Review Detail

Winter's Bullet Featured
Young Adult Fiction 2414
Excellent historical twist.
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Tygo, the son of a locksmith, lives in Amsterdam during WWII. His parents are both dead, and his sister has been sent off to the Nazi death camps, and he is working for the Nazi's to break into buildings to retrieve art even though he would rather not. To make matters even worse, the Resistance has targeted him as a sympathizer, telling him that everyone has a choice. Unfortunately, Tygo's choice is to not get shot! When the Gestapo officer for whom he is forced to work orders him to find a diamond, the Red Queen, somewhere in Amsterdam, Tygo makes some startling discoveries, including a girl who is hiding and might be able to help him find the gem. This novel is loosely based on the fact that Hitler had teams working on an atomic bomb, and a variety of historical personages, from Eva Duarte to Hitler himself, show up in the book.
Good Points

This author, who also wrote Hitler's Secret, has a great feel for this time period. There are very few books that show people who "sympathized" with the Nazis because they preferred that course of action to death. I think that many people took that route; I had a friend who was in the Wehrmacht even though his home in Polish Silesia was taken over by the Nazis. He felt that he didn't have any other choice, and it's nice to see a literary character faced with the same conundrum.

Certainly, the Nazis are not portrayed as good in any way, and I liked how Osborne took little known historical facts and wove them into his story. There's plenty of action (including flying around in planes!) to suit readers who like to read about the fighting in WWII, as well as Tygo's suffering.

The cover earns additional points for historical accuracy-- I love that this is a photograph, but the boy and girl are wearing clothing that looks really on point to me!
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