So I decided to get some things that I have been curious about, but had not gone out and bought.
5 stars for story
4 stars for narration
4.5 stars overall
I loved this. It's easily the best thing that has come out of Amazon Kindle First ever, and I'm so glad I picked it up.
This is a "novel" only because the author wasn't able to verify all the facts of the story that Pino Lella told him about his time in Italy during the last two years of the war. As it explains in the foreword, a lot of documents were "lost" after the war, and many people who lived through it chose not to talk about it and simply let it fade into history. Being unable to 100% verify every detail, the author decided to call it a novel, but it is a biography.
As such, I can't really critique this the same way I normally would any other story. These are real people and real events. There's no ultimate struggle of good vs evil (well, there is but as we all know, humans are complicated and things aren't always so black and white) and there are no tropes to rely on or subvert. This is just what happened, and it's both inspiring and infuriating.
Without giving too much away - and assuming you're not a WWII history buff and might know some of these details already - Pino Lella was seventeen when the war came to Italy, and in order to avoid being conscripted and forced to fight on the German front in Poland, where many Italians pressed into service were losing their lives, he instead "volunteered" to work for Operation Todt. All he knew about it was that it was less likely to get him killed and would keep him off the warfront. Things don't go as planned and he ends up in a prime position to work for the resistance, getting them valuable information that helped the Allied invasion.
For the first third of the book, things move pretty slowly. Pino is at first hidden in the mountains near the Switzerland border and helps refugees escape over the border. When his parents bring him back to Milan, things start to pick up and slowly get more complicated. And yet, things seem to almost go too well. Then the end of the war is in sight, and that's when things really hit the fan. The writing in the last third is especially strong and emotive, and I really had to work not to cry in the car as I listened to this on my daily commute.
As for the narrator, Will Damron, he takes the Kevin Costner approach to accents. I would honestly have no accent at all than to listen to a really horrible Italian accent, so I wasn't bothered by this. He does do a decent German accent though. He's very clear and easy to follow along with, and he reads at a good pace. At first, his narration was almost matter-of-fact, but he can really bring the emotions when it's called for. I would say for the most part, he's a 3 star narrator, but the ending was strong enough to bump it up to 4 stars. (And he's certainly popular with audiobooks, so he has his fans.)
WoW I definitely thought this was a very surprising book for me, and that's because I didn't see that Ending coming. I am not even sure who I consider the villain, I see both of these individuals point of view. One of these individuals, I feel is the worst right now but in the next book that could change. I love the world building in this book so much, and I loved that most of the story takes place in Japan.
Out of the characters my absolute favorite so far is Emika, and the rest of her team members, especially Hammie, Asher, and Roshan.. Emika is a very smart hacker and I really think she is a very interesting character. I also have to say that I think Hideo, is somewhat a mystery to me, I am just not sure if I like him all that much, at times I did and at other times I didn't. The only times I liked him is when he was around Emika. When Emika gets the job working for Hideo that's when this book really starts to get interesting and starts to take off and never slows down. I really don't want to talk about how it ended or I might give something away, just say it ends in a cliffhanger. I can't wait to find out what Emika is going to do with the information that she has. I will definitely buy the next book to find out what that answer is going to be. Loved, loved, loved this book.
WOW I really loved this book from the beginning to the very end, Beckett and Sarama are so freaking awesome and so cute together. And I have another book boyfriend In sexy, nerdy, Beckett. While I really remember liking The Forgetting a lot and having a crush on Gray, I have to say Beckett has him beaten.
This book is just really great, it has some action and adventure, two totally different types of individuals that fall in love that shouldn't have ever meet. It's so interesting that in Samara's world that Beckett is considered the alien, even though his from earth. When I read about them loving each other I get it, while in some books such as The Last of the Firedrakes, I don't understand why Rory would fall for someone like Rafe.
I loved that you don't have to read The Forgetting in order to read the Knowing, even though I wish I would have gone back and at least read the last 50 to 100 pgs of The Forgetting just for a refreshment course. I thought that Samara was very interesting and definitely no wall- flower. I really felt bad for her and not being able to forget anything, I would hate to have to relive everything you ever had to experience over and over again, without going insane. I loved that Beckett didn't stand in her way when she thought she had to do a certain thing alone. And how interested he was in her world. I am wondering if there will be another book in this world. Because while it had a conclusion to the story, it also ended in a way that there could be other stories to tell in this very interesting and most of the time crazy world!!!!!