Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Book Review: Shadows in the Mist by Brian Moreland

There is something so inherently evil about Nazis that even when you hear the word it makes your skin crawl. All the atrocities they committed, all the innocent people they killed and all the secret experiments they conducted make the Devil himself look tame! Well, it looks like the terror of Nazis is back – on film and in books, you see. Most recently the Nazi zombie film Dead Snow was released and now Brian Moreland’s new supernatural Nazi novel Shadows in the Mist is available. Look out, the Nazis are coming!

Set in World War II, Shadows in the Mist tells of a platoon of soldiers led by Lieutenant Jack Chambers who have accepted a special mission to accompany a special ops unit called X-2 behind enemy lines to intercept and capture a deadly Nazi weapon that the enemy is set to unleash. As the Allies delve deep into enemy territory in the dark, mist-shrouded Hürtgen Forest, they will have to worry about more than just Nazi soldiers because something else lurks within the dense fog. Something that is rooted in the occult and involves an ancient power that is near unstoppable.

Shadows in the Mist is a fast-paced thrill ride that blends bloody scenes of combat, a history of secret societies, espionage, the Nazis’ love of the occult, nearly unstoppable monsters and the supernatural. Its vivid descriptions make you feel like you are standing shoulder to shoulder with the platoon.

Author Brian Moreland must first be commended for his remarkable attention to detail found within the pages. Moreland spent years researching WWII, Nazis and even traveled to the real-life location of the Hürtgen Forest where real battles were fought. He interviewed veterans, read countless books on the Nazis’ obsession with the occult and watched countless films on WWII. Every detail within the book, from what soldiers wore and ate to military language to the location of the book is rooted in reality. All this detail just makes the book feel more real and more immediate.

Besides the sheer detail of the book, the use of description and action also places the read front and center to the battles fought by Jack Chambers’ platoon. You can almost hear the bullets whizzing by, the rumble of the tanks, the drip-drip of the rain in the forest and the fast-beating hearts of the soldiers as they face a near-impossible mission against unimaginable monsters.

The story is tense and keeps you on the edge of your seat as you become emotionally invested in each of the characters. You really learn a lot about each of the platoon soldiers in a short amount of time and care about what happens to them. Whenever there is a soldier that is wounded or killed you feel the deep loss that their Lieutenant feels. I also liked how the story had many different surprises. Just when you think you know what the soldiers are fighting or who the “good guys” are, a twist comes out of nowhere to shock you and takes the story in an entirely different direction.

As for the mysterious Nazi soldiers the Allies end up fighting, boy, are they scary! Suited up in full SS regalia and wearing gas masks to boot, plus having some other nasty surprises up their sleeves (like glowing eyes and being seemingly unstoppable), made them very menacing villains.

From WWII history buffs to those looking for some new supernatural spooks, Shadows in the Mist should be at the top of everyone’s summer reading list. It is so fast-paced and involves you right away that you’ll never want to put it down once you start reading!

Available from Amazon!

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