about it that made me want to finish it right away but then I realized that prior to reading this book, I’ve found out that the sequel will still be next year which made me so frustrated because I just need more from this story! People, I am telling you – it is that good. Definitely one of the best books I’ve read this year.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Expected publication: October 20th 2015 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

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About The Author
Ryan Graudin grew up in Charleston and graduated from the College of Charleston with a degree in Creative Writing in 2009. She is the author of All That Glows and The Walled City. She resides near Charleston with her husband and wolf-dog. You can find her online at http://www.ryangraudin.com.

An ARC of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest and impartial review