Black Phoenix by George Bernau

Black Phoenix by George BernauBlack Phoenix by George Bernau
Published by Warner Books (NY) on April 26, 2017
Genres: Historical Fiction
Pages: 291
Source: NetGalley

In the end, final victory will rise from the ashes... These words found in Hitler's bombed-out shelter were a deadly code. From the bestselling author of Candle in the Wind and Promises to Keep comes a classic WWII thriller of villainous acts, heroic risks, and a deadly Third Reich promise.

Black Phoenix is an alternate history novel, set during the closing stages of the second world war. It follows a couple of operatives who must track down the secrets of a mysterious program named Phoenix, which seeks to carry on the Third Reich through deception.

Although this book is primarily told from the point of view of Allied operatives, the author does an interesting job of taking the reader into the underground bunker, and the crazy world of a dying Nazi Germany. I really got the sense of the desperation and panic of people who were under attack and – from their point of view – just trying to survive. I am not saying that the Germans were sympathetic by any means, far from it, but it was a point of view I had not come across before.

I thought the author did a good job of building (mostly) believable characters, and building on his interesting premise by interweaving real historical events, such as the South American connections to the Nazi regime. It is, however, just a little bit silly, in the way that gungho ra-ra military thrillers always are, but one doesn’t read this sort of book looking for historical accuracy.

My other problem with this book was the amount of teleportation that goes on, with events seeming to skip around the world at a whim. I would have liked to have had a better idea of just where things were taking place. But I quibble.

Black Phoenix was an entertaining read, and is a step up from the kind of boys’ own adventure tales. Originally published in 1994, I feel like this is a throwback to an earlier era of publishing. If a reader is looking for something more serious, perhaps Len Deighton’s books, or The Man in the High Castle might suit, but this was a good time.

I received a review copy through NetGalley from the publisher.

Rating Report
Overall: three-half-stars

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