Prisoner of Night and Fog (Prisoner of Night and Fog, #1) by Anne Blankman
Publishing date: April 22nd 2014
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
This book! This book you guys! I can only say WOW! I'm left completely speechless and at loss of words. I did not expect this. What I had in mind about this book is completely wrong. I probably saw Hitler in the book blurb and made my assumption right away. What I thought this book is going to be about is Hitler persecuting the Jews, something like Anne Frank: The Diary of Young Girl, but fictional. But no, it wasn't anything like that.
Prisoner of Night and Fog is a book set in the time frame where Hitler is building his army of followers and his rise to power. But more importantly, this is the book about Gretchen and how she experiences this period being a person that is in Hitlers inner circle, being a daughter of a fallen Nazi hero, being raised to believe that all Jews are subhuman. But her beliefs start to change when she sees a Jew beaten up by her brother, a Jew with real emotions and real pain.
Anne Blankman managed to create from a subject so scary, something so amazing and interesting. You can see how much work she put into researching the subject about Hitler's life and his uprise. Every chapter, every sentence and every word is based on a true events, but still, it's fictional. How she succeeded to create a story that is a combination of both, will remain a mystery to me, but it does prove one thing. You can write something as amazing as Prisoner of Night and Fog if you put enough effort, passion and love into your writing.
Gretchen as a character is truly fascinating to me. She was raised to believe that Jews are not worthy, that she should be an example of how important people should look like. Hitler, or as Gretchen calls him Uncle Dolf, is a person who she sees as a father, a person who gives her advice and who teaches her things. But as the time passes, she sees that he is wrong, but she doesn't want to let go and step out of her comfort zone. She doesn't want to believe that all her life she's been deluded by things that are not true. But Daniel Cohen is there for her when nobody else isn't, Daniel the Jew. The romance between them, progressed slowly from just acknowledging each other because of their common goal, to friendship and then finally to romance. It was integrated perfectly in the story to follow the historical aspect of the novel, but also the mystery aspect too.
I somehow missed the fact that Prisoner of Night and Fog is going to be a part of the series. I thought it is a standalone, but now as I was writing this review, I realized there is going to be a second book, and I can't really describe to you how happy does it make me! Prisoner of Night and Fog is full of suspense, mystery and beautifully written. It's a win combination for me, and I'm definitely ecstatic to read the next work by Anne Blankman.