Release date: April 21st 2015
The follow-up to Prisoner of Night and Fog, Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke finds Gretchen and Daniel living their lives, safe from the happenings of their hometown. A telegram from a friend sends Daniel back to Germany and Gretchen soon follows. Daniel is wanted for murder and they must clear his name before they can leave Germany again. While investigating the murder, they begin to uncover just how deep the conspiracy goes and puts their lives in even more danger.
I loved Prisoner of Night and Fog and I wasn’t sure if a sequel could top it, but Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke managed to do just that. It was action-packed, fast-paced and the tension was high through the whole book. There were some really great new characters introduced and the re-appearance of ones from the previous book.
Gretchen grew a lot in the first book. It was her journey about seeing the Jews as people instead of what Hitler wanted her to see them as: lesser, unpure. It was her breaking free of him and his beliefs. The second book had her continuing that growth arc but in a more subtle manner. It was her seeing the way the Nazis were treating people and her horror at how she used to think. It was her remembering interactions with her father and Hitler and seeing them in a new light.
The romance was heavier in the second book and Gretchen and Daniel had to deal with what being in love meant for them. It was obvious they did care for each other but they also had their own dreams for their lives and maybe being together would mean one of them sacrificing that dream. I liked the push and pull between them in this book. They were drawn to each other, they loved each other, but maybe that wasn’t enough. We also got to learn a lot more about Daniel in this book and it was great. He was a great character in the first book but getting more of his story just made him that much better.
Again, there were so many historical facts woven into the plot. Yes, the characters are mostly fictional and some of the events were also fictionalized or tweaked to fit the plot, but there was still a lot of facts. The author’s notes had a lot of information as well and I found it really interesting. It made me wish they’d gone more in depth during school when they taught us history(instead of just learning our country’s role).
The writing in the first book was wonderful and it continued into the second. It made for a really great read that I didn’t want to put down.
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.