Blood for Blood has an interesting balance of plot v. character heaviness. It just seemed to tip very strongly in either direction during different parts of the book. The characters, especially Luka, grew so much during this book, and it was a privilege to watch his journey. And I'm not just saying that because I'm totally in love with Luka Lowe. Sure, I would love anything that had to do with him, but his character growth in this book made him even more of a dream-worthy character.
Unlike Wolf by Wolf, Blood for Blood is told from three different perspectives. Can you guess whose? Yael, Felix and Luka's. While some books suffer when changing their POVs through a series, this actually enhanced the reading experience. It was fantastic being able to see into their thoughts-- especially their reactions to finding out Adele was not actually Adele. In fact, the book would have suffered without showing these characters because each character had their own individual journey mental & physical to overcome. (Don't read that as they're all separate during the book-- they're not!)
While the book was stellar-- the writing, characters and action superb, I found myself wishing for a few things that didn't occur. Firstly I wanted more touching/actual moments between our main duo. No, I don't mean romantic, just more talking and bonding, I guess, between them with her as Yael instead of Adele. Sure, there were a few, but my greedy heart expected and direly wished for more. Mostly with Felix-- I wanted a lot more closure between Felix and Yael than I got. It was mostly Felix that I was pondering about during the first book on how he and Yael would act together once he knew, and unfortunately I didn't get too many "touching" scenes between them to find out. What I mean when I say "actual" moments is that while the characters are together for a lot of the novel, you hardly see any actual interactions between them. You just see thoughts going through their head and then the events going on around them.
I was sort of nervous going into this book because I thought the real Adele Valerie Wolfe was going to be a bigger player and... Well, I didn't want her to be because again, I'm selfish and want all the attention for my girl, Yael. Plus, from what I gathered in the first book, Adele was not someone i would like. She seemed kinda selfish, but maybe I just thought that because I was purposely against her due to the fact that I'm totally team Yael. 100%.
But slight spoiler, we hardly even saw Adele at all during this book. How is it that she's such a looming, important presence but even after finishing the series I feel like I barely know her? (Yes, I have read Iron to Iron). While I was dreading her being a bigger character, I was somehow still disappointed when she stayed very much in the background.
I would give Blood for Blood 9/10 stars, while it was still a fantastical novel, it didn't touch me quite as much as Wolf for Wolf. Don't get me wrong, Blood for Blood was great, but Wolf for Wolf was a phenomenal work of art. Seriously, I was left with a BIG book hangover after finishing this novel. The biggest one I've had in a long time-- it left a gap in my soul bigger and heavier than I could've thought was possible. This isn't a finale you want to miss out on-- nothing that happens is what you could expect. Unlike other novels where characters get unexpectedly lucky, everything that could go wrong did go wrong, and anything that you're hoping could go wrong, doesn't. Seriously, Blood for Blood is nothing like what you would expect.
There would be blood. Blood for blood. Blood to pay. An entire world of it.
For the resistance in the Third Reich, 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 Hitler’s army, and there is no alternative but to see their mission through to the end, whatever the cost.
But in the midst of the chaos, Yael’s past and future collide when she comes face to face with a ghost from her past, and a spark with a fellow rider begins to grow into something more. Dark secrets reveal dark truths and one question hangs over them all—how far can you go for the ones you love?
WHY DID LUKA HAVE TO DIE? Sure, it showed his tremendous character growth, willing to sacrifice himself versus betraying Yael in the first one, but NO! LUKA AND YAEL deserved so much more. They deserved a future! NOT LUKA GETTING SHOT GODDAMNIT. Wow. Luka's character growth was just beautiful throughout this book and wow. I love everything that happened with him minus the fact that he was killed. I especially loved seeing him see Yael and still be in love with her. Seeing the slight glimpses of the race through his mind made me squeal in delight I mean...
"To Luka's (very small) credit, he hadn't meant to fall in love with Adele again. He'd plunged into the 1956 Axis Tour bent on a single thing-- revenge."
"His plan was this: Watch Adele Wolf like a hawk. Pretend he still loved her. Gain her trust, her alliance, her heart, and cement it with a kiss (which happened to be laced with a soporific that would knock her out for hours and give him a sold lead, another victory)."
"The more Luka watched, the more he realized there was a problem with his plan.... He couldn't pretend he still loved Adele Wolfe, because he did."
AH. If you aren't screaming at these, where is your heart?
"Only when they were even-- a heart for a heart, a victory for a victory-- could they be together."
Just watching them in love is beautiful. It was perfect. And I just wish there was more. Watching Luka interact with Adele when he's no longer in love with her? Wow. That was just so satisfying.
Now let's move on to the other beautiful boy. Felix, my sweet, loyal baby. Who isn't nearly as loyal anymore. Okay, yes, he's loyal to his family, but not to Yael! I could understand his plight, I really could, but did it make me feel that it was okay? No. Every moment I was hoping that he would be caught and be turned to the right side, but he never was, not until it was too late.
Unfortunately we couldn't get too many touching scenes with Yael and Felix. You basically get that one scene with the chess pieces where she makes that promise to him, but otherwise they were in the same area, but never actually had a deep talk. I get that they don't really have time-- the world is at stake-- but I STILL NEED THOSE MOMENTS. I especially craved more closure between Felix and Yael at the end of the novel, after Yael finds out about his treachery. Sure, she takes him to his family, but do they talk? NO. I JUST NEED MORE CLOSURE, OKAY? It bugs me to think about that it's not resolved...
Anyway, thanks for reading,