Saturday, 18 April 2015

Review: Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke (Prisoner of Night and Fog #2) by Anne Blankman

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?

Hardcover, 416 pages
Expected publication: April 21st 2015 by Balzer + Bray
Terri's Thoughts

** I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.  The expected publication date is April 21st 2015**

I was pretty excited for this story as I had read the first in the series last year and had enjoyed it immensely.  Sadly I can not find the review I posted on my blog so I cannot post a link however it can be found on Goodreads. The Prisoner of Night and Fog first.  This is not a story that can be read as a stand alone (well maybe however the impact would be much less).

One of the pitfalls of discovering a series at the beginning is that you have such a long wait between books.  This is what happened with this book and I found the first story coming back in bits and pieces as I read the second one. 

I really don't know what to say about this story that I didn't mention in the review of the first book.  I am a huge fan of historical fiction and wartime stories in particular that I was predisposed to be a fan of this.  I liked how fact and fiction were mixed in together to create this story.  Hitler was real, as was Gorring (sp?), and Churchill.  To have them as active characters within the story somehow makes them seem a little more than some names in the history books. 

The story of Gretchen and Daniel carries on in this instalment.  I do admit that I really did not feel their chemistry as much as in the first book.  I'm not sure if it is the plot or if it was intentional however I was hoping for a little more of a heart wrenchingly beautiful/tragic connection.  Maybe I was expecting too much?  My guess is that this will come to a climax in the next book.  Since we all know the story of WWII and Hitler I can only imagine the direction it will take.

Another plus for this story is that it is actually geared towards a little bit of a YA audience in my opinion.  Although it can be enjoyed all, it is nice to see a story in this genre that can appeal to a younger audience.  It can be a heavier subject matter and one avoided by the younger audience and I feel that this story can bridge that gap.

I look forward to the next chapter of this story!

About the Author

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.

After earning a master's degree in information science, Anne began working as a youth services librarian. Currently, she lives in southeastern Virginia with her family. When she's not writing young adult fiction, she's playing with her daughter, training for races with her husband, working at her amazing library branch, learning to knit (badly), and reading.

Twitter:  AnneBlankman


  1. I love me some historical fiction, but surprisingly, I've had yet to even read the first book! Every time I go to make the purchase, something shiny and new catches my eye, then next thing you know Prisoner of Night & Fog is forgotten again. How horrible is that?! You know what, I'm going to add them both to my amazon wishlist, so that I can remember to pick them up, because this is getting beyond ridiculous. I read your review in entirety, and I'm so glad that even though this is a review for the sequel, I wasn't spoiled for the first! Thanks for that girl lmao.

  2. I find it really difficult to do a review for a sequel and leave spoilers out. Glad I didn't ruin anything for you!