Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The Only Thing to Fear by Caroline Tung Richmond

What if Hitler had won WWII? What would our world look like? That is what this book sets out to answer

This is a young adult book, which was highly recommended to me by Darcy. She read it in grade 5 and then bought it when given the opportunity at a used book sale at school. She was fascinated by the book and kept on insisting that I read it too. I finally picked it up this past weekend.

Germany and Japan have divided the former United States between them, with Italy taking the west coast and Germany ruling the east coast. So 16-year old Zara St. James is growing up in the Eastern American Territories. She is an orphan (abandoned by her Japanese father and her mother died in a rebel-led raid against the Nazis) being raised by her Uncle in the Shenandoah region of the former United States. She is forced to work cleaning a school for German students where she meets Bastian, the son of the local Nazi Colonel. Rebel forces are assembling throughout the former United States, determined to overthrow the Nazi regime. That is how Zara's mother died and it makes her Uncle extra protective of her.

As you can imagine, the world created by the Nazis is not a pleasant one. Zara is determined to join the rebels and fight for her freedom. Her uncle is hesitant to allow this, but Zara has special skills that could be vital to the success of the rebel's mission. And what are Bastian's true feelings? Can he be trusted?

This was a fun little book and an interesting concept. How would life be different if WWII hadn't ended the way it did? It is definitely far-fetched (humans with super powers have been developed) but still interesting. It's a great way for a younger audience to think a bit about the freedoms they enjoy and what was necessary to make those possible.

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