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
Source: Blog Tour, Edelweiss
My content rating: YA (Some violence, Nothing more than kissing)
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.
- 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!