Monday, April 27, 2015

[Review: Conspiracy Of Blood And Smoke by Anne Blankman]

"Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke"
Author: Anne Blankman
Series: Prisoner of Night and Fog #2
Pages: 416
Genre: YA, Historical Fiction
Date Published: April 21st, 2015
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Format Read: eARC provided by publisher (via Edelweiss) for honest review


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?

My Thoughts:

An Open Letter To Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke,

I have to admit something to you. I loved the first book in your series, and I was so excited to read you. That being said, I don't think that you lived up to Prisoner of Night and Fog. You were still wonderful, but until the last quarter of the book, I have to say that I was a bit bored with you. The history was still legit, even if I felt like you focused too much on the love story this time around. So, even though you weren't perfect, I still like you.

-The White Unicorn

I just have to say it. I feel like Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke suffered from some major middle book syndrome, and that makes me really sad. It's not that it wasn't well written, because Anne Blankman is a great writer, but I felt like the story wasn't as exciting at the first book in the series. The story picked up closer to the end, but the beginning dragged... a lot. 

These characters that seemed so dynamic in the first novel ended up being a little one dimensional this time around, which was a bit confusing for me. I think this fact stems from the book focusing on Gretchen and Daniel's love story so much. I'm a sucker for a good love story, but I feel like this book made that the main subject this time around, and I wanted as much action as I got in the first book. Maybe it's just me, but those are the thoughts I was having as I read along. 

The story did pick up for me once Gretchen and Daniel were back in Germany. Their time in England bored me, but once they were surrounded by Nazis again, the story kept me on my toes. It also helps that Blankman has no issues with putting her characters through some really intense events.

Gretchen and Daniel end up hanging out with the likes of some good-hearted-crime-lords in Germany, and that, for me, was when things started to pick up. The characters that we meet in those moments are ones that really made a difference in the feel of the book. I found myself rooting for these fellows who ran crime and had this firm code of honorable conduct. I love that Blankman added them into the story.

The actual mystery of the novel was interesting as well, since it's stemmed in real events. As a girl who's always been fascinated with WWII, that part of the book was also really cool. The fire and the history behind it was so simple, and yet so complicated. 

Even though I was personally a bit disappointed in this book, I still highly suggest that you read it. 

3 Unicorns = I liked it a lot, but it had it's issues!

1 comment:

Danica Page said...

Great review. Thanks for sharing. I hate how so often the middle book isn't as good.

I'm glad you still enjoyed it though.