Google+ Reading Teen: Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke by Anne Blankman

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke by Anne Blankman

From Becca

Prisoner of Night and Fog #2
by Anne Blankman
File Size: 808 KB
Print Length: 416 pages
Publisher: Balzer + Bray (April 21, 2015)
Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
Goodreads | Amazon

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 in England, posing as an ordinary German immigrant, and is preparing to graduate from high school. Her love, Daniel, 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. 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, 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?
Dear Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke (or CoBaS because I'm lazy for the rest of this letter),

I don't exactly remember much of your previous book (Prisoner of Night and Fog), but I do remember the main plot points. I remember it being a little slow, but still interesting. I think I rated it 2 stars, just because it took me so long to read it and some parts of it just turned me of from finishing it. BUT I still wanted to know what happened next. Books set in the WWII era always interest me, so I was invested in reading you, and I'm glad I followed through, because if I'm honest, I liked you tons more.

You continue a little time after where Daniel and Gretchen left us in book 1 after fleeing Munich and Hitler's rein. Gretchen now lives with an English family, posing as a German immigrant, and preparing to graduated high school and go to college to study psychology. Daniel, her lover, continues his work as a reporter, but of the social variety much to his dismay. Things seem to be going well until Daniel gets an urgent telegram that sends him back into enemy land, ultimately sending Gretchen back as well when she hears that he is wanted for murder. Gretchen must do everything she can to avoid capture and recognition, despite the fact that she will have to consort with former friends of the Nazi regime to save Daniel. As they work together to clear his name, they also discover a conspiracy, but will they be able to dig up the shocking truth and escape in one piece or will Hitler stop them in their tracks first?

I really loved Gretchen and Daniel in this book more than I did in the first. I think it might have been because the writing was exponentially better than your author's debut. I actually cared what happened to them, and whether or not they would end up dead or together happily ever after. Their relationship goes through lots of turmoil inside your pages, but they work together to figure everything out, because that's what you do in a relationship. Despite your troubles or whatever obstacles stand in your way, you figure your crap out, instead of giving up. I loved that they did, because most people would just walk away. The love they have for each other shows in your pages, CoBaS.

One of the main reasons I love reading historical fiction set in WWII is because no book is the same. They all show different sides, places, settings, perspectives, etc, and you were no different. You show a completely different perspective than your previous book did, which was definitely interesting. I learned about new things (i.e. the gangs) that I had no idea that even existed. But the part that had me so connected to you was the murder-mystery aspect. It kept me on the tip of my toes, constantly guessing because every few pages a new obstacle is thrown into the mix making it nearly impossible to guess the end game. Every single time I hit the end of a chapter, there was a hook, which is crucial to keeping me (and most readers) interested.

I know this letter is hardly snarky, but for some reason, I find it hard to be snarky about you, CoBaS. Even though your main characters are a work of fiction, the majority of the events that happen are true and fascinating. I think your first book is worth pushing through if a reader thinks it's a little slow for the mere fact that they get to experience you next. The character growth between the two books is phenomenal. I leave a tiny warning for drugs, violence, and some mentions of prostitution for parents just because it's set in that era and your book wouldn't be true to the setting if it didn't include them. I applaud your author, Anne Blankman, for not glossing over those gritty details. 3 stars to you, Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke!!
Wanting to study up on more WWII now,

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