Thursday, June 13, 2019

Review: The Huntress by Kate Quinn (audio)


Title: The Huntress
Author: Kate Quinn
Narrator: Saskia Maarleveld
Published: February 2019, Harper Audio / William Morrow
Length: 18 hours 39 minutes / 551 pages
Source: Audio - borrowed via Library / Print - ARC Paperback via William Morrow

Summary:
From the author of the New York Times and USA Today bestselling novel, THE ALICE NETWORK, comes another fascinating historical novel about a battle-haunted English journalist and a Russian female bomber pilot who join forces to track the Huntress, a Nazi war criminal gone to ground in America.

In the aftermath of war, the hunter becomes the hunted…

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.


 
My thoughts:  I was a huge fan of Kate Quinn's The Alice Network, so when I saw she had a new book coming out, I knew I had to read it...and I'm glad I did. Despite it's length, I found myself completely captivated by this story.

There has been a lot of historical fiction out lately about WWII, but I find that each one looks at something different and this one is no exception. I knew nothing about the Russian Night Witches before picking this book up - this is why I love reading these books. You can pick up so many books on the war, as I feel I have this year, and each one has looked at something completely different, and I end up walking away having learned so much!

This story is told from three alternating points of view and each one was more engrossing than the other - I was equally invested in all three view points, which doesn't happen all the often. There's Ian, a British war correspondent, who has decided to make it his mission after the war to bring war criminals to justice. There's Nina, who after being raised by an abusive father, fought her way into the Soviet all-women's night bomber regiment, which was nicknamed The Night Witches. And finally there's Jordan, a young American who desperately wants to become a professional photographer rather than following the traditional path of marrying and having babies that young women of her generation typically did.

I'm always curious to see how these different stories eventually merge, and it doesn't take long to figure out. Sometimes I can put it together, sometimes it's given to us, but either way, the journey is what's important here and what a journey it is. Ian and Nina have teamed up to take down The Huntress, and eventually Jordan is involved in their efforts. They each have their own reasons for wanting to take down the Huntress, and not only do we find out who the Huntress is early on, but we find out just why the three are after her...their motivations for wanting to take her down.

These characters are dynamic and so well-developed that you can't help but want to spend the time with them that you are given, particularly Nina. Wow...she is quite something! Definitely not a character I am going to be forgetting anytime soon. Not only is she a complex character in her own right, but then her whole attitude is just remarkable...I loved her! She's fierce and strong, has no patience for laziness and can cuss up a storm like nobodies business. And then there's the Huntress...now this is a character you can't help but despise with every fiber in your being. But yet, she is such a multi-dimensional character. You might feel an inkling of sincerity for her at times...but ultimately that is fleeting given her other behaviors.

This book is remarkable. You will find yourself completely immersed in the story. It's exciting, thrilling and filled with just enough tension and suspense to keep you hooked. I cannot wait to see what comes next from Kate Quinn - she is definitely on my must read list!!!
 


Audio thoughts: Saskia Maarleveld is just an amazing narrator. She handled this story in such a way that I felt completely immersed in the story. She was able to give each of the three main characters unique personalities and I never once had trouble figuring out who was who. Even though this was a rather long audio book, I never once felt it dragged and her pacing and intonation was spot on. This was a great book to listen to on audio and I thoroughly enjoyed it.


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2 comments

  1. This one has been on my list for a while. I'm glad to see another positive review.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Any aspect of WWII is a favourite of mine. This one is different and sounds very intriguing. Thanks for the review.

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