The Spy With The Red Balloon By Katherine Locke Book Review


Goodreads Summary: In a nuclear arms race, you’d use anything for an edge. Even magic.

Ilse and Wolf Klein bear many secrets. Genius Ilse is unsure if her parents will ever accept her love of physics. Her brother Wolf strives for a quiet life, though he worries that there’s no place in the world for people like him. But their deepest secret lies within their blood: with it, they can work magic.

Blackmailed into service during World War II, Ilse lends her magic to America’s newest weapon, the atom bomb, while Wolf goes behind enemy lines to sabotage Germany’s nuclear program. It’s a dangerous mission, but if Hitler were to create the bomb first, the results would be catastrophic.

When Wolf’s plane is shot down, his entire mission is thrown into jeopardy. Wolf needs Ilse’s help to develop the magic that will keep him alive, but with a spy afoot in Ilse’s laboratory, the secret letters she sends to Wolf begin to look treasonous. Can Ilse prove her loyalty—and find a way to help her brother—before their time runs out?

Loyalties and identities will be tested in this sweeping fantasy and a fast-paced thriller that bravely explores the tensions at the dawn of the nuclear age.

My Rating:5/5 Stars

Disclaimer:I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review via Edelweiss

So when I read The Girl With The Red Balloon earlier this year, I knew Locke was an author to watch out for. I’ve never read anything quite like her writing and she creates such an amazing world that you just want to spend the rest of your life in it. While I really really enjoyed her first book, it wasn’t quite a five-star read. When I saw that Edelweiss  had the companion novel to her wonderful first novel, I jumped at the chance to read it. Boy am I glad that I read it. It was phenomenal and I can’t wait to read any book Locke comes out with in the future.

Okay first off let me say that the two MCs are fucking awesome?!! They’re both queer Jewish siblings who kick ass and punch Nazis and holy shit they are the coolest characters I’ve encountered in a long time. I loved seeing how important they were to one another and seeing how they each  dealt differently with their magical abilities. Ilse being a genius was so wonderful and I loved seeing her work out scientific problems and she was just so fucking smart holy shit. Sometimes she honestly felt like a real historical character that I wanted he entire world to know about. Wolf on the other hand isn’t as scientifically orientated  but he’s still really smart. I loved reading all the scenes where he kicked some serious Nazi ass. Seriously this is how you write a good World War 2 novel involving Nazis. Please can we only let Jewish and other minorities affected by the atrocities write  books like this? Katherine Locke nailed this time period on the head and the fact that there were no “nice” Nazis made it all the more better.

Not only are the main characters amazing but the side characters are just as awesome. I loved all three of the girls that Ilse worked with. I really like reading about women being involved in important historical events because they always get excluded from the narrative. I also really liked how one of the girls was African-American. it’s so important to acknowledge how much they did and how horribly they were treated.

THis book was all in all perfect and Locke is amazing at writing speculative fiction.  I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next. I know I can always rely on her for to write amazing diverse characters

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