Where do I start? This book is amazing. Absolutely stunning.
The Huntress, by Kate Quinn, moved quickly and surely up my list of favourites, even before I’d finished it, and now sits in the company of the likes of The Book Thief.
Published: Feb 26, 2019
Genre: Historical Fiction
Medium I consumed it in: Physical book while listening to the audiobook
In Soviet Russia, wild and unrelenting Nina skilfully and fearlessly attacks the Nazis alongside her fellow bomber pilots, the Night Witches – the only group of female pilots who fight in WWII. However, her life is threatened and forever altered when she faces a ruthless murderess.
After the war, Ian, a troubled English journalist, goes after as many war criminals as he can. However, one in particular, the one known as The Huntress, eludes him.
Jordan, a seventeen year old passionate photographer, is navigating life in Boston with her loving father and new stepmother and sister. Bewildered by the mysterious happenings in her home, she explores her growing concern for her family. She must find a way to answer the increasing amount of questions she holds before her fears come true.
In this riveting novel, Nina, Ian and Jordon must confront secrets, vulnerabilities and horrors in order to track down The Huntress and make her pay.
( Link to the Goodreads synopsis. A heads up – I think this gives too much away, as does the book’s blurb, so my advice is to avoid reading either of them).
The power of the imagery and atmosphere created in this book is remarkable. I was absolutely there with each character, and situations I could never dream of being in or dealing with felt tangible and authentic. As an aspiring writer, I am in awe of Kate’s ability to write such realistic, detailed scenes. The writing is lyrical and beautiful. So many annotations mark my copy, which is always a sign of stunning lines and fascinating plot points.
The characters were fabulously multifaceted and complex, and even within the first few chapters, they were well-developed. I quickly felt attached to them all. Each chapter alternates between the points of view of Nina, Ian and Jordan, which gives great insight into their stories, and is so skilfully done. This style of writing always runs the risk of readers finding one point of view not as captivating as another and losing their interest. However, there was no chance of that happening for me with this book! Each distinct perspective and chapter left me hanging and desperate to get back to each character and find out the next part of their story.
There is such a strong element of mystery throughout this historical fiction, which kept me guessing right to the end. The details and twists are phenomenal, and the constant questions of who is who and how each character connects to the other are ceaselessly suspenseful.
I was aware of another of Kate’s books, The Alice Network, but somehow, I had not yet come across The Huntress. Luckily, my friend, Stephen, suggested it to be our sixth buddy read. I’ve been reading a lot of historical fiction over the past year because I am working on a historical fiction, so at that point, I actually felt like a break from the genre. However, Stephen was keen, so I was too. And I am very glad that we decided this would be our next read! Furthermore, this book is fantastic for a buddy read. We had so much to discuss, and the reading experience was thoroughly enjoyable as we batted ideas and theories back and forth.
The Huntress, with its focus on comradery, revenge and eye-opening elements of war, is a compelling and powerful novel full of emotion and intrigue.
I urge you to read it. Now.
I gave it 5 out 5 stars (and an elusive spot on my favourites list!)