Book Review: Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Five Volume 1 by Brian Buccellato

Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Five Volume 1 by Brian Buccellato get to a quick start, in the last volume, all the prisoners that Superman had captured at the beginning are released. Superman and team works on recapturing them, but in some of those criminals he sees an opportunity. How do you break the Bat, with the only man that has done it before, Bane. Lex Luthor’s secret clone with superman’s DNA rises, and we witness the birth of Bizarro who is being manipulated by the Trickster. This volume is filled by great ideas, but the execution is really lacking. Tom Taylor the first writer of the series was great at making everything connect, with Brian Buccellato this issues are more stand alone with loose connections. I wanted to like this one a little more not the worst of the series, but not the way I wanted for the final year of Injustice to start. Injustice: Gods Among Us is based on a video game that starts at Year Five, so it’s pretty cool to show how they get there.

The Series Plot leading up to Year Five: The Joker tricks Superman into killing Lois and his unborn child, when her heart stops a nuclear bomb destroys Metropolis. Superman distraught kills The Joker and declares martial law on the whole world, vowing that no one should die needlessly. Lex Luthor develops a pill that will make ordinary people super to start an army of supermen that Superman controls. Batman steals the super humans pills and gives them to every hero and a few villains to make them equal. Superman’s action have drawn attention to the Green Lantern Corps who’s power is all about will power. Martian Man hunter died as he was fighting Wonder Woman from the inside when Superman used his heat vision, and sent Wonder Woman into a coma. Sinestro is manipulates Superman telling his own story and the way the Green Lantern Corps will attack, he makes an alliance that brings Sinestro and his minions as added protection, both Hal Jordan and Superman put on the yellow rings of fear to win against the Green Lantern Corps. Batman list the help all of his friends with magical abilities in a plan to put Superman asleep forever. The plan worked but Wonder Woman’s mother makes a deal with Athena to wake Superman and Wonder Woman. The sleep was supposed to give Superman clarity but he wakes up madder than ever because of what he missed out on. Batman makes a deal with Ares as well that has the old Gods and Amazon’s joining his side. The Amazon’s are missing Wonder Woman’s mother who is taken prisoner by Hera and made to sit this fight out, as per her deal. Batman ends up tricking Wonder Woman to fight Superman to the death a a champion of the Amazon’s. Sinestro interferes when it looks like Superman could lose. Zeus Sees this as deal breaker and declares all out war on the New Gods. Superman kills Hercules in the conflict which makes Zeus angry and kills Shazam and Harley who spoke out. Superman retreats as the remaining Justice League are beat. Zeus declares himself God of the world, wanting to get rid of every other form of religion. Ares makes a deal with Superman to bring a jealous Poseidon to fight his brother Zeus. This brings Aquaman into the battle, as Poseidon wants to wipe out Wonder Woman’s home with a giant tidal wave. Batman knowing this has got out of control and he got played by a vengeful Ares, seeks a help and offers enough hints to Superman to figure out who Ares is doing his bidding for, Darkseid. Plastic Man risk all to save his son from being a prisoner of Superman, he saves his son and rescues every other rogue in the process. All the men Superman deemed bad guys are released out into the world, some vow to be good, some want to be bad, and some want revenge.

The Plot of Injustice: Gods Among Us Year Five Volume 1: Superman works on two things recapturing all of the criminals and taking down Batman. Superman has deal for a set of villains take down the Bat, and get your freedom. Bane the man who has broken the Batman before, Killer Frost and Killer Croc. They know they can’t reach the bat so the grab the Cat. Catwoman is tortured to reveal where Batman is. Lex’s Superman clone is found, but there’s something not right about him almost bizarre. Bizarro is born and the Trickster is manipulating him.

What I Liked: Bane getting involved, and the context of him breaking Bruce once before. Bizarro’s intro, I loved that he freaks out at the mirror reflection thinking the S is backward, and changing it so it displays the same way in the reflection. I loved the Frankenstein reference, when Bizarro freaks out about fire, then realize he does not burn.

What I Disliked: Hawkgirl and Hawkman storyline, absolutely pointless. Doomsday was wasted. I have a pet peeve of writers making Babe dumb and not intelligent, and it happens here.

Recommendation: The overall story is really good even if all the issues aren’t. I wanted he series to go out with a bang not a whimper. Two volumes left until the series is finished, I’m not going to stop. I rated Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Five Volume 1 by Brian Buccellato 3 out of 5 stars.

Book Review: Locke and Key Volume 4: Keys to the Kingdom by Joe Jill and art by Gabriel Rodriguez

Locke and Key Volume 4: Keys to the Kingdom by Joe Jill and art by Gabriel Rodriguez was the best story since the the first volume, but the art was one of the weakest. This volume has guest artist Bill Watterson of Calvin and Hobbs do an issue, which is great at first I felt it lost the seriousness the previous books had set. I will say this has one of the most fulfilling climaxes I read in a long time, where everything goes to hell all at once and things are not the same. There’s four keys in this one the strength key, animal key, flying key, and the race change key.

Plot of Locke and Key: Welcome to Lovecraft Volume 1 – The novel starts off with two teenagers showing up at the summer home in California with bloody weapons and bodies in the bed of a truck looking for Mr. Locke and whereabouts of keys. Mr and Mrs. Locke are home, with Mrs. Locke opening the door. They have three kids Tyler the oldest, Kinsey the middle, and Bode the youngest who are all at the neighbors lake, when the hear a gun shot in the direction of the house. The book jumps around from there showing the aftermath of the shooting and what happened after at the of funeral of one member of the Locke family. The novel shifts as the family what’s left of it move to Lovecraft, Massachusetts to live in the old family mansion called Keyhouse. The house is filled with rooms and secret keys that will open up doors that only the kids can use. Bode, the youngest, figures out the house and it’s many secrets, he tells the family but they just laugh him off. He is the key to the truth the family doesn’t see and he has found either an enemy of a friend who lives trapped in the well. The novel bounces back and forth showing how the rest of the family survived the first murder as they find the new secrets that connect the house to the incidents. The family finds out the threat has only just begun, as more mysteries arise.

The Plot of Locke and Key: Head Games Volume 2 – Bode finds a head key, that let’s you open your mind right up, so you and others can see what is inside of it. You can pick the parts out, you don’t want and even add knowledge, like books and information. The thoughts grow into living breathing manifestations that you can pick out of your Brain. Kinsey picked fear and sadness and placed them both in a bottle with a stopper, that sits on her vanity. We get to see the bad guy Dodge/Zach Wells/ The Woman in the Well’s manifestation and how dangerous it can be. the Manifestations can go into any mind as well and manipulate it. We find out that that is how the Woman in the Well got her powers back to reach the two killers in Washington. Zach kills an old teacher that remembered him from years back, and starts investigating Zach’s student file. Kinsey admits she has a crush on Tyler’s new best friend Zach, and he uses this to steal the mind key.

The Plot of Locke and Key: Volume 3 Crown of Shadows Dodge only cares about two keys which he does not possess the Well key and the Black/Omega key, and creates a nightmare of shadows to torture Tyler, Kinsey, and Bode. The mom finally discovers the fix it key and figures out what it can do, which leads to disastrous results. When Sam died while going through the ghost door that he’s still a ghost, but the manipulation that dodge once had over him is gone, and he vows revenge. When the ghost form of Dodge talked and fought Sam, it revealed there is a key inside him. Kinsey is starting to fall out of Luke/Dodge/Zach’s influence, as she makes new friends who are a bit of outsiders that show her a link to her father.

Plot of Volume 4 Keys to the Kingdom: Dodge/Luke? Zach has became more vicious in his pursuit of keys, as he tortures the Locke family for the Omega key. There a key is in ghost Dodge is controlling him, we get to see the real Dodge for a second and he is very remorseful. There’s a lot more keys discovered. Dodge and Tyler get get’s recognized, sort of, Erin Voss thinks Tyler is his father and her former high school boyfriend as she is wheeled out of a mental health facility. Dodge doesn’t want her remembering anything and is determined to break into to the mental facility and erase them. Kinsey and Bode also want to talk to talk to her and see if she remembers the keys. Dodge breaks into the facility killing an orderly and open Erin’s head with the mind key, and he finds it empty except a monstrous image of Dodge. Before he can kill her or grab the memory Kinsey and Bode come in having him hide. With her head open they get a look at the almost empty head and realize this image is fresh, and then they find the body of the orderly. Looking at the monster they end up learning the features of the who the monster really is. Dodge, Kinsey’s boyfriend, gets close and she starts telling him what she knows of the Omega key. Dodge is closer than ever, then Kinsey wants to place her favorite in Dodge’s head which he can’t let her see knowing he is the real monster. This makes Kinsey get closer to Jamaal. Duncan’s boyfriend Mike wakes up from a coma and give s a description of Dodge who was in the middle of taking Duncan’s memories of him, when Mike chases him out of the house and gets hit by a car. The ghost of Sam is back, and he plots with someone in the Locke House about Dodge. Dodge’s identity starts to unravel as the Locke family starts paying attention their new friend of the family Zach/Dodge.

What I Liked: The ending, So so freaking good! One of the most shocking endings so far in the series. We get to know a lot more about what the end game of Dodge’s plotting has been about. Dodge’s upper hand finally starts slipping when he underestimates a couple of characters. Rufus can see and talk to ghost. Tyler getting upset then putting on the strength key and bust some heads playing hockey. The animal key was interesting with what it could do.

What I Disliked: is the art, it goes comical, and it didn’t need to. They have this scene where these birds put on these little pilots goggles, which makes no sense. I like that fantastical things happen in the story but they’re all grounded by rules and this breaks the rules.

Recommendations: I recommend this series to adults that crave a good story with violence and some horror elements. The narrative is so good exploring elements of tragedy and loss, in a mature way while having fun with the horror element Never have a wanted to give a story 5 stars had to deduct one for the art. I rated Locke and Key Volume 4: Keys to the Kingdom by Joe Jill and art by Gabriel Rodriguez 4 out of 5 stars.

Book Review: The Toll by Neal Shusterman

The Toll By Neal Shusterman is book three of the Arc of a Scythe trilogy. The Toll ends the YA series in a fitting way exposes truths hinted at in Scythe and Thunderhead. This book expands the number of characters introducing a few new ones and expanding upon characters we have grown with. This book was my least favorite in this excellent series. I wanted to love this book as much as the others, but from chapter two, I knew this book was going in a different direction than I wanted it to. The novel eventually corrects course and delivers a satisfying ending to the series. My main problem is Citra and Rowan have been the main characters, and this book changes it to an ensemble story. Rowan and Citra are in 30 pages of the first 300 pages of this 630 page book. I felt this book got away from the Scythes and replaced it with the Tonest which were interesting but not as much as the Scythes.

The Plot: In a futuristic Earth human’s have beat aging and death. Thanks to Nano technology there is no disease and death can be reversed in most cases. Scythes bring a permanent death to curb over population. The Scythes are human’s who have been appointed, they have a kill quota must must be unbiased in choosing it’s victims. The Thunderhead is a God-like A.I. system them that has vowed to stay out of Scythe business and can not influence who to kill. The Tonest are a religious group derived out of musical tones. In the last book Rowan became Scythe Lucifer a sort of rogue scythe that would kill other Scythes he deemed used bias in there kills, as he did to his mentor Goddard. Citra became Scythe Anastasia, she’s making enemies for her new ways of Gleaning people by letting them pick there deaths and giving them a month to live. Gavin Tolliver is a Nimbus agent works for the Thunderhead, and gets hinted that there will be an attempt on Citra’s life. Gavin intervenes saving Citra’s life, but he his deemed unsavory losing his job and being cut off from the Thunderhead directly. Indirectly the Thunderhead ask him to go undercover to save Citra once again, he discovers it’s a Scythe, and is sent to a Tonest cathedral to hide, while Citra roots out which Scythe is responsible. Rowan is set up and kidnapped by two old enemies he once thought were dead. Rowan is horrified as one is using the body of one of his old friends. There is an election of Highblade of Midmerica were Curie, Citra’s mentor and Goddard, Rowan’s mentor returned from the dead, after Rowan thought he killed him. There’s a controversy about how Goddard came back which causes the voting to stop and a council called. The council doesn’t go the way anyone planned and chaos breaks out permanently killing the high council of Scythes and Curie who sacrifices her self to put Citra and the newly rescued Rowan to die safely so that they can be revived at a later date. The anguish of the Thunderhead not bing able to stop any of it shuts down and will only talk to Gavin Tolliver. Since he is with the Tonest they think is must be a sign and make Gavin a prophet that they call The Toll. The New Scythe Leader Goddard the only survivor thinks the Toll is a great threat and wants him and all Tonest gleaned. Goddard changes the rules of bias and the quota how many people you can kill. Citra and Rowan took three years to get revived since they were at the bottom of the ocean, and wake up to a different world. Citra and Rowan have secrets that Overblade Goddard would kill to keep. The Toll, Thunderhead and the Scythes must reunite to bring balance to the world, before it is too late.

What I Liked: The new character of Jeri, the lgtbq character and the interesting take on gender fluidity. Rowan and Citra are great characters that are so easy to get behind, I wish they were in this book more though. Gavin Tolliver has one of the best character arcs from the start of thunderhead to where his character ends up in The Toll. I liked what was done with Scythe Morrison. I liked that I was tricked a couple times getting foretold things that characters think happened to then get shocked when you experience what really went down. The ending was a nice send off to the characters I had grown to love. The ending had a great finality to it, that truly ends. I liked what the secret Scythe room actually did, there was a lot of build up and I felt satisfied at the end with how it played out. Goddard was a great villain, where the more I knew about him the more I hated him. The way Gavin used the Thunderhead to his advantage. I liked Rand’s story arc.

What I Disliked: The major change in focus of Rowan and Citra not being the main characters. There was always side characters that had a role and their own stories but it was clear who the main focus was. The way the beginning was told needed more back and forth, sometimes it was told linearly and other times, time would jump back and forth. I wanted more out of the Faraday story line.

Recommendations: The Toll is the weakest book in the series, but I will slightly recommend this story mainly for the ending. The Arc of a Scythe series has been one of my favorite series, I have purchased four books by Shusterman. I wanted the last book to be better, I rated Scythe and Thunderhead 5 out of 5 stars, and I rate The Toll a high 3 stars, making the whole series score a 4 out of 5 stars. The world building and character arc’s are some of the best I’ve read, this series has made me a fan of Shusterman’s work and will read more.

Book Review: This Is How You Lose The Time War By Amal El-Mothar and Max Gladstone

This Is How You Lose The Time War By Amal El-Mothar and Max Gladstone is a science fiction love story featuring a spy vs. spy storyline with time travel agents. What happens when one time traveler writes a note to her rival? They start a letter writing correspondence through time. The novel flows like a poem as the time travelers try to one up each other with diction, prose, and literature. There where times when I was head scratching some of the words and what they mean. A couple of the letter are on blooming plants which I found hard to imagine with the limited description given. The novel is short with it being just over 200 pages.

The Plot: Red is a time traveler who just scored a victory in a war, or so she thought she finds a note that says, burn before reading, She does and recreates the note that Blue wrote where she saved some of warriors, defying Red’s orders to not leave anyone alive. What happens next is a Spy vs. Spy scenario straight out of Mad magazine, where they keep sabotaging the other’s mission then bragging about it in the letter. Only they fall in love with letter writing and the correspondence to one another. Almost each letter is signed we will win the time war. but the words lose they’re meaning as the hate that they had turns to something else between Red and Blue.

What I Liked: I liked the outcome of all the letter writing, I thought the overall arc of the story was good. I liked how through the letters you can feel the emotions change. Most of the setting seemed cool. I liked it best when we are told the objective and what it does in future time. I liked all the words they came up with to describe red and blue.

What I Disliked: There are no rules of time travel established. Description is really lacking, so a lot is hard to picture. We never get how the can track each other through time. The words were beautiful, but with out relevance all they are is words, which is something this book does a good deal as they talk about future events too much.

Recommendations: I wanted to like this more than I did, I am not going to recommend this one, but I also know some people who are going to love this one. If you love letter writing then this novel is a love letter to it. If you love metaphorical prose and poetry then this is the book for you. I rated This Is How You Lose The Time War By Amal El-Mothar and Max Gladstone 3 out of 5 stars.

Book Review: The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow

The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow is a love story at its heart, that I found very beautiful, it dips into the science fiction by way of magic, and the time period of early 1900’s makes it historical fiction as well. I liked the idea of doorways to another world, where some people want to explore them, while other’s want them destroyed. The story is told as a book with in a book, which took a little getting used to, once I got used to it I liked the storytelling more, and there’s a few surprises in this way of storytelling that really work for the narrative. When there is action it is fast and well described. The book has a lot of little twist and turns that keep the story interesting until the very end.

The Plot: January is 7 years old when she finds her first door way, is it a child’s imagination that she found a doorway to another place or not. When she tells her caretaker, Mr. Locke, this, he scolds her about growing up and not living in a fantasy world. He also burns the door down. January’s father Julian works for Mr. Locke procuring rare items and in exchange allows his daughter to live with the wealthy Mr. Locke. January likes Mr. Locke despite his strictness and sees him as a surrogate father. January learns to grow up in class and still thinks about the doorway that she went through when a child, and has a token a gold coin she found that day, that she still keeps. January finds a book on doorways to other worlds, and it tells of a girl that is about her age that is obsessed with doors. Julian is reported missing, January wants to go find him, but Mr. Locke wont let her, and locks her up. She remembers that time when she wanted the door from her childhood to open, she wrote it down and that is what she does, hoping for some way out, and the door is unlocked. She tries to escape but is found by Mr. Locke and some of his society members. She is questioned about how she got out, and in her anger she shouts at an aggressive society member, “I hope you get locked behind a door to another world.” Which they turn to Mr. Locke and say you told her, everything about doors is a reality.

What I Liked: January the main character is really fun, I love her voice the first 5 or six pages really hooked me as she tries to introduce herself to the audience. I loved that there is a pay off to who the book is to in both books since this is a book with in a book. Jane is a great supporting character, I loved her backstory. Actually this book nails every backstory, Mr. Locke’s, Jane, Julian, and January’s mother. The world created and the door worlds were really cool a couple of them I wanted to see explored. The bad guys have a pretty good well thought out motive for what they do. I loved how many twist and turns this book had.

What I Disliked: When the book within a book is first introduced it is really jarring, especially since it starts with a preface and has a funky date that threw me off ( it is explained later). The narrator of the book tells his story in third person which was off putting, at least it is addressed but later in the story. This is all in the first hundred pages then the book gets really good, and I had no problems with it.

Recommendations: I enjoyed this book the beginning took a little strain with getting used to the book with in a book, but after that this book is amazing, I was captivated, and couldn’t wait to see what happened. This book reminded me a little of The Long Earth by Terry Prachett and Stephen Baxter mixed with The Girl With All the Gifts by M. R. Carey. If you like your science fiction and historical fiction mixed then this book is for you. I rated The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow 4 out of 5 stars.

Book Review: Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman

Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman is the second book in the Arc of the Scythe series. Thunderhead ramps up the action, expands on the already great world building, it has one hell of a climax, and maintains the high quality writing, that will make you think long after the book is finished. I love this series so much, it is going places I could not imagine. This book has a lot of callbacks to the first novel, that are really big payoffs with a couple of characters that end up coming back, like Tyger. My big complaint for Scythe was his character sort of disappeared and forgotten about, but he is back and used well. With this book being called Thunderhead named after the God-like A.I. cloud that watches all, we get more insight into how the system works and how it feels. The Arc of scythe series continues to blow me away I can already not wait the read the final book in the series The Toll.

The Plot: In a futuristic Earth human’s have beat aging and death. Thanks to Nano technology there is no disease and death can be reversed in most cases. Scythes bring a permanent death to curb over population. The Scythes are human’s who have been appointed, they have a kill quota must must be unbiased in choosing it’s victims. The Thunderhead is a God-like A.I. system them that has vowed to stay out of Scythe business and can not influence who to kill. In the las book Citra was promoted to Scythe and Rowan was not. Citra was supposed to kill Rowan after winning but thanks to a clever action was granted immunity for one year. Citra has now become Scythe Anastasia and Rowan has been taking out all the Scythes who use bias in there kills and burns them where they can not be revived; He has been calling himself Scythe Lucifer. The Scythes want Rowan dead and the Thunderhead to help, but it refuses. The Thunderhead finds out a plot to kill Citra and her mentor Curie, although the Thunderhead can’t get involved directly it doesn’t mean he can’t hint and bend the rules to assist. But as the Thunderhead finds out the Scythes are keeping more from the Thunderhead than it knows.

What I Liked: One of the best climax that I have read, it makes me want to pick up the next book now, because of a cliffhanger. One of the better second novels that I have read, that compliments the first book so well then adds to the story and the world. Tyger’s back! I enjoyed this side character and was bummed when he was written out, well now he’s back and has a full character arc. The twist in the novel are really great and often heartbreaking. The writing is so good. The voice of the Thunderhead was written well, balancing the thought of not doing anything as opposed to being driven in to action, to events that it did not calculate. Citra and Rowan’s character arc are sometime hard emotionally but the character choices feel right. The scenery and descriptions were written, so that I could easily picture them in my mind. The masterminds plot is pretty chilling. The new character Gavin Tolliver was a character I was instantly attached to right away.

What I Disliked: One plot point with Faraday was such a set up for the next book plot point, that I could tell so early when reading it. I hope there’s a pay off that was the only plot that I did not like. It felt like they were holding a lot back for the next book.

Recommendations: I recommend you doing yourself a favor and adding this incredible series to your TBR. This is a series upon reading the first book that was a instant like, and having me enjoy the second just as much, if more. I’m going to shout this book trough the roof tops. This book is a Young Adult novel it does deal in death, but is not too graphic, there’s lite torture scene that could be a trigger warning. I think a 13 year old can handle this series, I know I would have loved it at that age. I recommend you read this series in order, or you will miss a lot. I rated Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman 5 out of 5 stars. I already have the last book on order and will read it as soon as it comes, and I bought his Skinjacker trilogy on Kindle.

Book Review: In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware is an anxiety filled psychological thriller, it makes you fill claustrophobic but yet on display. This is my second Ruth Ware novel I caught the hype train and read The Women in Cabin 10, I have to say I liked this one a whole lot better. my main complaint is it ended the mystery too soon and In the Dark, Dark Wood keeps you guessing until the end. The reviews blurbs on the cover do imply scary mainly Reese Witherspoon’s “Prepare to be scared … really scared!”, this book is a long panic attack, you are in a character’s mind living her worst case scenario with some added memory loss that really puts her on edge. The twist are mainly small but there’s a couple large ones, but the novel is mainly atmospheric. This book is scheduled to be a movie soon.

The Plot: Nora or Lenora is found in the dark woods, covered in blood and bruises, with most of her fingernails broken and battered, she has no memory other than she was a guest a a bachelorette (or the British version a hen party) at a remote cabin in the woods. Nora takes us through how she got invited to the party. Nora a Crime writer gets an invite from Clare trough her over ambitious friend Flo. Nora thinks there must be a mistake Clare had a falling out 10 years ago, she looks through the guest list and sees the one person she knows from the past, Nina they message and Nina is just as surprised at the invite as Nora. They each dare each other to go, something they will both soon regret.

What I Liked: As someone who has had bouts with anxiety, the description are right on and put you in that space. Nina was by far my favorite character, great sassy character that is not afraid to speak her mind and make a situation uncomfortable. I loved all the allegories to stages and play acting, and how it fit so well with all the reveals. I like the atmospheric tension with the setting. I was satisfied with the the reveals and reasons of the antagonist. There some great uncomfortable humor at one character’s expense that had me laugh out loud once, and chuckle. The ouija board scene is the by far my favorite scene.

What I Disliked: I felt no police would allow a suspect to have all the free reign with visitors, and the hospital administration letting almost anyone with no relation back to see a patient. The novel had some good twist but for the climax there’s a scene that is so telegraphed I kept rolling my eyes, other reviewers have really harped on this scene, it was a misstep but I didn’t let it effect my rating too much with the other twist and turns landing.

Recommendations: If you’re looking for a good solid mystery then this one works, there’s no big twist that change everything but twist that for the most part keep you guessing. I will recommend this book to people curious about what happens to your mind and body during a panic attack, if you’ve never had one. I rated In a Dark, Dark Wood 4 out of 5 stars this has restored my faith in Ruth Ware since I gave The Women in Cabin 10 3 stars.

Book Review: Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly

The Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly a book that take real people and actions during World War II and creates a compelling work of fiction that fells very true. Lilac Girls follows three women Kasia a Polish teenager who works for the underground against the Nazis, Herta a young German doctor that works at women’s German prison camp, and Caroline an American that volunteers at the French Consulate and helps the war effort. These tails are all connected in some way and intermingle at times. Tis story is a bout the war but also after it and about how broken the war tore apart these countries. This is the first book that really deals with the war and the aftermath, where most novels stop at the end of the war, lilac girls takes place in 1939 and goes up until 1959 way after the war was over. This novel has a serious melodramatic tone but there a plethora of emotions these ladies go through some have highs when others have lows, that balance really helps with the flow of the novel.

The Plot: Caroline is a former broadway star, that now dedicates her life volunteering at the French Consulate in America. When a big star drops out last minute of a charity ball she get Paul a current broadway performer that is French. Caroline falls big for him but he’s married, there marriage has no love anymore with him living full time her and her back in France. Things are heating up between the two of them when Germany invades France. Paul can’t just leave his wife there and journey’s back with Carolines help securing a visa for them both, but things don’t go as planned. Kasia is a young Polish teenager when Poland is invaded by Germany, she’s half german half polish, which makes her not good enough she has friends that our Jewish and taken away. She ‘s young but wants to do something, she joins the underground, a resistance works to overthrow German rule in Poland. She gets caught and declares her and certain members of her family enemies of the state and sent to a Concentration Camp. Herta is a young German woman working her way to be a doctor, she wants to help people. The war happens and she gets a job at the only place that will hire her a doctor at a Concentration Camp. She soon finds out the job isn’t about keeping prisoners well but performing experiments. Will she comply and throw away every thing she believes in or not?

What I Liked: The history is mingled in really seamlessly, and really easy to follow the events. I liked that this novel doesn’t show just how badly the Jewish people were treated, but everyone else who went against Germany. The novel really explains country pride and how that is used to motivate. The aftermath of the war is very eye opening I think this is the first story that I’ve read that goes into detail about how the war messed up people, places, and finances. This story easily wraps the reader up form the start. The switching between narrators was really effective in terms of story and not confusing to the reader. The twist and turns are written really well and keep you on your toes. The acknowledgements go other what Kelly added and what she drew from with Caroline and Herta being based on the real people, it was really helpful, and neat to know how much was true.

What I Disliked: I thought there was a bit too much coincidence in the novel, you have how all the women are connected which I actually liked, but the story line had too many first time coincidences, for example there’s one scene with a lost baby, one that was taken from it’s mother at a camp and a character is sent to find, she finds the baby at the first place she looks, which I went really no exhaustive search. No characters spoke with an accent of inflection, even on attempts to speak english.

Recommendations: World War II fiction is my absolute favorite and this book is one of the better novels of it. Lilac Girls is the first in a series and I plan to read book 2 in the series Lost Roses soon. I recommend this book for historical history buff, women’s fiction this book has some kick butt female leads. The immersive writing reminded me of World War II fiction like The Alice Network by Kate Quinn and Life After Life by Kate Atkinson. I rated this book 5 out of 5 stars I acknowledge this books flaws but the fantastic story more than makes up for it.