Thursday, April 17, 2014

Book Review: Prisoner of Night and Fog

Media Type: Ebook (ARC)
Title: Prisoner of Night and Fog
   * Series: Prisoner of Night and Fog #1
Author: Anne Blankman
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Pages: Hardcover; 416
Release Date: April 22, 2014
Source: The Fantastic Flying Book Club Tour
Content Screening: Violence

HDB Rating: 4 Keys to My Heart

Recommended to: Readers who are fans of historical fiction, or who have an interest in this time period.

Add it on: Goodreads / Amazon / BookLikes
In 1930s Munich, danger lurks behind dark corners, and secrets are buried deep within the city. But Gretchen Müller, who grew up in the National Socialist Party under the wing of her "uncle" Dolf, has been shielded from that side of society ever since her father traded his life for Dolf's, and Gretchen is his favorite, his pet.

Uncle Dolf is none other than Adolf Hitler.

And Gretchen follows his every command.

Until she meets a fearless and handsome young Jewish reporter named Daniel Cohen. Gretchen should despise Daniel, yet she can't stop herself from listening to his story: that her father, the adored Nazi martyr, was actually murdered by an unknown comrade. She also can't help the fierce attraction brewing between them, despite everything she's been taught to believe about Jews.

As Gretchen investigates the very people she's always considered friends, she must decide where her loyalties lie. Will she choose the safety of her former life as a Nazi darling, or will she dare to dig up the truth—even if it could get her and Daniel killed?

From debut author Anne Blankman comes this harrowing and evocative story about an ordinary girl faced with the extraordinary decision to give up everything she's ever believed . . . and to trust her own heart instead.

I must admit that I wanted to read Prisoner of Night and Fog the instant I saw that it revolved around Adolf Hitler. I have this fascination with people like him. People who can manipulate, who can sway the masses so perfectly that he can cause them to turn against one another. There's something both terrifying and intriguing about a man like that. I was also very interested to see how Anne Blankman would weave her story around Gretchen. What would it be like to be part of the Nazi party? To be that close to someone so influential? I went into this book with high hopes my friends, and I wasn't disappointed.

Gretchen's character is perfection. Who better to show how easy it was to be caught under the spell of "Uncle Dolf" than a young girl? What's special about Gretchen is that she has a big heart. Even when the Nazi slogans and beliefs were rattling around in her head, even when she tried to steel her heart against violence towards the Jews, I couldn't hate her for it. This is how Gretchen was raised. Raised to accept what was around her, and quietly go about her business. I won't deny that I silently cheered her on as she slowly started to break out of her shell. I wanted this girl to overcome. I wanted her to see the dark, bloody truth. I liked Gretchen, and that made this book so easy to read.

Even more interesting is that you'll see key players from Adolf Hitler's life peppered into this story. Even Ms. Eva Braun is a pivotal person in this quick moving story. I loved seeing deeper into his whole persona. Into the sad, lost man who was behind it all. I'll grant you the fact that Prisoner of Night and Fog is historical fiction, but it feels real. It's easy to get lost in.

Add in a forbidden romance, some intrigue, and the type of secrets that should stay hidden, and you have quite the book. While I wasn't in love with all the aspects of it, I can't give Anne Blakeman's book anything less than a huge round of applause. If you're a fan of this time period, or a fan of historical fiction in general, this will be a book you'll want to check out. Well-written and moving. I loved it.

FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.


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