[Quick Stops] A Common Enemy

05:56 Cilla 6 Comments

“So much good, so much evil. Just add water.” (Markus Zusak)

Usually, I don't gravitate toward stories about wars. It's too horrible to think of, and I've already seen so much of it on the news already. I don't know what possessed me to pick up three novels about World War II one after another (other than the fact that they all sounded compelling). In the end, I'm glad I did. 

The following books are respectively about a book thief, a skinshifter, a shielded young woman - three very different characters with different lives, but fighting the same fight. Which one should you read? All of them.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (★★★★★) - On one hand, I regret not having this book in my life earlier. On the other, I don't think I'd have appreciated it as much when I was younger. I love the writing. There's this sorrow in the narrator's voice, like it's seen it all and knows how futile everything we do is (as one would expect of Death), but there's also this note of wonder. I walked away thinking about how awful and beautiful humans are, and how powerful words and stories can be. 

Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin (★★★★★) - I love Alternate Universes, even when the one in the
story is thoroughly horrifying. This universe where Hitler won WWII is bleak, to say the least. Graudin draws up the global political map as well as the details on the ground so that everything was in line with history, so it was easy for me to accept that it could all have come true. Consequently, I was sucked in from the beginning. It is action-packed and exciting, but it's not an easy story to digest - it wasn't meant to be. It's brutal in its reminder of the human cost of WWII, and there's no reprieve  in the story from that.

At the time of my reading, I was slightly dissatisfied that we never learned much about anyone but Yael. In hindsight, however, it worked best that way. Yael had a one-track mind about her mission, and the story never took away from that focus. That way, when I got to the end, I was fully immersed in her mission and the implication for (literally) the world. The ending left me with chills, and I can't wait for Blood for Blood.

Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman (★★★★) - It's fascinating to read about this war through the eyes of a character who grew up believing its cause. I really enjoyed the way Gretchen's world-view was slowly taken apart as she pieces together the true circumstances of her father's death. I enjoyed the way Blankman took real historical events and weaved her story through them; learned a lot about the atmosphere in Germany before Hitler became Chancellor from this book. I wasn't as interested in the romance, unfortunately. It was well done, but I wondered if Gretchen wouldn't have gone through the same transformation had she not fallen in love. Overall, though, I'm keen to see where the story goes next.

Let's talk!
Have you read any of these books? Tell me what you think if you have!
If you haven't, would you  like to?
What historical time period do you like to read about?


  1. I've read all of these and loved them! I absolutely can't wait for Blood for Blood. I still haven't read the sequel to Prisoner of Night and Fog, yet, though, and I don't know why!

    1. I've just bought Blood for Blood! I'm so excited to read it :D I haven't gotten around to the sequel to Prisoner of Night and Fog either, but I'm hoping I will soon :D

  2. OMG I LOVE ALL OF THESE. The Book Thief broke my heart into a million pieces, Prisoner of Night & Fog was so eye-opening and well-researched and Wolf by Wolf had such an amazing premise. Glad you liked them all too! Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous post! <3

    1. Reading the three of them around the same time was one of the best reading roll ever, honestly. :D Thanks, Zoe! <3

  3. I don't really read books about war either! But I've read the top two, and they were really good :O Especially Wolf by Wolf - dying to read the next book!! And The Book Thief - WHY OH WHY MY HEART :(

    1. I promised myself I'd read Nevernight after this, but now that I have Blood for Blood, that's all I want to read haha. I'm still in awe at how The Book Thief is so heartbreaking yet feels so whimsical at the same!


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