Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Title : Prisoner of Night and Fog
Author : Anne Blankman
Genre : Dystopian
Published Date : April 22nd 2014

Publisher : Balzer + Bray
Pages : 401
Source : Publisher, in exchange for a fair and honest review

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.

Review

Being the millennium generation that I am, and also being a girl that has little interest in history, I actually know so little about Hitler aside from his world-renowned history as Jew-haters. 

But while the world told Hitler as an influential leader (with a funny mustache) of the Nazi, I love that this book took it behind the scene. And what I love more is that the author really has done a hell of a research writing this one. And a well-researched story that sounds like the real history? The one that will make you believe it might be truly happening in real world? It is perfection.

"Welcome to the other side.”
—Daniel

The world building of this book is also really good, believably 1945's German, with all the term of that time, and overall really vivid it feels like a movie playing in my head.
And the tension was also really well-placed. The pacing was overall lovely, but the story sometimes felt like too plot-driven for my liking. And the story which is based on Gretchen's hunt of the truth about her father sometimes lacks the motivation and the urgency from Gretchen herself.

The unveiling about the truth was also not great. I expect to found some new info that will make me go into this oh-my-God-so-that-is-what-happened moment, but it's basically just the old and same info we've been told 100 pages earlier or so.

The character, however, was brilliant. Gretchen's personality is truly real and have both the good and the bad. And I love how her bravado was not nonsensically there since the very beginning, but rather because the condition forced her to do so, and therefore making her action very believable.

And the other, like Daniel and Reinhard and Hitler also has a strong and distinguishable traits.
And what is more lovely than Googling the side character's name and found it there on the Wiki, with almost an exact same role and story that they have on the book? It really does makes me flail excitedly. And on top of that, their actual history somehow move along with this book and accentuated them.

Overall, while this book does have some miss, it is nonetheless a beautiful and satisfying read. And don't let the Nazi and historic theme fools you, because I'm just an occasional history fiction reader, yet I adore this one.
With such a beautiful world building, well-placed tension, and a strong cast of character and a thorough research to all of them, I truly recommend this one to all of you.

Cheers, x
NK

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8 comments

  1. This was excellent, right? :D I agree...the research in this book was SO impressive, and it truly paid off. The characters were all so well-developed and relatable, and I also loved how Blankman used historical figures as characters (Eva Baum, anyone?!). And the world-building! Oh goodness! So, so, so beautiful, right? <3 I felt like I was in Germany while reading this book!

    Glad you enjoyed it as well Neysa! <3 Thanks for sharing, and, as always, BRILLIANT review! <3

    ~ Zoe @ The Infinite To-Read Shelf

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    1. Definitely 0.0 It's like travelling while sitting there prettily on our couch :D

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  2. I've been hearing so many good things about this one! I'm kind of scared to read it because WW2 makes me so depressed but then again, I'm always up for amazing world-building and writing. You don't really see that often. I'll have to check it out! Loved your review!

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    1. Yep, you definitely have to try it :D Who know you'll ended up loving it (Since I don't really like anything to do with WW too :D)

      Thanks Laura!

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  3. My favorite part was seeing a different side of Hitler so I love what you said about the behind the scenes element. Also agree about the world building! This one didn't impress me too much because I got bored with it but I'm really happy you enjoyed it!

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    1. Thanks Alise! That's definitely my fave too. It's like Hitler is not just the funny mustache guy to me after I read this :)

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  4. I keep hearing amazing things about this book! I'm not a historical fic person, but this definitely sounds like something I would enjoy!
    I actually really like plot driven stories, as long as the characters are developed along the way. Lovely review, Neysa!

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    1. Yay, hope you'll try and enjoy it! :D

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