Author Blog Tour Review & CONTEST: Prisoner of Night & Fog by Anne Blankman

Welcome to the Working for the Mandroid stop on Anne Blankman's blog tour for Prisoner of Night & Fog, her debut historical fiction novel set in Germany as the country heads towards World War II. The tour is being hosted by the lovely ladies at The Unofficial Addiction Book Fanclub and runs through April 20. You can follow the entire tour over at their site here. Below you'll find my review as well as a contest hosted by Anne to win a hard copy of Prisoner of Night & Fog.

Prisoner of Night & Fog
Anne Blankman

Balzer + Bray
I received an e-ARC of this book in return for an honest review.
Releases April 22, 2014
416 pages

Find it on Goodreads

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Itunes

In 1930s Munich, danger lurks behind dark corners, and secrets are buried deep within the city. But Gretchen Müller, who grew up in the National Socialist Party under the wing of her "uncle" Dolf, has been shielded from that side of society ever since her father traded his life for Dolf's, and Gretchen is his favorite, his pet.

Uncle Dolf is none other than Adolf Hitler.

And Gretchen follows his every command.

Until she meets a fearless and handsome young Jewish reporter named Daniel Cohen. Gretchen should despise Daniel, yet she can't stop herself from listening to his story: that her father, the adored Nazi martyr, was actually murdered by an unknown comrade. She also can't help the fierce attraction brewing between them, despite everything she's been taught to believe about Jews.

As Gretchen investigates the very people she's always considered friends, she must decide where her loyalties lie. Will she choose the safety of her former life as a Nazi darling, or will she dare to dig up the truth—even if it could get her and Daniel killed?

From debut author Anne Blankman comes this harrowing and evocative story about an ordinary girl faced with the extraordinary decision to give up everything she's ever believed . . . and to trust her own heart instead.

Hello, historical fiction, my old friend. I’ve been avoiding you for eons now while I played in spaceships, used steam-powered gadgets, went on epic journeys and trudged through vast wastelands. You’ve been hanging out, acting coy, waiting for me to come back to realty – or at least a fictionalized version of a past reality. I kept putting you off, but you were patient, bidding your time until just the right book came along to hook me back in.

I used to devour historical fiction as a kid, but abandoned it for the most part when I discovered science fiction. I am so glad that A Prisoner of Night & Fog was my choice of novel to return to genre. It has all the things I love the most and wraps it into a murder mystery with plenty of heart-pounding sequences with deadly consequences, a star-crossed lover romance and left that lingering sense of wonder which characters were real people and which were figments of the author’s imaginations.

I’m not a big history fan, mostly because in school you jump from one war to the next, memorizing dates and important causalities and political ramifications and a bunch of things that I don’t care about. I wanted to learn about the lives of the people left behind, how everyone not on the battlefield was effected by a changing world and of all the wars taught in schools, there was really only one where the history books touched on the home front. That’s why I’ve always been fascinated by World War II and Blankman’s novel just pulled me right back in to my obsession with the details of events that would eventually lead up to it.

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Blog Tour Review: Keeper of the Black Stones by PT McHugh

 

Welcome to the Working for the Mandroid stop on PT McHugh's blog tour to promote his upcoming book,Keeper of the Black Stones. This book combines fantasy elements of time travel and superpowers with historical fiction taking place during the War of the Roses in 15th century England. Thank you to Pump Up Your Books for having us as a host on the tour. You can find the rest of the tour dates on the tour page.

 

Keeper of the Black Stones
PT McHugh

Glass House Press
Releases February 26, 2013
369 pages
YA / Fantasy / Time Travel

Find it on Goodreads

Preorder it from Amazon 

Jason Evans, a shy, introverted high school freshman, thought that his mundane life was all there was – girls, golf, physics, and the occasional bully. Until he found out about the secrets his grandfather had been keeping from him … a set of stones that allowed them to jump through time … a maniacal madman who used the stones to shape history to his liking … and Jason’s role as one of the few people in the world who could stop that man.

Against impossible odds, a fourteen-year-old boy must take up his legacy, learn everything he needs to know within one short day, and travel helter skelter into the Middle Ages, to join Henry VII’s fight against Richard III, end the Dark Ages, and stop the man who now holds his grandfather captive. In this romp through history, Jason and his friends must race against time to accomplish not one, but two missions.

Save his grandfather.

And save the world.

Keeper of the Black Stones is an interesting book that seems to live in between the spaces of several categories. It’s equal parts fantasy and historical fiction with its roots feeling as though they are firmly implanted in the lore of King Arthur fables. Perhaps it was the marathon watching of Merlin while recovering from bronchitis, but the second half of this book had me firmly implanted in an epic journey full of mystery, intrigue and the possibility of magical moments happening at every turn despite the entire book taking part in our own world. I had a hard time deciding if this is middle grade or YA, probably because Jason and his friends read as actual 15-year-olds rather than the wise-beyond-their-years protagonists of many YA titles these days.

Jason’s story starts when he accidentally grabs his grandfather’s bag instead of his own. Inside is his grandfather’s journal, filled with fantastical tales of time travel back to the Dark Ages in attempt to maintain the historical results of the War of the Roses, a conflict being manipulated against history by a psychotic modern man who goes by the name of Dresden. As most normal teenage boys would, he thinks his 70-something year old grandfather has gone a bit mental and is quickly headed down the road of senility. It’s not long though before Jason and his best friend Paul discover the secret stone beneath the shed that can actually transport people to the 15th century. When the stone starts talking to him and showing him visions, Jason finds himself and his friends on an epic journey through the British countryside while foes chase them from all sides.

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Random Tuesday: An Oscar Worthy Performance in 2 Minutes

I spent most of the day commuting and attending a conference thing, so Fernando has been kind enough to step in for this week's Random Tuesday.

The Oscar goes to Daniel Day Lewis…

Yeah, I think any time Lewis is in a period movie, he should just be given the Oscar. I am sure that there will be blood other noteworthy performances, but after seeing just a few minutes of him as Abraham Lincoln, I'm calling it now - that role is the performance of 2012.  Look at the trailer below. Then read the rest of why.

Steven Spielberg is directing this biopic on one of the greatest historical figures ever. I watched the trailer a few times now and can honestly say that each time I see less and less of Lewis and more and more Lincoln. That type of commitment to acting is why Lewis continues to be one of the best actors of our time, maybe ever.

Some performances transcend the movies that contain them; this I hope will be one of them. My excitement for this movie started right from the first poster and the iconic Lewis' profile looking shocking similar to that shinny penny in my pocket. 

As more trailers for this movie hit the web, I'm sure my excitement will grow. Until then I will continue to tell everyone how fantastic this trailer is and how much Lewis looks like Lincoln.