Published by Farrar on August 25, 2020
Genres: Young Adult, Thriller, Historical
Source: Paperback ARC from Publisher
After the Soviet liberation of Lwów from Germany, the city remains a battleground between resistance fighters and insurgent armies, its loyalties torn between Poland and Ukraine. Seventeen-year-old Tolya Korolenko is half Ukrainian, half Polish, and he joined the Soviet Red Army to keep himself alive and fed. When he not-quite-accidentally shoots his unit's political officer in the street, he's rescued by a squad of Ukrainian freedom fighters. They might have saved him, but Tolya doesn't trust them. He especially doesn't trust Solovey, the squad's war-scarred young leader, who has plenty of secrets of his own.
Then a betrayal sends them both on the run. And in a city where loyalty comes second to self-preservation, a traitor can be an enemy or a savior—or sometimes both.
Traitor is a young adult historical thriller set in World World II by Amanda McCrina. Wow! This book certainly took me on a wild ride. It was an intense read…in all the best ways. I just finished this novel and I honestly feel like I still haven’t caught my breath totally. Traitor is a thriller adventure about two spies who are on the run during World War II. It explores themes of betrayal, loyalty and all of the shades of gray in between. It was a fantastic book and I cannot wait for more from Amanda McCrina.
As a history major, I found the World War II backdrop to be a fascinating one for setting the story. Further, I loved that the bulk of the book is focused on some of the lesser known conflicts in the war. Traitor has two timelines that alternate between 1941 and 1944, and the spies are individuals involved in the conflict between Poland and the Ukraine during this period. At times, it was hard for me to figure out what timeline I was in because there is quite a bit of back and forth, but it was never too jarring for me. On top of the different timelines we have the two main characters- Aleksey living in the war in 1941 and Tolya in 1944. There were a lot of players to keep track of and a lot of moving parts that I honestly had no idea who I could try and when. That all added to intense feeling that I had while reading this story. I also really enjoyed that the two timelines do intersect and interact with each other. It was really something to see how everything comes together!
Traitor takes you on a very high stakes thriller with so many twists and turns, it is impossible to predict them all. Amanda McCrina did a fantastic job not only telling a really twisty interesting story, but also giving us a glimpse into the every day life of a solider in the war. This book is not for the feint of heart, there are certainly some pretty devastating scenes depicted, as one would expect with a book about World War II. I really, really enjoyed Traitor. It just kept surprising me. I can’t wait to read more from Amanda McCrina!
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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- 2020 New Release Challenge
- ARC August 2020