Wrath Becomes Her

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Modern Age

Wrath Becomes Her
Author: Polydoros, Aden
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Time Period: Modern Age
Time Frame: 1943
Geographic Area: Europe
Country: Lithuania
Topics: WWII, Jewish Resistance
Genre: Historical Fantasy
Reading Age: Young Adult, Adult
Format: Novel
Published: 2023

World History > Modern Age > WWII

"Haunting, exhilarating, and a howl of vengeance." —Andrew Joseph White, New York Times bestselling author of Hell Followed With Us

Frankenstein meets Inglourious Basterds in this stunning Jewish historical horror novel from the award-winning author of The City Beautiful

Vera was made for vengeance.

Lithuania, 1943. A father drowns in the all-consuming grief of a daughter killed by the Nazis. He can’t bring Chaya back from the dead, but he can use kishuf — an ancient and profane magic — to create a golem in her image. A Nazi killer, to avenge her death.

When Vera awakens, she can feel her violent purpose thrumming within her. But she can also feel glimpses of a human life lived, of stolen kisses amidst the tragedy, and of a grisly death. And when she meets Akiva, she recognizes the boy with soft lips that gave warm kisses. But these memories aren’t hers, and Vera doesn’t know if she gets—or deserves—to have a life beyond what she was made for.

Vera’s strength feels limitless—until she learns that there are others who would channel kishuf for means far less noble than avenging a daughter’s death. As she confronts the very basest of humanity, Vera will need more than what her creator gave her: Not just a reason to fight, but a reason to live.

Emily's Review

This book was everything I could have asked for - Jewish MC, Jewish resistance, and a golem? I am so glad that it lived up to my expectations.

After Ezra's daughter is killed by Nazis, he uses ancient magic to create a golem in her image with the sole purpose of vengeance. That is the set-up that got me hooked on reading the book. I love a good vengeance story, particularly when that vengeance is against Nazis.

What I loved about the story was the uniqueness of it. I've read many books with golems, but this was the first time I read one that used this kind of profane magic to create a golem in someone's image. I also really loved the way Vera wrestled with what she was - desperately wanting to find her humanity. I also appreciated that this book focused mostly on resistance rather than concentration camps. I feel like that's something we need more of and this book did it very well.

I also loved all of the Jewish culture and folklore - the author even mentioned an old Yiddish song that I remember my mother singing to me when I was a small child. I hadn't thought of that song in years!

My only issue overall was the pacing felt a little off. The middle of the book was a bit of a slog at times, but once the story picked up again it flew. But that's just me looking for something to nitpick. I really enjoyed this one and recommend it for ages 14+

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