Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke | Available for Purchase: Amazon « Barnes & Noble « Book Depository
Author: Anne Blankman
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: April 21, 2015
Pages: 398, Kindle Edition
Received Copy: Advanced Reader’s Copy, ALAMW
Over the past few weeks I consumed a new duo logy (well new to me) by Anne Blankman, Prisoner of Night and Fog and her follow up which releases on April 21, 2015, Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke. I really enjoyed this series because I’m a huge fan of World War II. Being such a tragic war that kinda makes me sound slightly odd, but I really love history and I find this war really fascinating, it grabs my attention. I’m going to do the layout for this review a bit differently, rather than separate the two novels, I’m just going to combine my thoughts as a whole.
Synopsis: Prisoner of Night and Fog (via 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?
Synopsis: Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke (via Goodreads)
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?
As I listed above I find the Second World War fascinating as well as seriously heartbreaking and disturbing. Hitler was a deeply depraved man and he along with other heads of state around the world wrecked havoc on innocent lives. Gretchen’s story is a slightly gruesome tale that combines fiction as well as just as much fact, as Blankman makes sure to note in her Acknowledgement sections at the end of each of her novels. The pace throughout the novels are well kept and watching Gretchen grow is something you wish everyone could do during this period in history. The blending of real Nazis and German figures as well as fictional characters was really balanced in both books.
Gretchen grows up being seriously naïve in what the National Socialists represent as well as family friend, Uncle Dolf aka Adolf Hitler. Within time uncovering bits and pieces she does learn the truth of certain incidents in her past and begins to see through the veil that’s been hanging over her head her whole life. By book two Gretchen has come into her own and has something truly worth fighting for and she’s able to give up so much in order to stand up for what she believes in.
Daniel Cohen is a swoony, journalist who just happens to be Jewish which happens to be everything Gretchen has been taught to think as a vile disease for the German Aryans. Gretchen of course cannot resist and while a few moments things were rocky and I was so freaking nervous, the love they have for each other definitely is a triumph in the book! They make a really great team and I was very happy they didn’t give up on one another or what they developed and had.
Like I keep mentioning I think Blankman picked a really good time to focus on her story. While I’m sure there was a bit of happiness that was able to come out of this time period, it’s extremely difficult for one to find nothing but despair. Homes were destroyed, families were torn apart, faith was lost, people were no longer treated as humans and a story later on just could’ve been a little too much for an audience to digest. Not to say it can’t be done, but I think to see a different side of Hitler and to show the beginnings of the Reich forming was a great setting for the story to take place during.
A Bit of the Future…
YAY! We see a little time hop in Gretchen’s life on what new possibilities she has and how she survived to get there. An epilogue of sorts is always a win for me in novels because I can never be completely satisfied as a reader. Why I totally got obsessed with fan fiction because I didn’t ever want things to end! You could always know a little more about where the characters are now and a decent wrap-up of what’s going on.
I really didn’t have anything I didn’t like about these books besides giving me anxiety with all of the twists and turns, which was really fantastic! Several times I just got sucked into reading I had to put it down and remember the war has been written down in history books and like 99% of these men aren’t alive spewing this hatred anymore. It’s just a book, Linz, remember that 😉 hahaha! Definitely can’t wait to read more from Anne Blankman and if you haven’t checked out Prisoner of Night and Fog yet you still have some time to read it before Conspiracy’s release! The story picks up quickly so no doubt you can fly through it like I did!
Until next time…The Kid xx
*Also make sure you hop on over to What Sarah Read’s blog! I had a guest spot discussing music festivals in a Fangirl Friday edition! Show some love and read up on my festival love! THE SEASON IS UPON US!!