Welcome to blog tour for Prisoner of Night and Fog! I hope you're as excited as I am about this book! Check out my review, and enter to win a copy of this book!
But first, be sure to catch up with the previous posts of the blog tour!
But first, be sure to catch up with the previous posts of the blog tour!
Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman
Book Two of the Prisoner of Night and Fog series
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: April 22, 2014
Rating: 4 stars
Source: eARC from Edelweiss
Summary (from Goodreads):
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.
What I Liked:
Originally, I had some apprehensions and doubts, before picking up this book. When Harper uploaded a ton of books on Edelweiss, this book wasn't one of the books I downloaded. I wasn't planning on reading it (I know, I know, but it's the honest truth). This tour came along, and I couldn't resist. So I downloaded the book. And read it (the night before my tour stop, ha). It would have been a fine shame if I hadn't joined the tour and read the book - because I LOVED this book. It's so powerful and raw and superbly written. A historically based historical fiction novel at its finest - love!
Gretchen is completely under Uncle Dolf's spell - she sees him as a remarkable, charismatic leader, and a caring "uncle" - they're not actually blood-related. Apparently, Gretchen's father saved Hitler in a street brawl - he stepped in front of the Fuhrer and took a bullet for him. Ever since, Hitler doted on Gretchen, and Gretchen never questioned his politics or being. But when a Jewish reporter questions her father's noble "death", he brings up history that Gretchen is not ready to see. She doesn't want to know about Hitler's psychotic personality, or his cold lack of humanity. She must choose a side, before she herself is killed.
I LOVE how this fictional story is woven into the actual history of Hitler and Nazi Germany. It begins in the 1930s, the "before", before Hitler becomes the Chancellor and all that jazz. We get to see into the life of Hitler via Gretchen's eyes. We get introduced to Geli Raubal, Eva Braun, and many other personalities that were important to Hitler, as well as his success. I think that the characterization in this book is the most important and well-done element of this book.
Blankman writes and structures and creates characters in a way that you FEEL them, you UNDERSTAND them, you HATE them, you LOVE them. There is so much depth to each character - Gretchen, Daniel, Eva, Geli, Hitler, Reinhardt, Kurt... I felt very strongly towards just about all of the primary and secondary characters, and that is all due to Blankman's excellent characterization. She makes personas from history come to life, and makes them seem like humans, like everyday people (well, everyday people as in everyday Nazi Germany citizens. But I think you get what I'm saying).
It's clear to me that Blankman has done her research very well. You all know how much I love historical fiction (more so medieval fiction or Eduardian or Victorian, but any historical time period is great, really). You all also know how insane I am when it comes to historical inaccuracies (anachronisms). I really like how true Blankman stays to history - I feel like she didn't deviate at all, or through in any anachronisms. At least, as far as I could see (and we all know how I always have my anachronisms meter subconsciously turned on). That's talent!
The romance is really progressive and developed and BEAUTIFUL. Obviously, this romance is important (check out the synopsis), and it is pivotal in the plot of this particular story. Usually I get all worked up over the romance being so crucial to the climax and whatnot. In this book, I like how Blankman actually makes it more of a choice of Gretchen's safety for Gretchen, and not just a choice of being with Daniel or not. So, while I still say that the romance is pretty important to the plot, especially at the end, I'll say that it is important and dominate in a good way. In a co-dependent way. If that makes sense. Also, no love triangle.
Overall, I'm really, really glad that I didn't let this one slip through my fingers. I was so close to not reading this book, you all. I told myself that 1930s Germany was too sad a period for me to read, and that while the book might be amazing, I wouldn't want to read sad books. I am so happy to have been proven wrong. So, so happy.
What I Did Not Like:
I honestly can't think of anything to say in this section. It's one of those books that I definitely think is absolutely amazing, and I can't think of things I didn't like in it, but I still give it four stars based on how I feel. It's a fantastic, awe-inspiring novel, and I really enjoyed it, but I'm not giving it five stars. You would have to be in my head to understand. But that's that!
Would I Recommend It:
I would definitely recommend this book to just about anyone, even if you're not a historical fiction fan. Ever so often, there comes a book in YA literature that seems relevant to everyone. Anyone and everyone should know the history of Nazi Germany. This is fiction, but it is powerful fiction. So... read it!
4 stars. What a heartbreaking, thought-provoking, AMAZING debut novel. I definitely want to catch the next book in this series, especially since it follows the next chapter in the history of Nazi Germany. I'm utterly blown away and impressed with this author!
Was this review helpful? Please let me know in the comments section!
About the Author:
Anne Blankman may have been meant to be a writer because her parents named her for Anne of Green Gables. She grew up in an old house with gables (gray, unfortunately) in upstate New York. When she wasn't writing or reading, she was rowing on the crew team, taking ballet lessons, fencing and swimming. She graduated from Union College with degrees in English and history, which comes in handy when she writes historical fiction.
After earning a master's degree in information science, Anne began working as a youth services librarian. Currently, she lives in southeastern Virginia with her family. When she's not writing young adult fiction, she's playing with her daughter, training for races with her husband, working at her amazing library branch, learning to knit (badly), and reading.
Anne Blankman is the author of PRISONER OF NIGHT AND FOG, the first in a three-book deal slated for publication in spring 2014 from Balzer + Bray | HarperCollins. She is represented by Tracey Adams of Adams Literary.
Win (1) ARC of Prisoner of Night and Fog (US Only)