Thursday, April 23, 2015

Review: Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke by Anne Blankman

Title: Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke (Prisoner of Night and Fog #2)
Author: Anne Blankman
Genre: Young Adult, Historical
Release Date: 21 April, 2015
Source: Balzer + Bray via Edelweiss

The girl known as Gretchen Whitestone has a secret: She used to be part of Adolf Hitler’s inner circle. More than a year after she made an enemy of her old family friend and fled Munich, she lives with a kindly English family, posing as an ordinary German immigrant, and is preparing to graduate from high school. Her love, Daniel Cohen, is a reporter in town. For the first time in her life, Gretchen is content.

But then, Daniel gets a telegram that sends him back to Germany, and Gretchen’s world turns upside-down. And when she receives word that Daniel is wanted for murder, she has to face the danger she thought she’d escaped-and return to her homeland.

Gretchen must do everything she can to avoid capture and recognition, even though saving Daniel will mean consorting with her former friends, the Nazi elite. And as they work to clear Daniel’s name, Gretchen and Daniel discover a deadly conspiracy stretching from the slums of Berlin to the Reichstag itself. Can they dig up the explosive truth and get out in time-or will Hitler discover them first?
Review by Nara

Seriously, what a fantastic title. If that title doesn't make you want to grab a copy of this book as soon as possible, I don't know what will. I thought "Prisoner of Night and Fog" was pretty freaking good, but damn, "Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke" is one of the best book titles I've ever come across.

Well, anyway, moving on from the title: a very decent follow up to Prisoner of Night and Fog, I thoroughly enjoyed Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke.

I feel like perhaps this sequel was slightly lacking the intensity of the first book, as Gretchen and Daniel were more distanced from the villain of the book: Hitler. Whereas in the first book, Hitler was all too prominent, he's more of a distant threat in most of this book, although of course we do get confrontations at several points in the novel. That being said, the fear of our protagonists being on the run seeps through the pages, and there's undeniably a tension that's difficult to shake off.

Honestly, the best aspect of this series is the romance. Gretchen and Daniel have the type of relationship where they actually try and solve any problems they have by talking it out. It's a truly admirable one where you can tell they care deeply for one another, although of course there are many bumps and much angst along the way to bliss.

If you're a fan at all of historical fiction, or if you'd like to give the genre a try, the Prisoner of Night and Fog series makes for one fascinating read.

Really liked it

Overall: 8/10
Plot: 4/5
Romance: 4/5
Writing: 4/5
Characters: 4/5
Cover: 2/5