Alright you 'Man in The High Castle' and Book Thief fans, this is for you.
The Book: The year is 1956, and the Axis powers of the Third Reich and Imperial Japan rule the world. To commemorate their Great Victory over Britain and Russia, Hitler and Emperor Hirohito host the Axis Tour: an annual motorcycle race across their conjoined continents. The victor is awarded an audience with the highly reclusive Adolf Hitler at the Victor's ball.
Yael, who escaped from a death camp, has one goal: Win the race and kill Hitler. A survivor of painful human experimentation, Yael has the power to skinshift and must complete her mission by impersonating last year's only female victor, Adele Wolfe. This deception becomes more difficult when Felix, Adele twin's brother, and Luka, her former love interest, enter the race and watch Yael's every move. But as Yael begins to get closer to the other competitors, can she bring herself to be as ruthless as she needs to be to avoid discovery and complete her mission?
(blurb from Goodreads)
My Feels: So my friend who is also an amazing book blogger (Michella, looking at you), recommended this beauty. The first few chapters were well done and set up things really nicely, but then I decided to put it aside for a bit to work on some writing stuff. BIG MISTAKE. When I picked it back up, I couldn't stop.
For one thing, the language was gorgeous. I eat up pretty words when it's done right (not a fan of the over flowery dramatics--which this was not). Also, I like that it played with form. Books that play with form and it works get major kudos for me.
But back to the story. The main character Yael was the kind where you wanted to follow where she went. The supporting characters took me awhile to figure out, because I didn't know if I could trust them. Those conflicted emotions I felt meant the writer did a superb job of blurring the lines. This is perfect when it comes to books with duplicity, and this was exactly that. I also enjoyed how all the characters were vibrant and complicated, it truly brought them to life, and I felt my own loyalties along with Yael's were tested.
Then you throw in the awesome shape-shifting ability, a motorcycle race, and a setting across the globe in an alternate historical universe, and it's like SO MUCH AWESOME. Lots to love about this book. I want the sequel NOW! But I guess I have to wait. On the plus side, a short story comes out next month about two of the characters that I've been dying to read. YES!
And the twists! Ugh! Well-planted, I couldn't believe I didn't see them. So yeah, my heart ached at some parts, and I may have fallen for one of the love interests.