Title: Wrath Becomes Her
Author: Aden Polydoros
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Length: 304 Pages
Category: YA/Teen Fiction, Historical Fiction, Speculative Fiction
Rating: 5 Stars
At a Glance: Aden Polydoros has an immense gift for telling stories that are exceptional, eloquent, and introspective. Wrath Becomes Her is far and away one of the best books I’ve read this year.
Reviewed By: Lisa
Blurb: 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.
Review: If you’ve never had occasion to read a book that left you reflecting on how far you’d have to be pushed to become uncivilized, where that threshold is and what would make you cross it, maybe you haven’t read a book like Wrath Becomes Her. Aden Polydoros revisits World War II in this brilliant and sincere story of retribution, wrapped up in a young woman who is more humane than the monster she was created to be. And more human than the enemy bent on the genocide of her people.
Polydoros has an immense gift for telling stories that are exceptional, eloquent, and introspective. He says this is a story he wishes had been available to him in his teens, and then he went about making it happen now, for the benefit of his readers. He makes heroes of his characters as they are faced with the horrors of Nazis and their enablers—those who fought alongside them and those who looked the other way while innocent people died.
Vera is all of us, trying to figure out who she is and how she fits into the world. Vera is none of us, as she is unique unto herself. Her conception was inspired by grief and hate, and she was created deliberately and with a purpose; though that purpose sometimes puts her at odds with those she means to help. It makes her powerful in ways that elevate her beyond the enemy who will feel her wrath. Vera becomes wrath. She also becomes something more to Akiva. She becomes salvation. She is the hero of this story. She is the contradiction and the courageous.
Wrath Becomes Her is far and away one of the best books I’ve read this year. Then again, I was able to say the same of The City Beautiful and Bone Weaver. Aden Polydoros composes his stories so artfully that they captivate as well as educate.
You can buy Wrath Becomes Her here: