Wednesday, July 1, 2015

REVIEW: Night of Flames

Night of Flames
by Douglas W Jacobson

Publisher: McBooks Press
Page Count: 384
Release Date: October 1, 2008
Format: Kindle

How got: personal library

First attention getter: spy story in WWII Poland


From GoodReads:

Painting a vivid and terrifying picture of war-torn Europe during World War II, this tale chronicles the lives of Anna, a Krakow University professor, and her husband Jan, a Polish cavalryman. After they are separated and forced to flee occupied Poland, Anna soon finds herself caught up in the Belgian Resistance, while Jan becomes embedded in British Intelligence efforts to contact the Resistance in Poland. He soon realises that he must seize this opportunity to search for his lost wife, Anna.

My Thoughts:

Star Rating - 3

I read this author’s other book a year and a half ago, enjoying most of it but finding the ending lacking. This novel both shines and suffered from the same areas as the last one.

The book’s plot is phenomenal. The tale starts out stunning with the invasion of Poland and just keeps the steam up all the way to the liberation of Antwerp four years later. There is not one slow area of the book; it’s just chock full of nail-chewing escapes, close calls, horrifying battles, and the struggle against an overwhelming invader/enemy. All of this is a big plus in a spy/Resistance thriller.

I enjoyed the characters in this volume, too. Anna more than Jan, as she seemed the more developed of the two, but both kept me on the edge of my seat on their journeys through war-torn Europe and fighting against the Nazis. I liked how vulnerable and realistic both were. They weren’t super-secret agents but real people driven to act against the ultimate evil.

Where this book falters, like the first, was towards the end and the ending itself. Again we have a serious lack of resolution. The reader is left hanging when it comes to character development and dealing with the entire trauma the author put them through. The actual spy stuff is concluded but then we’re left with nothing on how the characters dealt with the war itself and all its brutality.

This is especially evident with Anna’s storyline. I mean, dang this girl was put through the ringer but nothing. No scenes of healing or peace after her ordeal. Just a scene asking for time. I mean, really?!?! Her storyline also suffered towards the end from a bit too much melodrama. The whole thing with Dieter felt out of place and just stuck in there for sh*ts and giggles.

So good things and bad things within, this book was about the same as the previous. A plotline that won’t let you go and realistic, down-to-earth characters were a real plus. Yet, an ending that lacked resolution and some out-of-place melodrama towards the end really sucked the good out of the book. A solid three stars, I’d give this book a read if you’re in the market for a spy thriller as they story pleases. Brace yourself for that ending, though.

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