Monday, April 20, 2015 20:45

Review 223. Anne Blankman – Conspiracy of blood and smoke.

22838220Title: Conspiracy of blood and smoke.
Author: Anne Blankman.
Pages: 416.
Published: April 21st 2015 by Balzer + Bray.
Sort: Prisoner of night and fog #1.
Part 1. Prisoner of night and fog.
Source: Edelweiss; publisher, thanks!
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?
Rating:

I fell in love with Prisoner of night and fog. Anne wrote such an engaging story and she managed to do the same with Conspiracy of blood and smoke. Her research resulted in an interesting story about the rise of Hitler. Most historical books take place in World War II, so I love the setting where we see how Hitler takes over with his charisma and sneaky manipulation.

Gretchen and Daniel have fled Germany and are trying to set up a new life in England, until Daniel gets a note that his beloved nephew is in the hospital and he returns to Germany. Gretchen receives a message telling her that Daniel is wanted for murder; she returns to save him.

I loved the tension in this story. They are both wanted by Hitler for different reasons. Gretchen is a traitor of the worst kind and Daniel is the dirty Jew who tries to spread lies. They are both in danger being in Germany, but Daniel can’t rest until the world knows the truth about Hitler, the recent fire in the Reichstag and the murder on an innocent girl who knew to much. I think it’s admirable he is willing to sacrifice his life for the greater good. I’m not sure I would be unselfish enough to do the same. Gretchen is also strong and I appreciate that she sticks with Daniel. He has given her several ways out to protect her, but she is always by his side. That is true love to me.

Both characters have a good development; especially Gretchen changed a lot in comparison with the beginning of Prisoner of night and fog. From someone who loved Hitler, growing up with him as Uncle Dolf, to opposing him to save the Jews is a huge change. Anne wrote this in a very believable , subtle way. I never felt her switch to the other side was too fast. Daniel is a sweetheart and you can see his love for Gretchen in all his actions and words.

The plot might not be 100% accurate, but it did feel authentic. The unrest under the people and the chaos Hitler uses to press for more power resonate throughout the whole story.  The world-building was well-balanced and I liked the setting. The mystery around the fire and murder and how we slowly unravel what’s the reason behind them was nicely done. It shows Hitler’s madness and intelligence to use certain situations for his own good.

The only thing that let me down was the predictability. Sometimes it felt like Gretchen and Daniel got off too easy; it was a bit too convenient for the story, but nevertheless a great book.
author image

Mel@thedailyprophecy

Mel is a microbiology technician who is obsessed with Disney, fairytale retellings and fantasy. If she's not reading or blogging, she's either busy with gaming, hanging out with family or watching a TV show. She loves summer and bright nail polish. One of her dreams is to travel the world. She has found her Prince Charming and they are together for 7+ years.

17 comments:

  1. Want to read the first book Prisoner of night and fog. Have it on my to-buy list next month :)

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  2. Great review! This series is one of those ones which would not ordinarily interest me, but because people have been saying such good things about them, I know I must read. Good to hear it felt authentic; I think with fictionalizations of real events, it's okay if the author takes some leniencies (just not too many!)

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    1. That is the good thing about hypes, making people pick something up they normally wouldn't read. I hope you are able to enjoy it! :)

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  3. Wonderful review Mel^^ I still need to read the first book in the series but I was curious how you'd made out with the sequel, since I remember your review for book 1. It's good to hear that you enjoyed this one too and that it felt authentic. The tension + mystery sound really appealing to me, especially when combined with a historical setting and Hitler. I must get started on the series soon!

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    1. And it's only a duology, so you'll be able to finish it quickly :D

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  4. I'm so glad you loved this, Mel! It's one of my favorite duologies, and now I'm dying to know what Anne will write next.
    Love love love the romance - Daniel and Gretchen are so supportive of one another, it's amazing, and they're problems are realistic and don't feel unnecessarily angsty.
    Love the research, too! Everything felt authentic to me.
    Great review, girl!

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  5. I STILL haven't read the first book, even though I keep hearing amazing things about it (and now its sequel). I think I was choosing between Code Name Verity and Prisoner of Night & Fog, and then had to take a break. For some reason, I can't do too many war novels close together - probably the sadness.

    This book sounds amazing, and I really cannot wait to read the first one and then this one without having to wait! The relationship between Daniel and Gretchen sounds equal an loving, and I cannot wait to read about it (and ship it, haha).

    Character growth and development are some of my favourite things to read about, so I definitely have high hopes for this series!

    Lovely review, Mel <3

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    1. I have the same thing. It can be a little too.. depressing if I read too many war books.

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  6. Gorgeous review Mel. <3 I'm glad you liked this book :) Though.. well.. I sort of hated it :( which is all kinds of depressing. I wanted to love it like so many others have. Sigh. It was just too boring for me :( I also agree with the last part you mention, about them getting off too easy. SO TRUE. Which also very much annoyed me, lol. But I did like some parts :) Probably. Either way, I'm glad you weren't disappointed with it :D Thank you for sharing your thoughts sweetie. <3

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  7. Lovely review. I felt a little so so about A Prisoner of Night and Fog, so I have been a little undecided when it comes to whether I should continue the series or not. Your review hasn't helped because I was swaying more towards not reading it before I read this... but now I am swaying more towards reading it. My brain hurts! >.< haha

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    1. It's only a duology, so you can always read this and cross of another series :D

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  8. Yes, you really liked this one now I have to check it out ! I love the premise of this novel, it actually sound very unique and different. Wonderful review Mel <3 Benish | Feminist Reflections

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  9. i'm glad this was also a great read, especially since you loved a prisoner of night and fog. I really want to check this series out. I am not sure if it is a duology or not. unfortunately many books have become predictable nowadays so that won't deter me from picking up this series.

    great review Mel!
    - Juhina @ Maji Bookshelf

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    1. It is and I think it should be like this. Even if there would be another book, I would not read it :)

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  10. I wasn't a big fan of Prisoner of Night and Fog, so I probably won't be reading this one. But I'm glad that Gretchen's character developed, in a subtle yet effective way. Daniel was a sweetheart since book one, and it's great that that hasn't changed about him. :)

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  11. I was on the fence about reading this one but recent reviews have pushed me in favor of it and yours seals the deal! I don't expect it to be perfect but I think it'll be worth the read. Besides, it's only a duology so I might as well read the conclusion!

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  12. I'm not sure whether to continue with this one because I'm not the biggest Hitler fan, but it sounds like Gretchen and Daniel were written really well and convincingly. It would definitely be interesting seeing the turn in her character here. Great review Mel!

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