First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?
- Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
- Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
- Finally… reveal the book!
There were five thousand souls stuffed into the train cars – thick and deep like cattle. The train groaned and bent under their weight, weary from all of its many trips. (Five thousand times five thousand. Again and again. So many, so many.)
No room to sit, no air to breathe, no food to eat. Yael leaned on her mother and strangers alike until her knees ached (and long, long after). She choked in the smell of waste and took gulps from the needle-cold buckets of water that were shoved through the door by screaming guards. Far below the tracks, a slow, shuddering groan whispered her name, over and over: yah-ell, yah-ell, ya-ell.
When I read Invictus by Ryan Graudin, I loved it and knew I needed more book by Graudin. Wolf by Wolf, it seems, is the most popular of her stories so I immediately went and ordered it. Of the above covers, the first yellowish one is the original while and reddish second cover came out (I believe) earlier in 2018. I haven’t read it yet but that doesn’t dim the anticipatory feeling I have for it. After how much I loved Invictus, I’m hoping to love Graudin’s other work just as much.
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?