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Shadow on the Mountain

Average Rating 4
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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2013

    It's okay.

    It's a okay book

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 7, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Young Men in Times of Great ChalĀ­lenges

    Shadow on the Moun­tain by Margi Preus is a his­tor­i­cal fic­tion novel which com­fort­ably fits in the YA cat­e­gory. This is a well researched and excit­ing book despite its intended audience.

    Nazi Ger­many has swept through Nor­way, unseat­ing the sit and gov­ern­ment. Espen, a 14 year old Nor­we­gian boy, decided to join the resis­tance move­ment and starts by deliv­er­ing ille­gal news­pa­pers, grad­u­ates to courier and finally is sent to spy on the Nazis.

    Dur­ing the Nazi régime, which lasted five years, Espen grows phys­i­cally and emo­tion­ally, falls in love and loses friends. How­ever, the life of a spy is in con­stant dan­ger and Espen makes a mis­take which forces him to flee his beloved coun­try in a dan­ger­ous trek through the moun­tains to Sweden.

    Shadow on the Moun­tain by Margi Preus takes place in Nor­way dur­ing World War II and fol­lows the adven­tures of a boy named Espen. As any good his­tor­i­cal fic­tion novel, the book com­bines actu­ally his­tor­i­cal events while explor­ing the emo­tional nature which these events caused.

    Nor­way was an impor­tant tar­get for the Nazi régime, not because of it is strate­gi­cally impor­tance, but because of their Aryan look. Hitler clearly hoped to "marry" Ger­many and Nor­way in order to pro­duce his vision of the ulti­mate mas­ter race (blond hair, blue eyes and fair skin). How­ever, many Nor­we­gians were against every­thing the Nazis stood for and resisted bravely.

    One inter­est­ing aspect of the book is that Ms. Preus takes pains to explore those Nor­we­gians who sup­ported the Nazis. From bul­lies who found their place among the Nazis, to Nor­we­gians who believed they were pick­ing the less of two evils (being con­quered by Nazi Ger­many or Soviet Rus­sia) and oth­ers who sim­ply wanted to get a few extra rations for their families.

    The novel runs through­out World War II, each chap­ter fol­lows the life of four char­ac­ters, Espen, who is the main pro­tag­o­nist, and his sis­ter Ingrid, Espen's friend Kjell, and Askel the neigh­bor­hood bully. Each year which is doc­u­mented is intro­duced with a rel­e­vant quote, either by a Nazi or an anti-Nazi Nor­we­gian. The quote gives the reader a sense of what to expect from the chap­ter ahead.

    While the story is about young men in times of great chal­lenges, the author does not look down on its audi­ence, but pro­duced an edge-of-your-seat, well researched and doc­u­mented work which has lessons rel­e­vant to today's tur­bu­lent times. Ms. Preus also incor­po­rated a pro­nun­ci­a­tion guide (really, how do you pro­nounce Kjell?), a brief and rel­e­vant his­tory of the era and more. I read a proof but I under­stand that the fin­ish prod­uct will incor­po­rate pho­tos, maps and archival documents.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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