Book Title: Prisoner of Night and Fog (Prisoner of Night and Fog #1)
Author: Anne Blankman
Release Date: April 22nd, 2014
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Series: Book 1 in Prisoner of Night and Fog trilogy
Synopsis 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.
Disclaimer: I received an e-ARC of this book from Balzer + Bray via Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review.
Normally I hate any sort of historical fiction. I hated history in both high school and college and even now I find the subject of history to be totally boring. There’s one exception to that and that is the Hitler era. Yes, I am aware of the terrible things that he did. I am aware of the concentration camps and the gas chambers that he put Jewish people through. Of course that is terrible and heartbreaking. Yet, it’s those actions that make him so fascinating. So several months ago, when I read the synopsis of this book, I knew I had to have it. I didn’t dive into it right away because I had other books to read first.
I was coming off another YA book last week, when I realized that I could pick this book up. It was time. I was ready to be wowed. I knew that this book could either be amazing or horrible. As I opened the book, I held on to the hope that this book would fall under the category of amazing.
And it did.
Holy moly, this book was amazing and perfect and just so… awesome.
When we meet Gretchen, she is fiercely loyal to her “uncle” Dolf and to the memory of her father. It is said that her father died a martyr and through his death, Gretchen and her family have become household names. Gretchen’s mother runs a boardinghouse and Gretchen’s brother, Reinhard, is an up and coming important member of Adolf Hitler’s plans.
Reinhard has always been awful to Gretchen and ever since her father passed away, her mother excuses Reinhard’s behavior some way or another. Gretchen knows that her brother is awful but it’s not until she sees him with other boys beating up on an old man, that she realizes how awful he is.
Meeting a Jewish boy changes things. Gretchen is now being forced to face the fact that her wonderful, kind father wasn’t simply killed. He was murdered. Gretchen cannot understand why. Nothing makes sense to her. Until she starts really listening to what her “uncle” Dolf is saying. Gretchen realizes that he is a lot more dangerous than she ever knew and that Reinhard is very much like him.
I hate saying this, but the arrival of Daniel Cohen ignites feelings that Gretchen had never really had before. She had been constantly told that Jews were bad and that they must be gone. But Gretchen never realized how exactly Adolf Hitler planned to do that. She had always been told that Jewish people were dirty and unclean, yet Daniel is kind and sweet and without even meaning to, Gretchen is falling hard for him. It scares her to fall for a Jew. Not only is she disobeying her once beloved Uncle Dolf, but she’s learning about creating her own life path.
Daniel is a wonderful guy who is willing to break down all of Gretchen’s walls and her preconceived notions about Jews. He is kind, gentle, respectful and it becomes clear that he’s falling for Gretchen though I bet my right arm, he never intended to fall for her. I rooted for this couple all the way through and that’s when I know that this couple is a good one. I don’t get behind every couple, and in fact I often like them better when they’re apart. Not Daniel & Gretchen. Yes, they’re opposites but they are also really good for each other.
The world building was amazing. I honestly felt like I was in Munich and I have never even been there before. It was like I was actually in the book and that was the best feeling of all. Making someone feel like they stepped into 1930’s Munich Germany is awesome and I admire an author who is able to give her readers that feeling. I love that the author did so much research and provided her sources in the end of the book. That’s a mark of an author who is committed to the book and wants to get everything as accurate as possible.
I was so excited to find out that this book is the first in a trilogy. Cannot wait to see what happens next. I absolutely adored this book, I thought it was perfection and so it’s getting an easy 5 stars from me. I definitely recommend it. Even if you don’t like historical fiction, you should give it a try. I’ll definitely be ordering a finished copy of this book.