Apparently, Examiner.com, the site that was holding on to my book and movie reviews for years was bought by another company in 2014. However, links to my reviews still worked, which was how I was deceived. In mid-July 2016, without my knowledge, the Examiner shut down completely and with it, all my work and webpages were deleted. I am really disturbed by the fact that there is now no proof that I ever published anything for them. They may have gotten their comeuppance — I hope some extorted writer like myself sued their asses off and won — but my work is 100% gone. I saved my book reviews before to my book review blog, “Around the Bend of the Book,” but links to the originals don’t work. My movie reviews, on the other hand, are completely gone. Damn you, Examiner — as a former contributor, I should have been contacted about the decision to erase my publications!
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.
You can read all my reviews for the “Hannah Vogel” series at my book blog, Around the Bend of the Book.
A great new release that deserves all the acclaim and applause!
I’ve been keeping an eye on the trends of contemporary novels for years. During the past decade, they usually have followed the latest popular genre’s lead in terms of style, direction, characters, and themes. There is a reason why I have been steadily avoiding certain genres like the plague. Sadly, I’ve come to the conclusion that modern authors are either unwilling to take a leap of creativity, or content to let their stories be mapped out for them by publisher preferences.
It’s always a relief to be proven wrong by a rare, diamond-in-the-rough exception.
Rose Schmidt’s “The Wayfaring Swan” takes bold steps forward by centering on the importance of family and loving connections. In a world where we are surrounded by mostly technological relationships and fanatic materialism, the author resolutely asks us what holds our lives together and what gives them purpose.
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