Saturday, August 9, 2014

Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman Review

"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."

Well, that is interesting. Uncle Dolf is Adolf Hitler. Anne Blankman portrays Hitler as a "classic psychopath." In other words, she makes him into this weird guy who enjoys watching little girls of teenage years. It seems he is after Geli (his niece), Gretchen (our main character and heroine), and Eva (his future wife for one day; mistress). In other words, he is a creep. Who likes young girls. Who likes drawing pictures of them. And doing what else. Oh, plus he has a very dark side. Apparently, he approves of future serial killers and disapproves the woman's movement for rights and voting rights and divorcing rights. Nice guy. 

Gretchen is our heroine and the Nazi's golden girl. She is one of the few chosen to be a model girl for the German Girls. Now it is fairly easy to see the "movement" as a golden beam of light for some people like Gretchen. (The movement meaning Nazis). But as Prisoner of Night and Fog goes on, Gretchen slowly sees the darker sides all around her. There she has a choice: to either remain the perfect girl or to break out and find the truth behind the death of her father with the help of a Jewish reporter. Which one do you think she will chose? Well, wherever she goes, she will be smart and cunning in her decision. 

The title of this book (The Prisoner of Night and Fog) takes after an order issues by Uncle Dolf. At least according to Anne Blankman. I haven't studied enough of Hitler yet not have the time to do a rather simple Google search on that order. Anyway, The Prisoner of Night and Fog is a fascinating book. I really enjoyed the mysteries and the truths revealed. There are some great moments in that book. Like Gretchen finding herself. Or perhaps her finding new friends and forgetting the old. Or her standing up for what is right. And I think I just told you the biggest spoiler of all.

Any downside? Actually there is one tiny misstep. I find it really annoying whenever extends a question but never answers it. Other than that, there is this slightly annoying part in the end where it could use a bit of a cleanup crew to make the ends smoother. Plus, there are a few questionable actions that don't fit the character at all. I'm not going to tell you it, but I'm just pointing it out.

The ending is fitting. And I won't say anymore.

Overall, The Prisoner of Night and Fog is a good YA Historical Fiction book. It takes place right before the start of World War II. Well maybe many years before WW II. For those of you who are interested in those times, I would probably suggest The Prisoner of Night and Fog along with a history book about WW II. And yes, I would recommend this book.

Forgive me for errors. I am quite unused to typing on an iPad. 

Rating: Four out of Five

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