Monday, November 18, 2019

Book Review: The Huntress

By Melissa Amster

Bold and fearless, Nina Markova always dreamed of flying. When the Nazis attack the Soviet Union, she risks everything to join the legendary Night Witches, an all-female night bomber regiment wreaking havoc on the invading Germans. When she is stranded behind enemy lines, Nina becomes the prey of a lethal Nazi murderess known as the Huntress, and only Nina’s bravery and cunning will keep her alive.

Transformed by the horrors he witnessed from Omaha Beach to the Nuremberg Trials, British war correspondent Ian Graham has become a Nazi hunter. Yet one target eludes him: a vicious predator known as the Huntress. To find her, the fierce, disciplined investigator joins forces with the only witness to escape the Huntress alive: the brazen, cocksure Nina. But a shared secret could derail their mission unless Ian and Nina force themselves to confront it.

Growing up in post-war Boston, seventeen-year-old Jordan McBride is determined to become a photographer. When her long-widowed father unexpectedly comes homes with a new fiancĂ©e, Jordan is thrilled. But there is something disconcerting about the soft-spoken German widow. Certain that danger is lurking, Jordan begins to delve into her new stepmother’s past—only to discover that there are mysteries buried deep in her family . . . secrets that may threaten all Jordan holds dear.

In this immersive, heart-wrenching story, Kate Quinn illuminates the consequences of war on individual lives, and the price we pay to seek justice and truth.
(Synopsis courtesy of Amazon.)

Truthfully, I was hesitant to read The Huntress at first. I liked The Alice Network so much (see my review) and was worried the bar was set too high and that everything Kate Quinn wrote afterward would fall short. However, I didn't have anything to worry about, as I enjoyed this novel even more than its predecessor. And there's a little cameo from Alice to enjoy, as well! (Ironically, I just realized that I was also hesitant to read Alice at first. Two hits out of the park and Kate has sold me on anything she writes going forward!)

I liked all of the characters in this novel. They each had many layers and were so interesting to get to know better. Even the one I wasn't supposed to like came off as likable. The story was so interesting and it was neat to see how the stories came together as they started unfolding and moving through time. The detailed descriptions made it easy to visualize what was happening, as well as the characters and settings, but they did not take away from the narrative, of which there was plenty. There were some humorous moments, as well as heartbreaking ones. I found myself stepping away from my TV and computer at night so I could find out what would happen next in the story.

Even with a story this great, I still have a few criticisms. I felt it went heavy on symbolism, especially with mentioning "rusalkas" all the time. There was also a lot of foreshadowing that was unnecessary. The synopsis had a level of foreshadowing, as well. I also had a hard time understanding some of the flight terminology during Nina's chapters and it got confusing. The book is 530 pages long, which is a lot for me when it comes to having a lot of books in my TBR and so little time. Thankfully, it held my attention throughout and I felt like I was breezing through it after a while.

Overall, I really enjoyed The Huntress and I can't wait for my friends to read it so I can discuss it with them, as well as with the friends who already have read it!

For Hollywood's consideration (because this would be an amazing movie, of course):
Nina: Tatiana Maslany (I swear this role was written with Helena from Orphan Black in mind. "Sestra.")
Ian: Jamie Demetriou
Jordan: Lili Reinhart
Tony: Noah Centineo
Anneliese: Dominique McElligott
Yelena: Stacy Martin


The Book Sage said...

I definitely agree with you about this one being just a little better than The Alice Network. And that I will read anything by her going forward. It was long but didn't feel that way. Nice review!

Carole said...

I had the same thoughts after loving the Alice Network. Cheers