In honor of “A Time of Night and Fog“, which is a re-release of the “Hannah Vogel” series by Rebecca Cantrell in one e-book, I would like to revisit these stunning books and their unique heroine. (The author generously sent me an ARC of “A City of Broken Glass” in exchange for an honest review of the entire series.)
It is a challenge to summarize what makes this series the best historical fiction series on the market today because each book has so many merits. Cantrell’s ability to fashion a female character, one who exhibits vulnerability and strength in equal measure while maintaining her femininity and humanity amid complete chaos, is unparalleled among the modern adult literature I’ve read. Hannah Vogel’s characteristics are not incredible; in fact, it is how realistic she is that contributes to the power of this series. The World War II references are well researched, and the author adds detailed layer upon layer in her settings until the reader feels like he/she is walking in pre-war Berlin alongside Hannah, breathing the same smoggy air. I was and am still floored by how intellectual and profound these books are during every single perusal. The author truly understands her characters and knows exactly how to write them out so that others can be fully submerged in the world she introduces — the revolutionary state of Nazi Germany. She has created some of the best supporting characters of all time, like good-natured Anton and complicated, conflicted Lars. There really are not enough words to describe how much I admire and recommend this series.
When the first book was published back in 2009, rumors abounded that the series would be picked up for a mini-series. While this was an excellent idea, it never came to fruition. The author suggested her preferred cast for the characters in a blog post. However, as a professional writer who would love to have the honors of scripting all four books for either miniseries or films, I would like to suggest an updated cast (please note that I’m unaware of available child actors these days, so the role of Anton is still up in the air, both as a small child and later as a teenager).
You can read all my reviews for the “Hannah Vogel” series at my book blog, Around the Bend of the Book.