ANZAC Day – 13 Historical Fiction I still need to read

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I’m scheduling this post, so it was written well before ANZAC Day, but when this goes up I will be on holidays! It will be really weird not going to the ANZAC Day parade at home, but we will still be attending one nearby where we are staying. So it will be interesting seeing another town’s ANZAC Day parade, as I’ve only ever gone to one here in town.

Anyway, I decided to make a post inspired by ANZAC Day and talk about historical books. For those that do not know, ANZAC stands for Australia and New Zealand Army Corps and the day is dedicated to remembering those who served and died in any of the wars that Aus & NZ were involved in. It is an extremely important day to a lot of us, especially those who had family that fought. I have also changed my images to poppies. I believe that the Poppy not only symbolises war remembrance for Australia but also all over the world. The poppy is not only for those that were lost but also those that are still in service. In Australia, Poppies are worn, not only on Remembrance Day (11th of November) but also on ANZAC Day (25th April).

They shall grow not old, while we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

Lest We Forget

So I have read a fair few historical fictions and mostly enjoyed reading them! I especially love reading World War II books. However, today I will be talking about some of the historical fictions that are still on my TBR! So let’s get into this!


The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah


Everyone is talking about this one, so of course, I want to read it as it’s had so much praise!!

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In love we find out who we want to be. In war we find out who we are.

FRANCE, 1939

In the quiet village of Carriveau, Vianne Mauriac says goodbye to her husband, Antoine, as he heads for the Front. She doesn’t believe that the Nazis will invade France…but invade they do, in droves of marching soldiers, in caravans of trucks and tanks, in planes that fill the skies and drop bombs upon the innocent. When France is overrun, Vianne is forced to take an enemy into her house, and suddenly her every move is watched; her life and her child’s life is at constant risk. Without food or money or hope, as danger escalates around her, she must make one terrible choice after another.

Vianne’s sister, Isabelle, is a rebellious eighteen-year-old girl, searching for purpose with all the reckless passion of youth. While thousands of Parisians march into the unknown terrors of war, she meets the compelling and mysterious Gäetan, a partisan who believes the French can fight the Nazis from within France, and she falls in love as only the young can…completely. When he betrays her, Isabelle races headlong into danger and joins the Resistance, never looking back or giving a thought to the real–and deadly–consequences.

City of Thieves by David Benioff


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From the critically acclaimed author of The 25th Hour, a captivating novel about war, courage, survival — and a remarkable friendship that ripples across a lifetime.

During the Nazis’ brutal siege of Leningrad, Lev Beniov is arrested for looting and thrown into the same cell as a handsome deserter named Kolya. Instead of being executed, Lev and Kolya are given a shot at saving their own lives by complying with an outrageous directive: secure a dozen eggs for a powerful Soviet colonel to use in his daughter’s wedding cake. In a city cut off from all supplies and suffering unbelievable deprivation, Lev and Kolya embark on a hunt through the dire lawlessness of Leningrad and behind enemy lines to find the impossible.

By turns insightful and funny, thrilling and terrifying, City of Thieves is a gripping, cinematic World War II adventure and an intimate coming-of-age story with an utterly contemporary feel for how boys become men.

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein


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Oct. 11th, 1943-A British spy plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France. Its pilot and passenger are best friends. One of the girls has a chance at survival. The other has lost the game before it’s barely begun.

When “Verity” is arrested by the Gestapo, she’s sure she doesn’t stand a chance. As a secret agent captured in enemy territory, she’s living a spy’s worst nightmare. Her Nazi interrogators give her a simple choice: reveal her mission or face a grisly execution.

As she intricately weaves her confession, Verity uncovers her past, how she became friends with the pilot Maddie, and why she left Maddie in the wrecked fuselage of their plane. On each new scrap of paper, Verity battles for her life, confronting her views on courage, failure and her desperate hope to make it home. But will trading her secrets be enough to save her from the enemy?

A Michael L. Printz Award Honor book that was called “a fiendishly-plotted mind game of a novel” in The New York TimesCode Name Verity is a visceral read of danger, resolve, and survival that shows just how far true friends will go to save each other.

Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson


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Gold is in my blood, in my breath, even in the flecks in my eyes.

Lee Westfall has a strong, loving family. She has a home she loves and a loyal steed. She has a best friend—who might want to be something more.

She also has a secret.

Lee can sense gold in the world around her. Veins deep in the earth. Small nuggets in a stream. Even gold dust caught underneath a fingernail. She has kept her family safe and able to buy provisions, even through the harshest winters. But what would someone do to control a girl with that kind of power? A person might murder for it.

When everything Lee holds dear is ripped away, she flees west to California—where gold has just been discovered. Perhaps this will be the one place a magical girl can be herself. If she survives the journey.

The acclaimed Rae Carson begins a sweeping new trilogy set in Gold Rush-era America, about a young woman with a powerful and dangerous gift.

Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman


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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.

My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton & Jodi Meadows


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Edward (long live the king) is the King of England. He’s also dying, which is inconvenient, as he’s only sixteen and he’d much rather be planning for his first kiss than considering who will inherit his crown…

Jane (reads too many books) is Edward’s cousin, and far more interested in books than romance. Unfortunately for Jane, Edward has arranged to marry her off to secure the line of succession. And there’s something a little odd about her intended…

Gifford (call him G) is a horse. That is, he’s an Eðian (eth-y-un, for the uninitiated). Every day at dawn he becomes a noble chestnut steed—but then he wakes at dusk with a mouthful of hay. It’s all very undignified.

The plot thickens as Edward, Jane, and G are drawn into a dangerous conspiracy. With the fate of the kingdom at stake, our heroes will have to engage in some conspiring of their own. But can they pull off their plan before it’s off with their heads?

The Blackthorn Key by Kevin Sands


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“Tell no one what I’ve given you.”

Until he got that cryptic warning, Christopher Rowe was happy, learning how to solve complex codes and puzzles and creating powerful medicines, potions, and weapons as an apprentice to Master Benedict Blackthorn—with maybe an explosion or two along the way.

But when a mysterious cult begins to prey on London’s apothecaries, the trail of murders grows closer and closer to Blackthorn’s shop. With time running out, Christopher must use every skill he’s learned to discover the key to a terrible secret with the power to tear the world apart.

Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin


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Her story begins on a train.

The year is 1956, and the Axis powers of the Third Reich and Imperial Japan rule. To commemorate their Great Victory, Hitler and Emperor Hirohito host the Axis Tour: an annual motorcycle race across their conjoined continents. The victor is awarded an audience with the highly reclusive Adolf Hitler at the Victor’s Ball in Tokyo.

Yael, a former death camp prisoner, has witnessed too much suffering, and the five wolves tattooed on her arm are a constant reminder of the loved ones she lost. The resistance has given Yael one goal: Win the race and kill Hitler. A survivor of painful human experimentation, Yael has the power to skinshift and must complete her mission by impersonating last year’s only female racer, Adele Wolfe. This deception becomes more difficult when Felix, Adele twin’s brother, and Luka, her former love interest, enter the race and watch Yael’s every move.

But as Yael grows closer to the other competitors, can she bring herself to be as ruthless as she needs to be to avoid discovery and complete her mission?

From the author of The Walled City comes a fast-paced and innovative novel that will leave you breathless.

Shadows of War by Michael Ridpath


This one is actually the sequel to a book I have already read, Traitor’s Game, which was really good. At the time I didn’t realise it had a sequel, so I never picked it up.

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October, 1939: War has been declared, but until the armies massed on either side of the French/German border engage, all is quiet on the Western Front.

But just because its quiet doesn’t mean that it’s not deadly.

There are those who believe the war no one wants to fight should be brought to a swift conclusion, even if it means treachery.

A year ago, Conrad de Lancey came within seconds of assassinating Hitler. Now the British Secret Service want him to go back into Europe and make contact with a group of German officers they believe are plotting a coup.

But this is the Shadow War. And the shadows are multiplying. And it’s not only disaffected Germans who are prepared to betray their country to save it…

Iron Cast by Destiny Soria


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In 1919, Ada Navarra—the intrepid daughter of immigrants—and Corinne Wells—a spunky, devil-may-care heiress—make an unlikely pair. But at the Cast Iron nightclub in Boston, anything and everything is possible. At night, on stage together, the two best friends, whose “afflicted” blood gives them the ability to create illusions through art, weave magic under the employ of Johnny Dervish, the club’s owner and a notorious gangster. By day, Ada and Corinne use these same skills to con the city’s elite in an attempt to keep the club afloat.

When a “job” goes awry and Ada is imprisoned, she realizes they’re on the precipice of danger. Only Corinne—her partner in crime—can break her out of Haversham Asylum. But once Ada is out, they face betrayal at every turn.

The Watchmaker’s Daughter by C.J. Archer


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India Steele is desperate. Her father is dead, her fiancé took her inheritance, and no one will employ her, despite years working for her watchmaker father. Indeed, the other London watchmakers seem frightened of her. Alone, poor, and at the end of her tether, India takes employment with the only person who’ll accept her – an enigmatic and mysterious man from America. A man who possesses a strange watch that rejuvenates him when he’s ill.

Matthew Glass must find a particular watchmaker, but he won’t tell India why any old one won’t do. Nor will he tell her what he does back home, and how he can afford to stay in a house in one of London’s best streets. So when she reads about an American outlaw known as the Dark Rider arriving in England, she suspects Mr. Glass is the fugitive. When danger comes to their door, she’s certain of it. But if she notifies the authorities, she’ll find herself unemployed and homeless again – and she will have betrayed the man who saved her life.

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón


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The international literary sensation, about a boy’s quest through the secrets and shadows of postwar Barcelona for a mysterious author whose book has proved as dangerous to own as it is impossible to forget.

Barcelona, 1945 – just after the war, a great world city lies in shadow, nursing its wounds, and a boy named Daniel awakes on his eleventh birthday to find that he can no longer remember his mother’s face. To console his only child, Daniel’s widowed father, an antiquarian book dealer, initiates him into the secret of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, a library tended by Barcelona’s guild of rare-book dealers as a repository for books forgotten by the world, waiting for someone who will care about them again. Daniel’s father coaxes him to choose a volume from the spiraling labyrinth of shelves, one that, it is said, will have a special meaning for him. And Daniel so loves the novel he selects, The Shadow of the Wind by one Julian Carax, that he sets out to find the rest of Carax’s work. To his shock, he discovers that someone has been systematically destroying every copy of every book this author has written. In fact, he may have the last one in existence. Before Daniel knows it his seemingly innocent quest has opened a door into one of Barcelona’s darkest secrets, an epic story of murder, magic, madness and doomed love. And before long he realizes that if he doesn’t find out the truth about Julian Carax, he and those closest to him will suffer horribly.

As with all astounding novels, The Shadow of the Wind sends the mind groping for comparisons—The Crimson Petal and the White? The novels of Arturo Pérez-Reverte? Of Victor Hugo? Love in the Time of Cholera?—but in the end, as with all astounding novels, no comparison can suffice. As one leading Spanish reviewer wrote, “The originality of Ruiz Zafón’s voice is bombproof and displays a diabolical talent. The Shadow of the Wind announces a phenomenon in Spanish literature.” An uncannily absorbing historical mystery, a heart-piercing romance, and a moving homage to the mystical power of books, The Shadow of the Wind is a triumph of the storyteller’s art.

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead


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Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. Life is hellish for all the slaves but especially bad for Cora; an outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is coming into womanhood – where even greater pain awaits. When Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they decide to take a terrifying risk and escape. Matters do not go as planned and, though they manage to find a station and head north, they are being hunted.

In Whitehead’s ingenious conception, the Underground Railroad is no mere metaphor – engineers and conductors operate a secret network of tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil. Cora and Caesar’s first stop is South Carolina, in a city that initially seems like a haven – but the city’s placid surface masks an insidious scheme designed for its black denizens. Even worse: Ridgeway, the relentless slave catcher, is close on their heels. Forced to flee again, Cora embarks on a harrowing flight, state by state, seeking true freedom.

As Whitehead brilliantly re-creates the unique terrors for black people in the pre-Civil War era, his narrative seamlessly weaves the saga of America from the brutal importation of Africans to the unfulfilled promises of the present day. The Underground Railroad is at once a kinetic adventure tale of one woman’s ferocious will to escape the horrors of bondage and a shattering, powerful meditation on the history we all share.




Blood of Assassins by R.J. Barker – Spoiler Free Review

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Title: Blood of Assassins
R.J. Barker
Series Name: The Wounded Kingdom
Adult Fantasy
Publication Date: Feb 15th, 2018
Pages: 434 (Paperback)
Publishers: Hachette Australia/Orbit
4 and a half star

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The king is dead, long live the king…

The assassin Girton Club-foot and his master have returned to Maniyadoc in hope of finding sanctuary, but death, as always, dogs Girton’s heels.

The place he knew no longer exists. War rages across Maniyadoc, with three kings claiming the same crown – and one of them is Girton’s old friend Rufra. Girton finds himself hurrying to uncover a plot to murder Rufra on what should be the day of the king’s greatest victory. But while Girton deals with threats inside and outside Rufra’s war encampment, he can’t help wondering if his greatest enemy hides beneath his own skin.

Blood of Assassins is the epic sequel to RJ Barker’s debut Age of Assassins, set in a world ravaged by magic, featuring a cast of assassins, knights, ambitious noblemen, and fools.

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You can find my review of Book 1 in this series, Age of Assassins HERE.

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I feel the same about this cover as I did with the first. It appears simple from a distance. Just a red cover with a slash and a person standing in it. But then you look closer and there is heaps more detailed than you realised.

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So, my main complaint from book 1 was that the world building was lacking and that still stands in this book. There are words that are used with no explanation (Hedging, Thankful, Yellowers, Blessed, Nonmen and a few more I can’t think of). I understand that they are different types/classes of people but I don’t get how they are determined, what they mean or what the difference is.

Book 1 had chapters that were just Girton’s dreams and they were really well done. Most of the dreams were things that happened in his past and it was an awesome way to get some background on both him and Merela. The same thing was used a couple times in this book, but they were horrible. I couldn’t understand what was going on in these dreams at all. Everything was disjointed, repetitive and utterly confusing. They also didn’t seem to have a point. In the first book, it was history, so it was giving us background but these didn’t seem to try and show the reader anything in particular.

Besides the lack of world building and those weird dream chapters, I did enjoy the book. It flowed well and was extremely engaging. I had trouble putting it down, especially in the last two days when I was near the end of the story.

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Again this book is kind of a mystery, but this one has a bit more action and other events mixed in compared to book 1. I enjoyed the action and as I said this book was gripping and hard to put down. This one also has a lot more twists and turns than book 1 and I was not expecting most of them (except that plot twist with Aydor at the end, I totally guessed that!).

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Girton, is a little annoying honestly. He is stubborn but not necessarily in a good way. He also jumps to conclusions really quickly and doesn’t always think about his actions before he does something. I also don’t feel like he has grown up, even though this book is set 5 years after the first.
I honestly don’t even see him as an assassin. Assassins need to be quick, calculating and cunning. Girton isn’t really any of these things. As I said he jumps into things without thinking all the time, which I feel like is the opposite of what he should be doing. Mesela is a good portrayal of what I feel like an assassin should be. She is cunning, intelligent, patient and waits for the right moment and never goes into something without having a reason. Girton is the opposite basically. So if you are looking for a book with an awesome assassin that does assassin like things, this is not the one for you. This is a book about war, not assassins.

The other characters in this book have changed a fair bit. Rufra, Aydor & Thomas all make appearances in this book. Thoms was my least favourite character, not because he is meant to be a kind of villain character but because he was kinda pathetic. He never even spoke for himself. He just sat there while Neander told others what he would be doing. It was really strange considering how dominant he acted in book 1. Rufra was a little more real. He was struggling with being a friend, being a king and the loss that he suffered between Age of Assassins & Blood of Assassins. You saw the struggle with basically every encounter he had with Girton.

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Overall I really enjoyed this book. There were a couple things that could use some improvement, like the world building and some of the characters. But I still had heaps of fun reading this book and it was extremely gripping! I really hope some things are explained a bit more in book 3, but by this point, it’s probably not likely. Either way, I can’t wait for book 3, King of Assassins and luckischeduledchedualed to release in August according to Goodreads, so I don’t have long to wait!

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I was provided with an eGalley of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you very much to Hachette Australia/Orbit NetGalley for this opportunity.

You can purchase this book at any of the below links!

Hachette Australia
Paperback  /  eBook

Book Depository




Amazon (Aus)
Kindle  /  Paperback  /  Audible

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The Third Day, The Frost by John Marsden – Spoiler Free Review

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Title: The Third Day, The Frost
John Marsden
Series: Tomorrow #3
YA War Fiction
Publication Date: April 26th, 2012 (first published in 1995)
Pages: 278 (Paperback)
Publishers: Quercus
4 and a half star

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Ellie and her friends have achieved more than they ever thought possible as an unarmed bunch of amateur teenage fighters. But it’s not enough. The war wages on, their families are in captivity and their country is on its knees. Hiding back in Hell, the friends face a big question: what to do next?

The gang have another success when they manage to rescue Kevin. He returns to them equipped with a new knowledge of explosives. Suddenly the question of what to do next becomes clear – launch an attack on the major enemy target of Cobblers’ Bay.

Can Ellie, Homer, Fi, Robin, Lee and Kevin really stage a major military attack on the enemy? And in their attempt to pull it off, what will they have to sacrifice? They have already lost Corrie and Chris; who else will the group have to lose in their desperation to defend their country?

The Third Day, The Frost, draws the reader deeper into the struggle of these ordinary teens attempting to survive in extraordinary times. A tense and moving read that will stay with you forever.

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Click the title to see my spoiler free review of Tomorrow When the War Began & The Dead of the Night

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I don’t really understand this cover. I just don’t get the shell or pearl. But I do prefer these editions visually than the other covers, hence why I choose these. But I don’t understand!

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I love the writing of these books! The writing is really unique! The book is written as if the main character has written it after the events of the book. So you get what happened, Ellie’s thoughts while the things happened and also her thoughts while writing the story. I love this method of writing and John Marsden does it amazingly!

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These books are action-packed and extreme in every way! Even when there isn’t much going on it still feels kinda full because we are getting Ellie’s thoughts. But also they skip over the parts that would be really dull as this is Ellie telling the story of what actually went on and all the action, so that is good. It makes for quick and gripping reads.

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I love all the characters in one way or another. Ellie feels like the most realistic character I have ever read. Even though she is appearing brave and in charge to the others, she is falling apart inside and it’s good to see that. Even though she is struggling she gets in and does what she needs to do and will always do anything to protect the group.

I felt like in this book the other characters were slightly more distant than in previous books. They do spend a majority of their time together but as they are all so broken and most of the time they just want to sit in the quiet alone, there isn’t as much connection between Ellie and the other characters. However, I didn’t mind it. I love reading from Ellie’s POV and they still got altogether when they were planning stuff and doing big things, so it didn’t feel like they were completely absent.

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Overall, I love this series. It gripped me when I read the very first book in high school for English class and it only gets more intense. It is kind of a scary book in a way as this is the most realistic dystopian type book I have ever read. It’s the closest to what could actually happen and that is terrifying and also it’s set in Aus. So it feels way too close to home for me.
Also, there is something that happened in the last couple pages of this book that killed me. I don’t remember if I have cried in either of the last 2 books, but I did in this one.





The Girl From Munich by Tania Blanchard – Spoiler Free Review

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Title: The Girl From Munich
Tania Blanchard
Adult Historical Fiction
Publication Date: Sept 1st, 2017
Pages: 421 (Paperback)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
4 and a half stars

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Germany, 1943. The choices she makes will change her life forever.

Growing up in Hitler’s Germany, Charlotte von Klein has big dreams for the future. Her mind is full of plans for a sumptuous wedding to her childhood sweetheart Heinrich while working for the Luftwaffe, proudly giving her all for the Fatherland.

But in 1943, the tide of the war is turning against Germany, and Lotte’s life of privilege and comfort begins to collapsing around her. As Hitler’s Reich abandons Germany and the country falls to the Allied forces, Lotte is forced to flee from the unfolding chaos to the country with the darkly attractive Erich Drescher, her Luftwaffe superior.

Amid the danger, pain and heartbreak of a country turning on itself, Lotte must forge a new life for herself. But as the country struggles to find its future, shadows of the past come rushing back and Lotte finds herself questioning everything she has fought for – love, duty and freedom.

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This book review will not follow my usual format.

This book was not what I expected at all. Most of the Historical Fiction books I have read are really heavy on the heartbreaking events that people had to endure during WWII. While this book definitely does hit that through the start of the book, the second half is very centred around a certain romance and the events that happened to that couple in the years after the war. Around the middle of the book, I wasn’t loving it to be honest as I just found it a bit dull as there wasn’t anything too devastating that our actual main character went through. However, I kept going and even though I am not generally a romance reader and generally just don’t give a damn about romances, this one I did enjoy. I also got connected to the characters and multiple times I was tearing up because of events that happened, both sad and happy.

Yes, this review is going to be spoiler free, however, there is a certain event that I think you need to know about before reading this book as it could be a massive trigger to someone that has suffered or been close to someone who has gone through this in their life.
I recommend caution when reading this book to people that might be triggered by losing a child in childbirth. I was hit hard by it and I have never been through that but as my grandmother lost twins this way and I have heard my Mum talk about it often, it did hit me harder than I expected. I’m even tearing up writing this. So, yes, even though that is spoilery, I think it is something people need to know.

Even though this review isn’t following my usual format, I still wanted to talk about the writing and the characters. So, I’ll add that here just without the headings.

The writing was really enjoyable. I really like it when books use a combination of mostly English but then some German. I have gotten used to some of the common German words that are used in most Historical Fictions and there was only 1 word that I had to look up and that was ‘prinzregentenstrasse’ which is simply a street name, but when you see a word that long in a book, it can be a little scary haha! Even though I enjoyed the writing, for the most part, but it was a little confusing at times purely for when they were jumping ahead days or months. There was no indicator that it was about to jump ahead a month or two and some of the time it wasn’t actually said at the start of that new paragraph, it was a page or so later in the middle of a paragraph and I was just thinking ‘wait! did that just jump ahead or has it been like that this whole chapter?!’. It was a little confusing and I wish there were time markers, there is in the epilogue, but not in the rest of the book.

As for the characters, Lotte I enjoyed, but did annoy me sometimes just because of how naive she was at some points even when the facts were sitting there in front of her.
Heinrich irritated me from the start of the book. He always seemed like he was a bit up himself and only cared about what he wanted and his views. He was also possessive and fairly forceful to which I absolutely hate. I know there are people in the real world 10x worse than him in those ways, but I am someone that doesn’t take crap from no one and if he had done that to me, he would have had a fist to the nose & a knee to the privates, quicker than he can say ‘Germany’.
Next, I want to talk about Lotte’s Mother & Step-Father but I don’t remember their names as it was only said once or twice and the rest of the time they were just called Mutti & Vati, so I’ll just use that too.
Mutti was not an enjoyable character. She was controlling at times and stubborn. She wouldn’t accept that her Daughter could have different wishes for herself and her life and when Lotte showed that Mutti just stopped talking to her. I can understand why she acted the way she did for some of it, but some of this was not necessary and all she was doing was pushing Lotte away, not protecting her.
Vati, on the other hand, was lovely. He was always the middle between Lotte & her mother and also tried to find a solution that would hopefully satisfy both sides, even if they weren’t fully happy with it. He was loving, caring and would do whatever he could for his only daughter.
Erich I also really enjoyed. He was loving, kind and patient. He would do whatever he could for the ones he cares about.
There is one last person I want to talk about and that it Tante Susie, which is Aunty Susie. So, for the most part, she was enjoyable except for at the end. It was never explained as to why she suddenly stopped being the loving Aunty but I have a guess. This next part in bold will be extremely spoilery, so only read it if you have read the book.
So, my guess is that when Tante Susie was away in one of the camps she met Inga and found out who she was. Inga mentioned that someone told her that her husband was in that town and had remarried and had children.  I am guessing that the reason Tante Susie started acting extremely cold was that she thought that Lotte deliberately had married a man that she knew was married. However, of course, Lotte & Erich both thought Inga and the children dead. But that would explain why she kicked Lotte & Erich out of the house. 

One thing that confuses me is the MC’s name. In the Synopsis, both from Goodreads & on my Proof copy, they call her Charlotte von Klein but in the book, she is called Charlotte von Betz. So I don’t know if that is some German term that I don’t know about or whether it’s an error, but it really confused me when I started reading the book.

So, overall I enjoyed the book. It was not what I was expecting and had a few elements that I generally don’t enjoy in books buts I still liked it. As all historical fictions do, this one brought out the emotions and you can’t help but be hurt by what these characters went through.

So, originally this was a book that I requested on NetGalley. However, when I got the email that said I was approved, I went on straight away to download it and it had already been archived. So I couldn’t download it. I sent feedback through explaining that it had been archived before I even received the confirmation email and Kirsty from Simon & Schuster emailed me and asked if I would like a physical ARC of the book! So, of course, I said yes!

So thank you to Kirsty from Simon & Schuster for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

This book is already up for sale and you can find it at:

Simon & Schuster Australia


Book Depository

Amazon Australia (eBook)

Booktopia (Currently 20% OFF!!)


Boomerang Books (Currently 16% OFF)


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The Dead of the Night by John Marsden – Spoiler Free Review

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Title: The Dead of the Night
John Marsden
Series: Tomorrow
YA Dystopian
Publication Date: Jan 5th, 2012
Pages: 271 (Paperback)
Publisher: Quercus
4 and a half stars

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Australia has been invaded and nothing is as it was. Six teenagers are living a nightmare in the sanctuary of a hidden valley where nothing and no-one is safe.


You can find my review for book 1, Tomorrow When the War Began, HERE!

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I still really enjoy the writing for this. The book is written from Ellie’s memory. So it’s a combination of what happened, her thoughts when it was happening and also her thoughts while writing it. Which is really different and interesting. The only thing I wish that was different, is I wish there was a map in the book as it’s hard to visualise the tower and where it is compared to Cobbler’s Bay and the other towns & Hell.

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I love how action packed these books are. As it’s from memory the boring, sitting around is just skipped over and they concentrate on either when they are planning or when they are actually doing something. So the plot is always really enjoyable and most of the time fast paced. It makes for really quick reading!

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I really enjoy all the characters. The only character I didn’t like in the first book was Kevin and he wasn’t in this one. So that was good. I really like Fi & Homer the most. They are all so different, personality wise.

The only character I kinda liked in the other group they run into is Olive. I liked that she was honest & didn’t just treat them like kids, like everyone else did from that group.

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I really like this book and this series so far! I’m so happy to have finally continued with this series after first reading it in about 2011 or 2012 for school! They are action packed and extreme books and also a little scary. This is the most realistic dystopian type book that I have ever read. It’s also really close to home as it’s based in NSW, Aus. It’s also 100% possible that something like this could happen so that just makes it a little scary. But they are still amazing books and I can’t wait to continue the series!

I have just ordered the next 2 books, but I can’t get the last 3 in the matching editions so I will have to wait until I can find the matching ones. And I don’t want to buy the eBooks as they are 10 each and the physical books are between $10-$12, so I don’t see the point in wasting my money.

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ANZAC Day – Historical Books On My TBR

ANZAC DayHistorical Bookson my TBR

So as we are celebrating ANZAC Day here in Australia I thought today would be a good day to talk about War related Historical Fiction & Non-Fiction Books that are on my TBR.

So I enjoy reading Historical Fiction but I don’t read it enough! I really want to read more soon, but as I only own 1 other Historical Fiction that I have yet to read and I’m trying not to buy as many books until I get my TBR shelves down, I won’t be getting to these straight away but soon hopefully! I also want to try and get more into Non-Fiction books, especially War Non-Fiction books as war, especially World War II really interests me.

I have read The Book Thief by Markus Zusak and Traitor’s Gate by Michael Ridpath. Both were really good books! The Book Thief is so emotional and Traitor’s Gate is really interesting and different.

Now onto the books on my TBR.

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All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

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From the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr, the beautiful, stunningly ambitious instant New York Times bestseller about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.

Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.

In a mining town in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure’s converge.


The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne

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Berlin, 1942 : When Bruno returns home from school one day, he discovers that his belongings are being packed in crates. His father has received a promotion and the family must move to a new house far, far away, where there is no one to play with and nothing to do. A tall fence stretches as far as the eye can see and cuts him off from the strange people in the distance.

But Bruno longs to be an explorer and decides that there must be more to this desolate new place than meets the eye. While exploring his new environment, he meets another boy whose life and circumstances are very different from his own, and their meeting results in a friendship that has devastating consequences.

Code Name Verity Duology by Elizabeth Wein

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I have two weeks. You’ll shoot me at the end no matter what I do.

That’s what you do to enemy agents. It’s what we do to enemy agents. But I look at all the dark and twisted roads ahead and cooperation is the easy way out. Possibly the only way out for a girl caught red-handed doing dirty work like mine – and I will do anything, anything to avoid SS-Hauptsturmführer von Linden interrogating me again.

He has said that I can have as much paper as I need. All I have to do is cough up everything I can remember about the British War Effort. And I’m going to. But the story of how I came to be here starts with my friend Maddie. She is the pilot who flew me into France – an Allied Invasion of Two.

We are a sensational team.


Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

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At the heart of Catch-22 resides the incomparable, malingering bombardier, Yossarian, a hero endlessly inventive in his schemes to save his skin from the horrible chances of war.

His problem is Colonel Cathcart, who keeps raising the number of missions the men must fly to complete their service. Yet if Yossarian makes any attempts to excuse himself from the perilous missions that he’s committed to flying, he’s trapped by the Great Loyalty Oath Crusade, the bureaucratic rule from which the book takes its title: a man is considered insane if he willingly continues to fly dangerous combat missions, but if he makes the necessary formal request to be relieved of such missions, the very act of making the request proves that he’s sane and therefore, ineligible to be relieved.


Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

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Kurt Vonnegut’s absurdist classic Slaughterhouse-Five introduces us to Billy Pilgrim, a man who becomes unstuck in time after he is abducted by aliens from the planet Tralfamadore. In a plot-scrambling display of virtuosity, we follow Pilgrim simultaneously through all phases of his life, concentrating on his (and Vonnegut’s) shattering experience as an American prisoner of war who witnesses the firebombing of Dresden.

Don’t let the ease of reading fool you – Vonnegut’s isn’t a conventional, or simple, novel. He writes, “There are almost no characters in this story, and almost no dramatic confrontations, because most of the people in it are so sick, and so much the listless playthings of enormous forces. One of the main effects of war, after all, is that people are discouraged from being characters.”

Slaughterhouse-Five is not only Vonnegut’s most powerful book, it is also as important as any written since 1945. Like Catch- 22, it fashions the author’s experiences in the Second World War into an eloquent and deeply funny plea against butchery in the service of authority. Slaughterhouse-Five boasts the same imagination, humanity, and gleeful appreciation of the absurd found in Vonnegut’s other works, but the book’s basis in rock-hard, tragic fact gives it a unique poignancy – and humor.

City of Thieves by David Benioff

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From the critically acclaimed author of The 25th Hour, a captivating novel about war, courage, survival — and a remarkable friendship that ripples across a lifetime.

During the Nazis’ brutal siege of Leningrad, Lev Beniov is arrested for looting and thrown into the same cell as a handsome deserter named Kolya. Instead of being executed, Lev and Kolya are given a shot at saving their own lives by complying with an outrageous directive: secure a dozen eggs for a powerful Soviet colonel to use in his daughter’s wedding cake. In a city cut off from all supplies and suffering unbelievable deprivation, Lev and Kolya embark on a hunt through the dire lawlessness of Leningrad and behind enemy lines to find the impossible.

By turns insightful and funny, thrilling and terrifying, City of Thieves is a gripping, cinematic World War II adventure and an intimate coming-of-age story with an utterly contemporary feel for how boys become men.

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Maus Duology by Art Spiegelman

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A story of a Jewish survivor of Hitler’s Europe and his son, a cartoonist who tries to come to terms with his father’s story and history itself.

This is a graphical novel and I want to try and start reading graphic novels.


Schindler’s List by Thomas Keneally

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During the Holocaust at the German concentration camp near Plaszow, thousands of Jews lost their lives at the hands of the Nazis. More than a thousand others would have been counted among the dead if not for a womanizing, heavydrinking, German-Catholic industrialist and Nazi Party member named Oskar Schindler.

One of the most remarkable narratives of the Holocaust, Schindler’s List masterfully recreates the daring exploits of Schindler, who used his enormous fortune to build a factory near the concentration camp and saved the lives of over 1,300 Jews. An absorbing, suspenseful and moving account of Oskar Schindler’s legacy of life, this is an unforgettable audio program.


The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A history of Nazi Germany

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Hitler boasted that The Third Reich would last a thousand years. It lasted only 12. But those 12 years contained some of the most catastrophic events Western civilization has ever known.

No other powerful empire ever bequeathed such mountains of evidence about its birth and destruction as the Third Reich. When the bitter war was over, and before the Nazis could destroy their files, the Allied demand for unconditional surrender produced an almost hour-by-hour record of the nightmare empire built by Adolph Hitler. This record included the testimony of Nazi leaders and of concentration camp inmates, the diaries of officials, transcripts of secret conferences, army orders, private letters—all the vast paperwork behind Hitler’s drive to conquer the world.

The famed foreign correspondent and historian William L. Shirer, who had watched and reported on the Nazis since 1925, spent five and a half years sifting through this massive documentation. The result is a monumental study that has been widely acclaimed as the definitive record of one of the most frightening chapters in the history of mankind.

This worldwide bestseller has been acclaimed as the definitive book on Nazi Germany; it is a classic work.

The accounts of how the United States got involved and how Hitler used Mussolini and Japan are astonishing, and the coverage of the war-from Germany’s early successes to her eventual defeat-is must reading


The First World War by John Keegan

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The First World War created the modern world. A conflict of unprecedented ferocity, it abruptly ended the relative peace and prosperity of the Victorian era, unleashing such demons of the twentieth century as mechanized warfare and mass death. It also helped to usher in the ideas that have shaped our times–modernism in the arts, new approaches to psychology and medicine, radical thoughts about economics and society–and in so doing shattered the faith in rationalism and liberalism that had prevailed in Europe since the Enlightenment. With The First World War, John Keegan, one of our most eminent military historians, fulfills a lifelong ambition to write the definitive account of the Great War for our generation.

Probing the mystery of how a civilization at the height of its achievement could have propelled itself into such a ruinous conflict, Keegan takes us behind the scenes of the negotiations among Europe’s crowned heads (all of them related to one another by blood) and ministers, and their doomed efforts to defuse the crisis. He reveals how, by an astonishing failure of diplomacy and communication, a bilateral dispute grew to engulf an entire continent.

But the heart of Keegan’s superb narrative is, of course, his analysis of the military conflict. With unequalled authority and insight, he recreates the nightmarish engagements whose names have become legend–Verdun, the Somme and Gallipoli among them–and sheds new light on the strategies and tactics employed, particularly the contributions of geography and technology. No less central to Keegan’s account is the human aspect. He acquaints us with the thoughts of the intriguing personalities who oversaw the tragically unnecessary catastrophe–from heads of state like Russia’s hapless tsar, Nicholas II, to renowned warmakers such as Haig, Hindenburg and Joffre. But Keegan reserves his most affecting personal sympathy for those whose individual efforts history has not recorded–“the anonymous millions, indistinguishably drab, undifferentially deprived of any scrap of the glories that by tradition made the life of the man-at-arms tolerable.”

By the end of the war, three great empires–the Austro-Hungarian, the Russian and the Ottoman–had collapsed. But as Keegan shows, the devastation ex-tended over the entirety of Europe, and still profoundly informs the politics and culture of the continent today. His brilliant, panoramic account of this vast and terrible conflict is destined to take its place among the classics of world history.

With 24 pages of photographs, 2 endpaper maps, and 15 maps in text


Sniper of the Eastern Front: The Memoirs of Sepp Allerberger Knights Cross by Albrecht Wacker

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Josef “Sepp” Allerberger was the second most successful sniper of the German Wehrmacht and one of the few private soldiers to be honoured with the award of the Knight’s Cross.

An Austrian conscript, after qualifying as a machine gunner he was drafted to the southern sector of the Russian Front in July 1942. Wounded at Voroshilovsk, he experimented with a Russian sniper-rifle while convalescing and so impressed his superiors with his proficiency that he was returned to the front on his regiment’s only sniper specialist.

In this sometimes harrowing memoir, Allerberger provides an excellent introduction to the commitment in fieldcraft, discipline and routine required of the sniper, a man apart. There was no place for chivalry on the Russian Front. Away from the film cameras, no prisoner survived long after surrendering. Russian snipers had used the illegal explosive bullet since 1941, and Hitler eventually authorised its issue in 1944. The result was a battlefield of horror.

Allerberger was a cold-blooded killer, but few will find a place in their hearts for the soldiers of the Red Army against whom he fought.


Hiroshima by John Hersey

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On August 6, 1945, Hiroshima was destroyed by the first atom bomb ever dropped on a city. This book, John Hersey’s journalistic masterpiece, tells what happened on that day. Told through the memories of survivors, this timeless, powerful and compassionate document has become a classic “that stirs the conscience of humanity” (The New York Times).

Almost four decades after the original publication of this celebrated book, John Hersey went back to Hiroshima in search of the people whose stories he had told.  His account of what he discovered about them is now the eloquent and moving final chapter of Hiroshima.


Flyboys: A True Story of Courage by James Bradley

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This book doesn’t have a Synopsis on Goodreads

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Lastly I want to add a couple books that are about Australians in the War seen as it is ANZAC Day so I need some books that include the ANZACs that we are remembering today.


The Secret Code-Breakers of Central Bureau: How Australia’s Signals-intelligence network helped short the Pacific War


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This is a rich historical account of a secret and little-understood side of the war, interwoven with lively personalities and personal stories. It is the story of Australia’s version of Bletchley Park, of talented and dedicated individuals who significantly influenced the course of the Pacific War.

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Line of Fire by Ian Townsend


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The little known and intriguing WWII story of an eleven-year-old Australian schoolboy who was shot by the Japanese in Rabaul in 1942 as a suspected spy.

It’s hard to imagine this story as being part of our past, but in 1942, an eleven-year-old Australian boy, Richard Manson, and his parents either side of him, were shot by the Japanese for suspected spying in Rabaul in Papua New Guinea.

Acclaimed 4th Estate author and award-winning science journalist Ian Townsend has uncovered a fascinating story of WWII, little known to most Australians. Centring on the hotspot (in every sense) that was Rabaul in WWII, his account is an intriguing narrative, which weaves together Australian history, military conflict and science – with volcanology being the peculiar science which drew the Americans, Japanese and Australians together in conflict in the Pacific in the 1940s – and the story of one ordinary but doomed Australian family.

Like The Hare with Amber Eyes, this is a fascinating work of narrative non-fiction, a story of spies, volcanoes, history, conflict and war, set against the romantic, dramatic and ultimately tragic backdrop of Rabaul in WWII.


The Fight for Australia by Roland Perry


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From Changi and Darwin to Kokoda – The Triumph of Individual Bravery, mateship, and National courage that saved us in World War II

Well that is all for this post. I know it’s long but there were tonnes of books I wanted to share and I knew this was going to be long, so that is why I only put the Goodreads Synopsis and didn’t talk about each book myself as that would be even longer!

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