Sunday, May 31, 2020

Orphan Monster Spy

This Historical Fiction book by Matt Killeen is set in Germany as WWII is starting is a very powerful novel.  It covers a large amount of atrocities and perspectives. It was a very different take on a novel about this time period unlike any others I have read about that era.  It is a fast paced book that I finished in a day.  I could not put it down.  The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars was because it was a bit outlandish at times, but I did enjoy it thoroughly.

 I think the story itself is intense without the extra drama weaved in from when Sara/Ursula attended the National Socialist school outside Berlin.  There was much of the drama experienced at boarding schools but with an elevated intensity as these young women were being raised to believe they were the future caretakers of the "superior" race.  The story brings a whole new level to bullying and abuse.

One of the aspects I appreciated was Sarah's reflections several times during the books shed some clarity on how easily people can get caught up in what seems to be right when it is at its core evil.  She also flashes back to her life in Germany and Vienna before meeting up with Captain Floyd.  These provide glimpses at the suffering and atrocities the Jewish people underwent from the Nazis and the National Socialist movement, including the Kristallnact (Night of Broken Glass).  

The author does an interesting job of intertwining the story of the race for nuclear weaponry as a part of the war and even involves real characters from the development of nuclear fusion and reactions.  While the story feels a bit too conveniently coincidental and neatly tied together, it was still an enjoyable read and I plan to read the next in the series.

Orphan Monster Spy (Orphan Monster Spy, #1)Orphan Monster Spy by Matt Killeen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book really surprised me. It was often times difficult to remember it was a YA book. The story was a bit outlandish at times but still very engaging. It took a different approach to WWII and centered around a teenage Jewish girl who is able to fit in at ta National Socialist school because her father was a German of the "pure" race. The book is full of high intensity situations and relationships that you wish to see succeed. There are characters that are very easy to hate and there are ones that make it easy to see why the Nazis were able to succeed in their spread of hate for so long. The main character, Sarah, even reflects upon this aspect of the schooling and the National Socialism message and how easy it is to be caught up in the positive spin and to miss the horrors being inflicted upon the Jewish, the Polish and other European nations and peoples.

I found the book engaging and the characters empathetic and I want to read more about their endeavors in the followup story.

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Challenge Prompts

The Challenge Prompts I will use this for are: 

Possible prompts

I will decide as the year goes along which prompts I use it for on several challenges since it meets multiple criteria within the challenge.
  1. Library Love  #LibraryLoveChallenge -  Book #51
  2.  Cloak and  Dagger  #CloakDaggerChal : Book  #39
  3. Literary Escapes-  Germany
  4. Around the Year in 52 Books- #42 was nominated for one of the ‘10 Most Coveted Literary Prizes in the World-  Costa for Children's 2018
  5. 52 Books in 52 weeks  #32 A spy novel
  6. Wizarding World Tour  
    • Durmstrang:  featuring a major combat
  7. Historic Fiction  #2020HFReadingChallenge (Book #4)

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