Book Review: The Alice Network by Kate Quinn
The Alice Network
Author: Kate Quinn
Published: June 6, 2017
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 3 stars
In an enthralling new historical novel from national bestselling author Kate Quinn, two women—a female spy recruited to the real-life Alice Network in France during World War I and an unconventional American socialite searching for her cousin in 1947—are brought together in a mesmerizing story of courage and redemption.
1947. In the chaotic aftermath of World War II, American college girl Charlie St. Clair is pregnant, unmarried, and on the verge of being thrown out of her very proper family. She’s also nursing a desperate hope that her beloved cousin Rose, who disappeared in Nazi-occupied France during the war, might still be alive. So when Charlie’s parents banish her to Europe to have her “little problem” taken care of, Charlie breaks free and heads to London, determined to find out what happened to the cousin she loves like a sister.
1915. A year into the Great War, Eve Gardiner burns to join the fight against the Germans and unexpectedly gets her chance when she’s recruited to work as a spy. Sent into enemy-occupied France, she’s trained by the mesmerizing Lili, code name Alice, the “queen of spies”, who manages a vast network of secret agents right under the enemy’s nose.
Thirty years later, haunted by the betrayal that ultimately tore apart the Alice Network, Eve spends her days drunk and secluded in her crumbling London house. Until a young American barges in uttering a name Eve hasn’t heard in decades, and launches them both on a mission to find the truth…no matter where it leads.
I hate to say it, but I was rather disappointed in this book. Thankfully, most of the plot and the characters saved it from being a total loss, but after the success of The Huntress, I was expecting much more. Charlie was the true downfall of this book. I didn’t understand the beginning of her search for Rose. Was it truly her hallucinations that drove her? And I know that slut shaming is looked down upon nowadays, but damn girl! A lot of people lost family in the war and they didn’t hop in the sack with every available person! I didn’t respect her and frankly, I didn’t care what happened to her. I feel bad about that, but actions have consequences and she also didn’t seem to grasp that completely.
I liked all the other characters well enough! Eve and Finn were great! Eve’s history of a female spy during WW1 was fascinating and entertaining. And her big heart while helping Charlie search for her cousin just made me like her more. I even liked the way it ended, which is good because I didn’t like the way it started at all.
Overall, it was ok, just ok.
The Huntress by Kate Quinn
Author: Kate Quinn
Published: February 26, 2019
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars
In the aftermath of war, the hunter becomes the hunted…
Bold, reckless Nina Markova grows up on the icy edge of Soviet Russia, dreaming of flight and fearing nothing. When the tide of war sweeps over her homeland, she gambles everything to join the infamous Night Witches, an all-female night bomber regiment wreaking havoc on Hitler’s eastern front. But when she is downed behind enemy lines and thrown across the path of a lethal Nazi murderess known as the Huntress, Nina must use all her wits to survive.
British war correspondent Ian Graham has witnessed the horrors of war from Omaha Beach to the Nuremberg Trials. He abandons journalism after the war to become a Nazi hunter, yet one target eludes him: the Huntress. Fierce, disciplined Ian must join forces with brazen, cocksure Nina, the only witness to escape the Huntress alive. But a shared secret could derail their mission, unless Ian and Nina force themselves to confront it.
Seventeen-year-old Jordan McBride grows up in post WWII Boston, determined despite family opposition to become a photographer. At first delighted when her long-widowed father brings home a fiancée, Jordan grows increasingly disquieted by the soft-spoken German widow who seems to be hiding something. Armed only with her camera and her wits, Jordan delves into her new stepmother’s past and slowly realizes there are mysteries buried deep in her family. But Jordan’s search for the truth may threaten all she holds dear.
I loved this book so much!! It has everything historical fiction should. The timeline was clear and flowed easily. There wasn’t a single character that I disliked.They all had chemistry that worked well. And what was so nice was that I already knew who the Huntress was. It was obvious from the very beginning and the story was far more about the journey, the backgrounds of the characters, the research, the legal details. There were certain mysteries that unraveled the further into the book I got. It was interesting learning how Anneliese got from Germany to the US. I thought Ian’s journalism throughout the war was an interesting twist. I absolutely fell in love with Tony! Everything about him was perfect and I wouldn’t change a thing. Nina was a frickin badass and I think there should be more female characters like her! She and Jordan, the young photographer who was never taken seriously but had great dreams, should be the role models put out for girls today!
To be honest, the technicalities of photography never interested me much, but Jordan’s passion was contagious. The emotions were so thick and I felt the tension build more and more. I got so invested in the outcome that I couldn’t put the book down! I definitely recommend this book and I know consider it to be one of my favorite historical fiction books!