The Upper Shelves

Latest Review

The Huntress

Author: Kate Quinn 

Category: Adult

Genre: Historical Fiction

Pages: 531

Format: Hardcover

Published: February 2019 

Book rating: 8/10

Mommy readability rating: 8/10 


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Summary: Nina and Ian are both haunted by their time in WW2. She as a pilot in the all-female Night Witches of the Soviet Union, he as a British war correspondent. After the war, they team up to track down the Nazi murderess known at The Huntress. Meanwhile, in Boston, 17-year-old Jordan is working towards becoming a photographer when her bachelor father brings home a new wife. The more Jordan learns about her mysterious new step-mother, the more suspicious she becomes that something sinister is happening. The war has left dark secrets in everyone’s past. But what happens when the past comes to find you?


Review: Add this to the list of great WW2 era books that have already come out this year. (And in an interesting connection to my earlier WW2 read, The Only Woman in the Room, there is even a mention of Hedy Lamarr on page 17!) The story begins with a woman on the run. But who is this woman? And are we supposed to be on her side or on the side of those hunting her? That is followed by a news article written about The Huntress, a murdering Nazi who did beyond awful things during the war. And with that, you’re pulled into this intriguing tale of war, murder, and the aftermath. Told in alternative perspectives, with chapters focusing on Ian, Nina, or Jordan, the reader is left to start piecing together how all these stories will intersect. And you do, pretty early on. And that’s the one negative I found about this book. It is a long book. A very long book. And, unfortunately, really longer than it needs to be. About halfway through, I figured out who was who and what was what and spent the next hundred pages just waiting for the characters to figure it out too. Granted, Quinn spent that time adding some fantastic detail and interesting plot points, but in the back of my mind I was just wanting her to hurry up and get to the part that I knew was coming. There were missed encounters and ignored dialogue which, you knew what the author was trying to do, but was still a bit frustrating. I will say though, when it finally happened, it did so in a way that I didn’t guess it would, which was a twist I really appreciated. In addition, I really enjoyed Quinn’s writing. So much so that I have already ordered her previous book, The Alice Network, and am very much looking forward to reading it.


Mommy Readability Rating: Warning, as I said, and in case you haven’t looked at the page count, this is a long book. And, for the previously stated reason, can feel a bit slow when you’re waiting for a particular event to happen. But the chapters are relatively short, making it easy to read in small chunks, and the writing is quite good, which really pulls you through the story. This is one that can be read during naptimes, after bedtimes, and even when the kids are playing on their own.


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