Title: Prisoner of Night and Fog
Author: Anne Blankman
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Genre: Historical Fiction
Series: Prisoner of Night and Fog, book one
Star Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
The bottom line: A chilling, fast-paced historical debut that is marvelously researched, rooted in fact, Prisoner of Night and Fog completely swept me away--simply amazing, and I cannot wait for the sequel!
This book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Gretchen Muller's life is easy, simple. Despite the rations, the war, the growing unrest, she enjoys a privileged position: She is Adolf Hitler's pet, his favorite child. Her father died protecting her beloved Fuhrer, and in so doing, has cemented her position in society. But when she meets a young Jew named Daniel, she begins to realize that Hitler's version of things don't quite add up.. And when she begins to dig for answers in Hitler's past and her own, the truth may just need to stay buried, if she is to live..
What I enjoyed:
-I loved the tense, terse, stark atmosphere of fanatic, maniacal post-World War I Germany--it was definitely scary and I got chills more than once as I read the book--I really felt like I was there, and that's the highest praise I can give to a historical fiction novel, especially for a debut author!
-The pacing--I was completely glued to the book and I couldn't put it down, breathless as I turned the pages, frantic to see what would happen
-Gretchen, the sweet, impressionable girl who loves Hitler just as much as her own father, but as the novel goes on, her character development was satisfying--I enjoyed watching her learn how to think for herself
-Daniel, the sweet Jewish boy who will stop at nothing to get to the truth--and ends up falling for the beautiful, stubborn, spoiled Gretchen in the process--their romance really sold this book for me
-Hitler, the man who is clearly psychotic--he was definitely horrifying, and scary, and made for a very convincing, and yet somehow, sympathetic, villain
-Reinhard, the boy who ends up following in Hitler's footsteps, and is clearly disturbed--he really frightened me as the book went on, the violence escalating
-The historical figures peppered throughout the book, particularly Geli and Eva Braun
-The ending--I can't wait to see what's in store for Gretchen and Daniel!
What could've been better:
-As I read, there were times when the cast of historical figures got so muddled up I had trouble remembering who was who, exactly
I simply adored Prisoner of Night and Fog, and I cannot wait for the sequel! An amazing triumph of historical fiction! Next on deck: 1000 Feelings For Which There Are No Names by Mario Giordano!
Reread in April 2015: Wow. Holy crap. This book was just as frightening, arresting, and intense the second time around. A must-read for historical fiction buffs, and those who love well-researched novels! Next on deck: Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke by Anne Blankman!