Jolien's Reviews > Blood for Blood

Blood for Blood by Ryan Graudin
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bookshelves: fantasy, historical-fiction, read-in-2019

This novel was a case of absolutely loving the story line, but not getting on with the writing. It pulled me out of the story so often, whether it's because I found myself rolling my eyes at the descriptions of emotions or the countless times certain German words were mentioned.

I couldn't help but laugh when the characters stated that their "ventricles were clenching" from the emotion, or that he used motorcycles handles to dismiss "his epidermal urges" - which is an itch, if you are unaware. If you are aware of what your ventricles are doing, it might be time to run to the ER and see a cardiologist.

My biggest gripe with this book is the following: making your characters repeat the same 3 German words does not make them seem more German. In fact, it only highlights the fact that the entire conversation is held in English (obviously, as this is an English novel). The same 3 words, repeated over and over again, sometimes combined within one sentence. It drove me nuts. Especially when English expressions are used but with a German word. "Holy Scheisse"? No thanks. Another thing that bothered me is that sometimes the word Fräulein was capitalized and at other times it wasn't. That's not how German works!! Fräulein is a noun, and therefore always capitalized. Either you capitalize it, or you use "girl" or any variation thereof instead.

I kept count of the amount of times the 3 words were mentioned. I may have missed a few, but here's what I counted:
- Scheisse: 28 times
- Fräulein: 57 times
- Verdammt: 34 times

Aside from that annoying repetition, I did really enjoy the story itself. It was fascinating and the last half kept me clustered to the page, desperate to find out how their story would end. I'm glad I finished the duology, but it might be a while before I pick up another Ryan Graudin book.
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Reading Progress

November 30, 2018 – Shelved
December 6, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
December 6, 2018 – Shelved as: fantasy
August 12, 2019 – Started Reading
August 12, 2019 –
page 22
4.44% "I have already read the word "Scheisse" 10 times in this small amount of pages. Including a swearword every sentence does not a convincing German character make...

Also, I am wondering about Adele Wolfe. If she was German, wouldn't it be just Wolf?"
August 12, 2019 –
page 38
7.66% "I am getting so annoyed by the constant use of the same three German words: Scheisse, Fraülein, and verdammt. Repeating these three words in every bit of dialogue does not make your characters seem more German!! In fact, it only highlights the fact that there are only like three words used, and pulls me out of the story."
August 17, 2019 –
page 124
25.0%
August 17, 2019 –
page 190
38.31%
August 17, 2019 –
page 247
49.8% "Every time this book has the word Victor in front someone's last name to mark them as a winner of the Axis Tour, I get confused. Every single time, I assume it's someone's name and wonder who Victor is.

WHY"
August 17, 2019 –
page 371
74.8%
August 18, 2019 – Shelved as: historical-fiction
August 18, 2019 – Shelved as: read-in-2019
August 18, 2019 – Finished Reading

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