5 Star Review & Giveaway – Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman

Posted April 18, 2014 by Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction in Giveaways (Ended), Reviews / 0 Comments

5 Star Review & Giveaway – Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne BlankmanPrisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman
Series: Prisoner of Night and Fog #1
Also in this series: Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke
Published by Balzer & Bray on 4/22/14
Genres: Death & Dying, Europe, Historical Fiction, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 416
Source: Blog Tour, Edelweiss
My content rating: YA (Some violence, Nothing more than kissing)
My rating:
4.5 Stars

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.

“Debut novelist Blankman’s account of life in Munich prior to Hitler’s 1933 elevation to the chancellorship is completely engrossing….Blankman creates riveting tension for her heroine and pulls readers through with an irresistible subplot featuring forbidden love.”
— Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“I’m in awed envy of the daring with which Anne Blankman plunges into her difficult and sensitive subject matter. To read Prisoner of Night and Fog is to be immersed in a breathtaking evocation of Munich in the 1930s, where life is ordinary and skin-crawling by turns, and in the painful, hopeful story of one young girl’s awakening conscience. It’s terrifying and incredible to think how much of this story is true.”
— Elizabeth Wein, award-winning author of Code Name Verity
“Prisoner of Night and Fog seamlessly blends the fascinating, terrifying facts of Hitler’s rise to power with a gripping murder mystery. Gretchen is a brave and believable protagonist, and readers will become engrossed in her struggle to uncover the truth. I can’t wait for the sequel.”
— Michelle Cooper, award-winning author of the Montmaray Journal series
“Prisoner of Night and Fog is a nail-biting visit to Adolf Hitler’s inner circle in the early days of the Nazi party’s rise to power. Gretchen Müller’s reluctant transformation from star-struck protege to clear-eyed “race traitor” is poignant and believable, while the echoing tramp of jackboots grows louder and louder through the streets of old Munich.”
— Jennifer Armstrong, coauthor of In My Hands: Memories of a Holocaust Rescuer (with Irene Gut Opdyke)
My second WWII historical fiction review this week! (This one doesn’t have a paranormal twist, though).  I think I’m now officially a fan of books from this era!Prisoner of Night and Fog is a riveting look into Hitler’s inner circle – a very scary place indeed. The story follows Gretchen, who has always considered Hitler to be like an uncle, and who firmly believes in his cause. That is, until she meets a young Jewish journalist who makes her question not only the facts surrounding her father’s death, but all of the beliefs that her life has been built upon.
The negatives:
  • The murder mystery.  To be honest, I wasn’t all that intrigued by the murder mystery part of the book. It didn’t take long to figure out at least basically what had happened and I just didn’t find myself interested enough to care about the details. I guess I just don’t have Gretchen and Daniel’s thirst for the truth at all costs and I couldn’t quite relate to it. Call me a coward, but I would have valued my life over needing to know every detail about what really happened that night. But I guess that’s why I wouldn’t make a very good book heroine. There was one interesting detail about Hitler that came out because of the murder mystery, though! Still, while the mystery was central to the book, there were so many other elements that held my attention that I couldn’t bring myself to take off even a half star for this.
  • Hitler.  No, I don’t love Hitler, obviously (nobody needs to go unfollowing my blog or anything), but I LOVED getting to know Hitler from Gretchen’s perspective. He was an incredibly fascinating man. I mean, obviously, this man was charismatic. He had people who truly loved him and believed in his cause. Why? Were they all brainwashed? What was it about him that made him so magnetic and powerful? We got to see a bit of all of this from the perspective of a young girl who had grown up under his influence. And it was fascinating to watch as the facade slowly crumbled and Gretchen learned who and what the man truly was.
  • Gretchen and David.  When Gretchen first meets David, she’s repelled by him somewhat. After all, he is one of those filthy, less-than-human Jews that she’d learned to stay away from. Still, she can’t help but be surprised by the fact that he doesn’t seem inhuman. In fact, the more she gets to know him, the more she starts to feel things for him – confusing things. David and Gretchen form a sort of tentative relationship that puts them both in constant danger. This part of the story rang very true. Just the fact that Gretchen was speaking with David could have gotten them both killed. But their mutual courage and desire for the truth bonded them in a way that overpowered even Gretchen’s upbringing.
  • The danger. Obviously, in a story about WWII and Hitler’s regime, there are high stakes. The danger to both Gretchen and David (as well as others) is constant and real. Add in Gretchen’s off-kilter brother and the danger factor rises even higher!
If you’re a fan of YA and are at all interested in the WWII era, I would definitely pick this book up! I can’t wait to read the second installment in this series and find out what Blankman has in store for us next. I give it 5/5 stars.
5 Stars
***Disclosure: This book was provided to me by the author in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given. All opinions are my own***
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.
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