Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke
Author: Anne Blankman
Publication Date: April 21st 2015
~A copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an 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?
The first 70% of Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke can be summed up like this. Daniel and Gretchen go here, then they go there, then they go there and then they go here. They fester on their feelings for one another, if love is enough when they both want different things for their lives, and if one wins out, the other will be unhappy. More festering. Back and forth, back and forth. Oh, then there's this little murder Daniels been accused of that set the domino's to fall. Basically, I was bored. We got the same thing over and over, the same thoughts, the same emotions. And if I read 'Daniels good hand' or 'Daniels good arm' one more time I'll scream. We know early on the outcome of what happened to Daniel in Prisoner of Night and Fog, the desperation of getting to England eclipsed seeking help for Daniels arm, and because of that, that it's damaged beyond repair.
We know that.
But we're reminded of it constantly. I mean, we know about his bad arm, so obviously if he does something, put's his arm around Gretchen or touches her, it will be his good arm and not his bad.I may be picky here, but I'm not trying to be mean. When I read this, I was in a reading slump, and considering how much I loved Prisoner of Night and Fog, I expected it to get me out of it. It didn't.
Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke did not work for me.
My main problem is a big portion of the book is boring and goes nowhere, just around in circles. Around 80% it started to pick up and it delves into what I wanted it to. What I loved about Prisoner of Night and Fog is how it introduced the beginning of mental health diagnosis and psychiatry. How Hitler was a psychopath. I hoped this would have been more involved with the story, but it wasn't until that 80% where Gretchen began to use what she had learned from the year in England, she uses it for her own gain, and to trick people.
I loved that last 20% because it held all I wanted for the whole book, the intense atmosphere and actual dangerous situations. Throughout Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke, I didn't feel that danger, Daniel and Gretchen are wanted, if they were found, they'd be killed. They go out on the streets, and Gretchen's afraid someone figure out who she is, but I never felt the danger, the atmosphere was flat.
I didn't feel anything for the characters this time around either, probably because the romance started taking over the story, and the writing felt stop and start and honestly, I am disappointed in Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke.