Eight years after immigrating to the United States, German-born Lukas Ley embodies the American dream: successful athlete, gorgeous girlfriend, loving family. But beneath the surface, eighteen-year-old Lukas is driven by ambition, resolved to avenge the murder of his father at the hands of the Nazi regime. Unfortunately, a failed physical throws his plans for flight school off course. Unlike his war-hero older brother, Lukas's purpose is unclear. He can't fly, and in the eyes of the military, he's good for only one thing—the front lines.
From the foxholes of war-ravaged Luxembourg to the devastation of an enormous German offensive, Lukas's journey is fraught with peril. But when he's taken as a prisoner of war, he realizes life is about to get much worse. In the enemy camp, Lukas is viewed as a German fighting for the wrong side. Ripped from the innocence of an idealistic youth, he becomes a man beaten by the horrors of war. Now his only hope of survival is to hold tightly to his faith in God and his love of family and home. But even if he manages to make it out alive, can he ever be whole again?
|Size||6 x 9|
|Published||Covenant Communications 2017|
If the option existed, I would have given this SIX stars! It is one of Soward's best works. It is engaging, poignant, and thought-provoking. I loved it!
DISCLAIMER: I was asked by the author to read and review this book and given an advance copy for free. However, my review is honest and forthright based on the content of the book in question and not influenced by outside factors.
That being said, A. L. Sowards is one of my favorite authors of historical novels, and this book is on par with – and perhaps better than – the author’s previous works (which each got 5 stars from me). This book is connected to the excellent and dramatic “The Rules in Rome” (the protagonists in each book are brothers) but either is a standalone book that can be read without spoiling the other.
Lukas Ley is 18; when he was 10, the Nazis took his father, and his family fled to the United States. He is in love with the girl who lived next door, but her father hates him because he’s German – and he wants to go fight against the evil people that took his father.
He wants to be a pilot, but his eyesight and average grades not only keep him from his dream of flying airplanes (as a pilot or part of a crew) but also from becoming a paratrooper, so he is inducted into the infantry. Assigned to Luxembourg, he finds himself in the midst of what has comes to be called “the battle of the bulge” – a last, desperate offensive by the Germans to divide the Allies and prolong the war. The “defiance” of the title comes after Lukas finds himself a prisoner of war (this is on the jacket of the book, so no spoiler alert required) and is determined to survive. But will doing what it takes to survive fundamentally change who he is? And will that be a victory for the Nazis?
This book is a bit different for the author, because it’s the first book she has written in first-person, and the impact of the story is more meaningful that way. Additionally, this book is action-packed. There was action in the previous books, but they also had a focus on a love story. This book, on the other hand, is almost all action (although there is a love story, but it not the primary theme of the novel).
This was my first time reading a WWII novel but I'd heard wonderful things about other books by the author, A.L. Sowards.I was surprised how much I really liked this book, since this genre is out of my "reading comfort zone". Lukas Ley and his family (older brother, 2 older sisters and mother) immigrated to the United States from Germany 8 years earlier after his father is killed by the Nazis. Lukas is now 18 years old and recently graduated from high school,and can't wait to enlist to be a fighter pilot. His dream of being a pilot is shot down (so to speak) because of his vision and mediocre grades, and he ends up in the Army on the front lines in Europe. Shortly after being deployed he and others from his unit become prisoners of war while fighting in Luxembourg, and things get really bad when one of the other prisoners tell the German guards that Lukas was born in Germany.
The author clearly has done a lot of research into WWII and is able to describe the scenes so realistically that I could picture them in my mind as I read. I'm thankful she doesn't feel the need for graphic details about how the characters were wounded. I received a copy of the book from the author for my honest review. I really enjoyed this book and plan to read some of her previous works.