Friday, 6 September 2013

Hitler's Angel: Fast paced action, but some POV issues

I've just finished reading Hitler's Angel by William Osborne - a page-turning World War II action-adventure novel about 2 teenagers sent by London as agents on a perilous secret mission.

After a slowish start, the action and tension ratcheted up, until there seemed to be a new danger or narrow escape every few pages.  The author made good use of foreshadowing, which can be a great plot device if it is done well.  The descriptions of places and situations were vivid and engaging.

The likeable protagonists appeared distant from the reader in the few few chapters, but soon became real to the reader.  They were brave, resourceful but also vulnerable.

I have a couple of criticisms though.  Firstly there were a few scenes where the POV was unclear or rapidly shifting which was rather disorienting.  Secondly very modern terms (or Americanisms) were used for certain things which was jarring, especially when a more traditional (even just British) term would have been appropriate - for example a rucksac rather than pack, goods train rather than cargo train.

Overall a recommended read - the story would also make a good film.  I've given it 4 stars.

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