Isaac, by Robert Karmon

A different point of view during WWII, Isaac takes readers on a ride for the insurgent side of the war.

Rounded up to be murdered, Isaac survived—and continued to survive. He traveled with a band of rogues fighting Nazi’s. Will they survive long enough to see the fruits of their labor?

Talk about a story invested in a character. The tone of the novel—of Isaac’s life—was a very somber one, and it projected well into the reader. Conflict was persistent, dogging him every painful step of the way. It didn’t feel like unnecessary conflict—it was crucial for his development and it kept the reader turning the pages. The suspense and the drama were very well written.

Even though it was based on a true story, I liked the fact that it was a different viewpoint. Most tales of WWII focus on the concentration camps, or escaping to another country. Readers don’t usually hear the stories about those who hid their identity, eluded the camps, and fought back. It breathed a new light into the specific setting. It was obvious that the author took great pains to maintain historical accuracy, as well as constructing a compelling tale that kept the readers’ attention. Very well done.

Solahutte, by Steven Donahue

A touching romance with the backdrop of Nazi Germany. Blaz Schaffer, a solider transferred to a death camp, isn’t having the easiest adjustment. Rival guards, unexpected love, and the ever-growing Third Reich throw Blaz’s convictions out of whack.

In terms of WWII, the plot felt generic in many ways. That’s not to say it was a bad plot—because it wasn’t. Blaz was a likeable character and his journey was an interesting one. The author found a nice balance in using conflict to destroy a character and help them grow. Their antagonists had a variety of emotional range—sympathetic to despicable and beyond.

The writing style didn’t exactly suit the tone of the novel. Pacing of it never really changed from beginning to end. It stayed at a kind of neutral, level emotion the whole way. During suspenseful moments, scenes of joy or heartbreak, where the style could have enhanced the scene, it made things feel sort of meh.

The novel was still well-done. The setting complimented the love story and vice-verse. I liked the characters and I liked how it was pulled off. Worth the read.