Monday, April 20, 2015

Review: Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke by Anne Blankman

Ugh. This book. I wish I could say it was all kinds of amazing. That I loved it. But I really, really did not. I had mixed feelings about book one, a three star for me a year ago, and yet I still wanted to read this sequel, as I was so curious. But damn. I did not like it. So I'm going with two stars for this one. Sad face.

To be honest, I'm not even sure why I'm giving it a two star, and not a one star. Because I'm not sure I liked anything about this book. But at the same time, I did not hate it like I have hated a bunch of other books. It was not the worst I have read. But it was so far from all the amazing books that I have read. Ugh.

I had seen so many say that they loved this one. That the romance is so good. So I had hoped that maybe I would like it too. But damn. I did not. I knew from the very beginning that I would dislike it like crazy. The writing is not good. Not for me. It is written in a bad way. Gretchen spends most time just thinking and thinking and thinking. Not much talking at all. And when there is talking, not one time did it feel real. I didn't care for any of it. The characters seemed so awful. None seemed honest or real. It was really bad. Plus the book is all kinds of boring. Which I was oh so disappointed it. I wanted so much more from this plot. Instead I got a really, truly, boring one. Ugh. I felt like nothing ever happened in this book. So annoying.

I'm not sure how to explain all my feelings for this book. I'm not even sure I feel like talking about the plot and characters at all. Because it all annoyed me. I didn't like any of it. And it makes me so sad. But angry too. I wanted this book to be amazing. But it wasn't. Not at all. And I do not see why anyone liked it. Sigh. Because nothing happened. Nothing. Even the supposed torture didn't make me feel anything. Because it was done so badly and nothing was shown and I did not care one bit. It was so irritating.

Because I like feeling things when I read books. I like caring for the plot. For the characters. For the things that happen. But in this sequel. In this book I felt not a single thing. I didn't care for Gretchen. Or Daniel. I found their romance to be silly and all they seemed to do about it was sometimes kiss. They even had this silly fight, sort of. I didn't care. And I didn't even want to, because it was so silly. Their romance wasn't epic. It didn't make me believe in them. Because it was boring. Oh so very boring.

I can't even say that I liked Gretchen. All she do is cry. So many times. And stop feeling things. And think about Hitler. And think think think think. Ugh. It bothered me so much. I cared nothing for her. I didn't find her brave. I found her to be a bit silly, but she isn't the worst character I have read about either. I just did not care for her. So boring. And Daniel. I didn't even care for him. As I said, nothing happens in this book. No reason for me to care for Daniel. I sort of liked him. But I didn't love him.

There is also a whole bunch of new characters in this book. I did not see the point of any of them. Ugh. I just. I can't with how much I did not like this book. All the time I wanted it to be over. I should have DNFed it, but I didn't, because I have the eARC via Edelweiss, and I had paid a bunch for my hardcover. So I finished it. And now I regret buying it. Ugh. Which does not happen very often. Sigh. I just really truly wish this book had been better. But it wasn't. No matter when I read this book, it will not change.

The plot. This book takes place in 1933. And as I have said a bunch of times, nothing happens. They are running away, hiding. Then going back to Germany, and hiding some more. And doing a bunch of boring things. Ugh. Then there is Hitler. Whom we see in this book for a really tiny moment. I didn't even care a tiny bit about him either. He didn't do anything awful or bad. Just a bunch of booooring things. And that is probably why I was so disappointed. I wanted this book to be awful and heartbreaking. It wasn't.

I do want to read more about Hitler, well, I want to read about the war. I want to read about all the goddamn awful things that happened to all the innocent people. That is what I want to read about. Not this boring book where a couple of people die and nothing ever happens. I wanted so much more. Sigh. So yeah. I was very disappointed in this book. So I would not recommend that anyone reads it. Do as you please. Anyway. Thank you to Balzer + Bray for Edelweiss auto-approval. <3 It means the world to me.


  1. LOL. It's okay. I wasn't a huge fan of this one either. It was a 2.5-3.0-star-read for me, which was disappointing, because I actually really enjoyed the first book. Things definitely weren't as interesting with Hitler rarely in the picture... overall this one just seemed boring to me. There were other things that annoyed me but in the end, I'm glad I stuck it out and read the series. It's too bad it's a duology, the ending to this book seemed a bit anticlimactic, in terms of Hitler and history. Oh well!

    Excellent review, Carina!

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

  2. I haven't read the first book, but oh that's too bad. I've seen some very warm reception for this book, and much as I love historical fiction, I feel like the lack of happenings will get to me, too.

  3. See this is why i sometimes stay away form historical fiction. The girl MCs aren't very strongly written. I understand the time is when girls are mainly in the house and do 'easy' work and all that, but shit, it's a freaking book, let them branch out! I don't need them crying and thinking all the time, i need action, adventure, something going on!!!

    I'm glad i read your review, i wanted to read this books, but i think i'll pas on them for now.

    brooke @ booklife4life

  4. I'm so sorry to hear this one didn't work out for you at all! I still haven't read the first book yet and now I don't know if I want to start the series...

  5. Oh no. :( I'm sorry you didn't like this one at all! Especially after reading my review, I hope I didn't give you false hope. I'm the same way as you though - if I don't care about the characters or can't form an emotional connection, the book won't work for me. I'm sorry you felt that way about this duology. :/ I hope your next read is much better!

  6. I'm so sorry this one didn't work for you :(. It is a very internal book and I actually really loved the introspective part of this book. I also liked that it looks at an earlier time in Hitler's rise. I was freaked out at this point! But it's always hard when you really want to LOVE a book and see that others do, but it just doesn't work for you. I know that sadness well.


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