Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Book Review and Giveaway: The Diamond Eye

By Melissa Amster

In 1937 in the snowbound city of Kiev (now known as Kyiv), wry and bookish history student Mila Pavlichenko organizes her life around her library job and her young son—but Hitler’s invasion of Ukraine and Russia sends her on a different path. Given a rifle and sent to join the fight, Mila must forge herself from studious girl to deadly sniper—a lethal hunter of Nazis known as Lady Death. When news of her three hundredth kill makes her a national heroine, Mila finds herself torn from the bloody battlefields of the eastern front and sent to America on a goodwill tour.

Still reeling from war wounds and devastated by loss, Mila finds herself isolated and lonely in the glittering world of Washington, DC—until an unexpected friendship with First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and an even more unexpected connection with a silent fellow sniper offer the possibility of happiness. But when an old enemy from Mila’s past joins forces with a deadly new foe lurking in the shadows, Lady Death finds herself battling her own demons and enemy bullets in the deadliest duel of her life.

Based on a true story, The Diamond Eye is a haunting novel of heroism born of desperation, of a mother who became a soldier, of a woman who found her place in the world and changed the course of history forever. (Synopsis courtesy of Amazon.)

Ever since I read The Alice Network, I knew Kate Quinn was going to be one to watch for. Since then, I've read all her recent World War II themed historical fiction novels. I don't even have to look at the synopsis to know I want to read her next book. So when I got my hands on an advanced copy of The Diamond Eye, I didn't check the synopsis until right before I started reading it. Imagine my surprise at the initial location of this novel, based on the timing of everything going on right now. 

This was a compelling narrative. I didn't know anything about Lyudmila Pavlichenko, so it was interesting to see her story brought to life in this way. I appreciated Kate's notes at the end and how she explained where she took liberties with Mila's story. She also provided other sources to find out more. This was the first of Kate's recent novels to focus on one heroine (with some villain narrative interspersed throughout). I was wondering if there would be enough for her to fill an entire novel, but she clearly did an amazing job with it.

Mila was fierce and passionate about her work and I was cheering for her the entire time. There are some sad moments, as well as some really good redeeming ones. I love Mila's friendship with Eleanor Roosevelt. It's so unexpected and really sweet too. I couldn't imagine leaving my kids behind for so long to do everything Mila was doing to protect her country and I commend her for that. 

I don't really have any casting ideas for this one, but I pictured Alexandra Krosney as Mila the entire time. 

Thanks to William Morrow for the book in exchange for an honest review. They have one copy for a lucky reader!

How to win: Use Rafflecopter to enter the giveaway. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us. If you have trouble using Rafflecopter on our blog, enter the giveaway here

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Giveaway ends April 3rd at midnight EST.

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19 comments:

Jess said...

So far the only Kate Quinn book I've read is the Alice network and I LOVED it

traveler said...

This author writes unique and intriguing novels. I have helped many and I am proud of this.

Nancy P said...

New author for me. Sounds good.

Mary C said...

The Alice Network

Padmini Rao said...

The Huntress

bn100 said...

no fav, maybe this one

Mary Preston said...

I suppose I should start with THE DIAMOND EYE.

Peggy Russo said...

The Alice Network is my favorite so far

Michelle L said...

I loved her book The Huntress.

Lindsey said...

My favorite book so far is The Alice Network!

Anita Yancey said...

I would like to read The Rose Code.

diannekc said...

New author tome. I would like to start with "The Diamond Eye".

holdenj said...

I really liked The Alice Network too.

Summer said...

I haven't read one before though I've heard such good things about the Alice Network that I'd probably like to start there.

Cherisse said...

Alice Network!

Lelandlee said...

The Rose Code

Xia Lee said...

The Huntress

Michele Morin said...

Perfect timing for this one!

SAINT DIAMONDS said...
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