Review: Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman

Prisoner of Night and Fog (Prisoner of Night and Fog, #1)
Prisoner of Night and Fog
(Prisoner of Night and Fog #1)
by Anne Blankman

YA Historical
April 22nd 2014 by Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins


Summary

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.
   

My Review

I new from the beginning that this was going to be a tough read. This is such a difficult time in history. A time that makes me really sad and actually angry. The story is fraught with injustice, hatred, danger, deception, lies, and violence. It is also full of trust, hope, friendship, sacrifice, and love. This is a serious story of two youth who seek to know the truth about Hitler and push against the change he is bringing.

This was a difficult read. I just have no tolerance for hate like this and it just makes me feel so sad. I thought the author did a marvelous job with the historical setting. She definitely did her research. Most of the books I have read set at this time in history were during the war, after the Jews were already being put in concentration camps. This story starts well before that, when Hitler is just rising to power. It was interesting to see how the society reacts and how Hitler lulls them into what they become as a society, and what he ends up leading them to do.

The characters were really well done. I could see how Gretchen had been raised to love Hitler and how her family situation and prior circumstances could put her in a difficult position. She was very brave and loyal. She was also intelligent, although towards the end I wanted her to use more common sense. I felt she ran right into danger that she should have known better to avoid. I guess after all she finds out and had seen, I thought she would react a little bit better and not be quite so free with her words and actions, nor react in such a dangerous way. I wanted her to button up and think and get herself safe without losing control or still acting naive. That is really the only negative thing I have to say about this story. Besides that, the characters were amazing and realistically consistent. The villains were quite chilling. Then there was Daniel who I just loved! He is so patient and kind. He was also open. He saw something in Gretchen that surprised him and he wasn't afraid to give her a chance.

I was seriously worried about the outcome of this first book. I didn't know if Daniel would make it, or Gretchen, or her mom, or her friend... It is rather intense. I made it through though. Phew. Now I need to go read a nice and sweet story to ease the tension.

The Prisoner of Night and Fog overall was a very well written and engaging story. There was danger, deception, romance, likable characters, and a rather chilling, but hopeful plot. Kudos to the author on writing such a meaningful debut!

Content: There is quite a bit of violence, prejudice, and some innuendo.
Source: NetGalley & Edelweiss, which did not affect my review in any way.


The author, Anne Blankman, is stopping by today as part of the tour. You can check that out here and also enter to win a copy of the book.

4 comments

  1. I've heard great things about this novel so I recently added it to my TBR list. I don't usually read historical YA, but I did read A Mad, Wicked Folly and I enjoyed that one so hopefully I will like this one too. I wasn't expecting it to be a series, but I guess that's the thing to do these days! ~Pam

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  2. I've wanted this book since i saw it on Goodreads first reads. All the great reviews are just making it harder and harder to wait for! only a few more days!! :-)
    Brittany @ please feed the bookworm

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  3. I wasn't originally expecting it to be a series either. I almost would prefer it not to be because it difficult for me to read about the war. The writing was really good though, and of course it's a time in history that we should never forget.

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  4. I hope you love it when you do get to read it!

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