Series: Prisoner of Night and Fog
Genre: YA, Historical Fiction, Romance
Release Date: April 22, 2014
My Rating: 4.5 Stars
Summary From Goodreads:
A 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?
I surprisingly enjoyed Prisoner of Night and Fog. I don't read many historical fiction novels but the synopsis and cover drew me in. I honestly only know the basics of Hitler and the people involved with him in National Socialist Party but from what I remember, many characters are based off of real people. Anne Blankman obviously did a lot of research for this book, and it paid off.
The Plot: The Prisoner of Night and Fog was extremely well thought out in its plot with amazing characters and details. Set in 1930's Munich, Adolf Hitler is making his rise with his growing National Socialist Party. Gretchen Müller is Hitler's niece and one of his favorite people, or so she thinks. Her opinions begin to change when she realizes that her uncle may be covering up important facts about her father's death. After meeting a Jewish reporter, Daniel, she starts to question the prejudice against them. Gretchen eventually faces the reality of the world around her when the uncle she always idolized, denies her and her mother help after an incident with her brother. Together, she and Daniel must form an unlikely ally to solve the mystery and unravel the plans of her enigmatic uncle.
While the plot of Prisoner of Night and Fog had a slow burn, it kept me hooked the whole time with its mystery and forbidden romance.
The Characters: Gretchen adores her uncle and treats him like her father, but doesn't really understand their hatred against the Jews. After seeing her brother attack one in an alley, she steps in without thinking of the consequences. Angering her brother is the last thing she wants to do. Reinhard is much like Hitler in his ruthless and unrelenting manner. Through her time with Daniel, Gretchen learns the truth and develops into a strong, young women. Daniel is one of my favorite characters in the novel. He unabashedly seeks out Gretchen, and together they learn Hitler's true plans to exterminate the Jews. I loved the romance between Daniel and Gretchen. The two of them are adorable together and although they seem like an unlikely couple to begin with, Anne Blankman made it work with the developments in the novel.
Overall The Prisoner of Night and Fog is one of my favorite historical fiction novels I've read this year. However, I feel like it doesn't really need to be a series. I'm not tired of books being series but this one definitely could've been a standalone. I do look forward to reading more about Daniel and Gretchen though.
|About Anne Blankman|
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Anne Blankman may have been meant to be a writer because her parents named her for Anne of Green Gables. She grew up in an old house with gables (gray, unfortunately) in upstate New York. When she wasn't writing or reading, she was rowing on the crew team, taking ballet lessons, fencing and swimming. She graduated from Union College with degrees in English and history, which comes in handy when she writes historical fiction.