As I read this book I kept going back and forth between loving it and finding parts I thought were either not well thought out or not executed well. There are sections with a lot of detail and areas where it asks you to make huge jumps without a lot of information. The style of writing periodically felt like a YA novel but with very adult themes. I do not believe this was intended to be YA fiction and would not recommend it as such.
The book is about the occult utilized in World War II on both the part of the British and the part of Germans. One side utilizes Warlocks and the other side utilize human engineering to create enhanced soldiers that have special abilities – a little like X-men but it’s not a genetic mutation.
An overwhelming theme of the book is the willingness to sacrifice the lives of their own people to kill thee other side either through science or magic. There is a cost in war and an understanding that there will be casualties, however, the book focuses on a growing callousness towards costs.
The book is based on interesting ideas. It is clearly fiction, but utilizes facts to support the fiction and give credence to the ideas within. An example is a military division under Himmler experimenting on humans to create super soldiers.
The narration is ok. The voices for the Germans were a bit aggravating. The accents were not done well and that combined with some overdramatization made it very hard to get past and focus on the German portion of the story. The rest of the accents were fine. The German accents were the only part of it that made me wish I had maybe read it instead of listened to it.
The book is worth the time, but this is not a feel good World War II novel. This is not an, “our spirit will overcome it all” view. It looks at how war tears away our humanity and increases our willingness to do whatever we believe necessary for whatever the cost. It’s intriguing but if you are looking for an upbeat book this isn’t it.