Top positive review
An Interesting Story about the Most Destructive Conflict in History
Reviewed in Australia on 19 April 2018
I have been through some of the countries that this book was set, with a more detailed exposure than your typical tourist. I have been to ancient cities like Warsaw, Cologne and Berlin, and also I have been to the not so old but beautiful Saint Petersburg, where history is in two parts: the history before 1939 and the history after 1945. The Second World War was the most destructive conflict in human history, and on top of that there was the worlds second genocide, although that word wasn't invented until after the time period of this novel.
The German Half-Bloods goes back to the Second World War, focussed primarily on the intelligence services of the British and Germans, and it also covers the early days of the Holocaust. It is expansive in scope with many characters, although some of those characters don't play a major part in the narrative. When I started reading I thought this novel was 5-stars for sure, but a few issues got in the way of that. The characters were mostly well-drawn, and the story was interesting, but at times I felt I was being told rather than being shown. Although to show the invasion of Poland, or that character's involvement in Operation Barbarossa would make the story longer and more complex, the story and that character would have benefited. There were other similar sequences, primarily around action, which were recounted as memories after the fact rather than events of the time. Finally, the story stopped, with obviously one or even two sequels to follow. For me, that stoppage wasn't at a logical break in the narrative.
Overall, The German Half-Bloods was an interesting read, especially for those who don't know the detail of this conflict.