Today I’m pleased to welcome you to my stop on the blog tour for this interesting and different alternative historical ficiton novel.  You can read my thoughts about the book below, which is definitely an interesting read, but first I’d just like to say thank you to Literally PR and the author for a chance to be on this tour and a copy of the book.  Now, let’s find out what I thought of this book…

Title: The Gothengau Colony
Author: W. F. Logan
Publisher: Heart of the Bruce
Genre: Historical fiction – alternative
Book format: Paperback
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Description: When saving a life in 1946 Alabama, Amish giant Konrad took one in return and must run before the electric chair claims him.  In New York, Nazi propaganda fools him into jumping on a ship to Berlin, capital of the Third Reich.
In 1965, at Gothengau, an SS-run colony in Ukraine, a terrorist rocket attack on Berlin compels soldier-farmer Konrad to focus on his duty: commanding an SS convic battalion.  He must flex his muscle for the armed forces or the Holocaust’s perpetrators – his superiors, colleagues, and neighbours in Ukraine.
Survival means plaing both sides, but will the fellow German-Americals he arived with 20 years earlier join him in his fight and in the process, trigger the dawn of a Fourth Reich?

*Free copy provided by publisher for review…

Review:  This is an interesting alternative history story which feels very different to anything I’ve read before.  It’s 1946 and over 2 metres tall and called a giant, Konrad arrives in New York having run away from Alabama after something happened.  Worried that the authorities are going to find him for what he’s done he flees into a cinema to hide in the dark.  While there he settles down to watch a film, a propaganda film which makes him want to take a boat to Berlin and the world in Europe under the Third Reich.

This book is interesting and although the beginning is set in 1946, most of the rest of the story is set in 1965.  Konrad, now a soldier farmer in Gothengau, seems to live a happy life, spent with his family, working his farm and leading his troop of convicts.  But life in the Nazi-led regime is hard, and Konrad isn’t entirely comfortable with the new life he now lives.  The story starts by showing how Konrad came to be living in Gothengau, with a brief prologue showing his work as a soldier before going back to 1946.  I like how this story begins, with Konrad being convinced by Nazi propaganda to go and live in the Third Reich.  The story is very different, with no second world war having ever taken place and Gothengau now being a colony in the Eastern part of Europe.

As we follow Konrad’s life, first in the 40s and then in 1965 we learn about the power structure in the Third Reich.  Konrad has encounters with lots of differently people including some more eerie characters like Dr Mengele who is constantly fascinated by Konrad and his children.  Although the overall story is good, the plot, for me, was sometimes better than at other times.  The story itself is complex and there’s a lot happening with the chapters sometimes following Konrad and sometimes following others like Petra and Karl.  The plot is good, a lot Happens and at times it’s exciting, but at other times things felt slower and more difficult to read.

It’s too complex to explain everything that is happening but the Third Reich continues to be as unpleasant as it was in our real world and some characters seek to change it for the better.  A lot of interesting things happen though, and I like how twisted some of the events are and how some of the characters are.  I liked the story around Karl, the Odinist priest, which was interesting and at times funny too.  His story wraps up well and what happens with him in the end is brilliant.  I also found Konrad’s story a good read and Petra’s was good too, hers being much more heart-breaking in what happens to her though.

Unfortunately, for me, although the general story idea was good and I found myself wanting to find out what happened to certain characters, some chapters felt better written than others.  With a few chapters I struggled to know what was happening, with scenes switching too fast and sometimes too many characters that I didn’t know about being suddenly in the story which I felt could have been introduced with more detail.  Some of the chapters flowed really well, while others I struggled to get through, and when it came to something like what happens to Petra nearer the end of the story, I felt like it could have been more emotional given what she actually goes through with her husband.

The story has very occasional swearing and some violence but nothing too graphic. There are quite a few descriptions of men treating women unpleasantly, including an assault.  The build up to the ending was good, and I liked the little twist that happened to Konrad near to the end.  I didn’t see it coming and it was a good twist which made me wonder what would happen in future.  There is a second twist right at the very end which was interesting too, and I like the fact there is a flash-back near the end of the book to Konrad’s life in the past,  explaining something that happened, which I felt was missing until that point in the book.

Overall I did enjoy reading this book and it’s certainly an interesting and inventive alternative historical fiction novel.  There were some good moments and some of this book made me so keen to read it as it’s so different and the idea of the Third Reich still existing in the 60s is both interesting and terrifying!!  But it just felt like it could have been polished a bit more and because of it I just didn’t enjoy it as much as I had hoped, hence my rating.  But if you’re after a very different alternative historical fiction where the Third Reich has expanded and controls Europe in the 1960s, this one is definitely an interesting read!

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I hope you have enjoyed my stop on the blog tour today for this intersting alternative historical fiction novel. 🙂  Please do check out the other earlier stops on the blog tour by seeing them on the banner below…

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What do you think of this book?  Do you like to read alternative historical fiction?  Let me know what you think in the comments below 🙂