Monday, March 16, 2015

Review: Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman

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?

In the beginning, this book was slow-paced and just wasn't grabbing my attention. Throughout the first 100 pages, I was forcing myself to read more and keep going. I knew if I didn't read it now I would start other books that sounded more interesting and never come back to this one. Finally, around 150-200 pages, the pace just totally picks up, the story gets way more interesting, and I wanted to read more every chance I got.

You can totally tell that the author did a ton of research for this book. It was like a history lesson wrapped in this story of Hitler's niece. I don't read much historical fiction, but I know that this is how it is supposed to be written. The author did a great job of putting you in the story so you could really imagine what happened back in the 1930's in Germany.

Some of the German names, terms, and places confused me at times. I would get characters and places confused, but eventually I remembered the ones I needed to know and just skimmed over the ones that were not as important.

I loved the mystery elements throughout the book with Gretchen trying to find out answers about her father's death. It kept me on edge and I was wanting to find out new clues as urgently as Gretchen.

I also loved Gretchen and Daniel's romance. I was rooting for them throughout the entire story. Truthfully, I didn't pull for many of the characters because most of them were written as unlikeable. Though, Gretchen and Daniel were so sweet and real. There wasn't too much romance, but just enough so when one of them was having a rough time the other could swoop in and make them feel better. I thought it was very well done.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I'm glad I did because from the first 100 pages I didn't have good feelings about it. If you are reading this book and find the beginning parts to be slow and boring, push through because it picks up and gets good! Once the pace picked up, everything was done so well with the history, romance, family issues, and the mystery. I would definitely recommend this to any historical fiction fans or even people just trying to get into the genre! Like I said, I don't read much historical fiction, but I really liked this one so I would definitely give it a whirl!

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