Tamar by Mal Preet

Tamar by Mal Preet 

Age Rating: 14+

Rating: 10/10 

            There are some books that draw you into a world that feels so real that you can’t question anything, because you’re being pulled so relentlessly into it. That’s exactly how I felt about Tamar, which takes creative license in describing the Nazi occupation of Holland and the allied effort. 

            This story centers around British spies who are helping the resistance and are supposed to relay information back to London about Nazi happenings. Moreso they are supposed to integrate themselves into the scene so they can also help when Holland is finally won over by the Allied war effort. 

            However, it is wrong to say that this centers around the time, because it actually created this beautiful backdrop for the characters to develop and describes what the British spies really went through, addiction, paranoia, and being bored (!) I finished this book in one go, I couldn’t sleep because I just had to finish it. It feels so real, and the author doesn’t hold back on the horrible things the Nazis did, the simple brutalities of every day life, and what’s even better, is that all these mad things that happen just become part of the story, and they don’t feel created because they just fit so seamlessly. Like the marionette shop that also serves as a base for transmissions. It’s beautiful, how Mal Preet manages to create a whole world, genuinely impressing. 

            The ending is so jarring, but it almost makes sense, because its so real. I feel like I’m trying to say the word real in different ways,  because there’s no better way to describe this story. Maybe because it centers around a time that includes something as tragic as the holocaust and the German occupation of Holland, but also the way that each character is multidimensional, though the main characters still remain Tamar and Dart, the English spies who are sent to Holland. 

            Though this does in a way, center around the romance between Tamar and Maarjke, who also hosts the spy, it’s definitely not a romance novel. It is and it isn’t. And when you get to the end, you finally realize everything and understand why each character acted the way they did. It doesn’t have a happy ending depending on what you think. This book makes you rethink the ideals of romance and instead opens you up to the possibility of just life being so real and unrelenting, but also the neutrality of life and its struggles. 

            I think if you enjoy historical fiction, it is very accurate especially in the procedures and the coding of transmissions the author references. I do not recommend this awesome book for people who don’t enjoy possibly sad books. 

LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS BELOW WHETHER OR NOT YOU AGREE WITH WHAT I SAID, AND IF YOU ENJOY THIS BOOK AS WELL. 

**PLEASE LET ME KNOW IF THERE ARE SPECIFIC BOOKS YOU’D LIKE ME TO REVIEW 

Airborn by Kenneth Oppel

Rating: 10/10 

Age: 13+ 

Before I get into the review, I gotta admit that I’m somewhat a fan of steampunk. I love the ingenuity that authors take to create this modern world that works on all these cool machines. Even more, they make you wish we lived in a steampunk world (is it just me XD)! 

One of my favourite books is Airborn by Kenneth Oppel, not only is every single book he has ever written amazing, but the entire world he creates is fantastic in this series! 

In this book, the primary mode of flying IS BY AIRSHIPS! 

I wish I could convey the excitement Oppel (gosh, I’m a nerd) invokes through his writing. The way that Matt Cruise (the protagonist) describes the joys of flying is exhilirating. Then he gets caught up with pirates (ON AIRSHIPS, HOW COOL IS THAT), in this whole adventure on a quest for hydrium, the gas that powers airships and most things (Oppel likens this whole industry to petroleum in our world). 

So Matt Cruise is a cabin boy aboard this luxury airship that travels to exotic destinations, and one-day dreams of piloting his own airship but is poor and has no connections to an air academy. So he just dreams. 😦

 He only feels truly alive whilst flying, and part of his motivation is his Dad’s legacy aboard airships. So he leaves his mother and two sisters in Canada and just like that, he is on his way to Australia. 

On this trip, he befriends Kate de Vries, an upper class young woman who’s intent on finding proof of flying panther like creatures, and plans to go to school for zoology after. 

Vibrant and stubborn, Kate manages to pull Matt into this adventure that includes pirates AND panthers. 

I truly feel like I don’t do this book justice, the first book is amazing, and the next two only get better. Each book chronicles unique and fantastical creatures that Oppel manages to make sense! Each adventure takes place in a different setting, each with evil villains and even terrorist plots (the third and final book), but what’s more amazing, are the issues with politics and power structures that Oppel raises seamlessly through these scanarios. 

I actually get this sense of breathlessness whenever I delve into this series, which sounds dramatic I know, but the adventure and new technological and biological discoveries are thrilling and truly make you want to take a dimension gun (I know they don’t exist, but a girl’s gotta dream) (on that note, which world would you want to live in and why?) and shoot yourself. 

Series order: 

Airborn 

Skybreaker 

Starclimber 

**PLEASE LET ME KNOW IF YOU ENJOY THIS BOOK, AND IF YOU AGREE OR DISAGREE WITH THIS REVIEW OR RATING

**I ALSO TAKE REVIEW REQUESTS, SO YOU DON’T HAVE TO READ BAD BOOKS 🙂