Blood for Blood is the conclusion to the Wolf by Wolf duology (you can read my review for the first part here) and what an amazing one at that. I had the book at home for months now, but I dreaded finishing this little series, not really wanting it to end. Also, I felt like I had to be in the right mood for it, because of the whole World War II storyline and my relationship with that (already talked about that quite a bit in my other review).
This book broke me, but at the same time it was everything I could have wanted. Other than in Wolf by Wolf, we get multiple POVs and not just Yael’s, which in my opinion, serves the narrative greatly. While you never feel like you have all the information, you are way more in the loop about where everyone’s head is at. Yael’s actions from the first book definitely have consequences and affect her every relationship and even though I don’t condone what certain people did, reading chapters from their point of view made me understand their decisions. Also, you get a glimpse into their past as well, which shows how circumstances can shape people and how lives are intertwined without us realising it sometimes. Once again I feel pretty good about predicting some major plot twists, however, there will forever be one that I am not happy about. For obvious spoiler reasons I am not going to go into detail about it though. But the gif below, that was me! DESTROYED AND IN SHOCK!
I cried, I laughed, I was very involved once again. Right from the beginning it was action-packed and defying all my expectations for how this story could possibly play out. I actually thought that this would be a whole longer series than just the two books, but Blood for Blood has one of the most perfect closing sentences and I will forever cherish that tale for sure.
Noooow, there is one more thing I need to talk about and it’s something I also talked about in the review for the first book – the use of the German language. As a native speaker I am here to tell you, they used it all wrong. It already bothered me a little bit during Wolf by Wolf, but this time around I could barely go three pages without having to complain to someone (thanks for listening to me about that – you know who you are!). I didn’t really make that part of my rating though, because that would have meant such a huge reduction of stars and I actually like the story very much. So, here goes nothing, I am hoping this makes sense to you, but I mostly just need to vent.
- Curse words: okay, I get it. The author used words even a non-German speaker could kind of grasp the understanding of such as verdammt or scheiße (and YES that is how you actually write that word, not with a double s), however, during the 1940s that wasn’t nearly as common of a curse word as it is these days. So, it does not necessarily make sense to use it so very often. Aside from that, the author used expressions that only exist in the English language such as “I don’t give a shit”. Now, they replaced one word (in this case “shit”) with the German equivalent, but since the saying doesn’t exist in the same form in my language, it again makes no sense. Therefore the use of words felt random and just for the sake of putting something German in there.
- Nouns: You cannot use nouns as verbs or adjectives, also, they are always written with a capital letter. In addition to that, the ending of the word depends on whether it is singular or plural and the placement of it in the sentence. There are just so many grammatical issues I have with the way words were used. Unfortunately, I am also not sure that even the author understood all the words. Again, a couple of examples.
- You cannot be dummkopf, however, you can be a Dummkopf.
- You cannot blitzkrieg someone. Blitzkrieg is a military term and refers to quick military actions to prevent further escalation. It’s a method of warfare, yet it was used so often and casually in the book that even I started to doubt the actual meaning of the word. In fact, I don’t even know what it really meant in the context of the story sometimes.
- The names: This was actually something that bothered me right from the beginning of the duology. I discussed the names with my mother and even she agreed that most of them would not be authentically German.
- Luka Löwe LITERALLY means Luka Lion. Aside from the fact that I think that Luka is a rather modern name (that could just be me), he is supposed to be this hot womanizer and all I could see was an animated lion. It just takes away so much of the credibility and the earnestness if the main love interest has such a ridiculous name.
- Why is every other character’s last name the one of an animal? We already clarified the meaning of Löwe. Wolfe anyone? (Still unhappy about the -e at the end of that name. If I could show you how silly that sounds pronounced in German, you would understand.) Baasch? (That’s not actually an animal, but Barsch is a fish and there’s really not that much of a difference here anymore.)
- So many of the names were English-fied (again, well aware that’s not a word, but I think you get my meaning). There were letters added or taken away that just made the name sound … wrong? Some names were turned into nicknames NO German speaking person would use. I could see some of it working in this day and age, because we’re are such a global community, but not in the 40s and 50s, especially if German is the main language in that universe.
See, I would not have complained if those mistakes had happened once or twice … but they were constantly present. There was barely a time when they used the correct German word or phrase. So, what I don’t understand is why the publisher, who surely has a partner company in Germany or something, didn’t send it to them to check for those things? It would be such an easily avoidable thing to prevent frustration among everyone who DOES speak the language. Because let’s face it, not everyone of us has English as their mother tongue, yet most of us read in that language. I, for one, would really appreciate that.
Fazit: 5/5 stars! (but only because I didn’t take the language problems into consideration!)
Now that the duology is finished, will you read it too? Have you already read it?