Friday, May 28, 2021

Audio Book Review - THE TASTER by V.S. Alexander


 The Taster
Author:  V.S. Alexander
Narrator:  Carol Monda
Genre: Historic Fiction
Publisher:  Blackstone Audio
Release Date:  January 30, 2018
Listening Length:  11 hours and 58 minutes

About the Book:

Amid the turbulence of World War II, a young German woman finds a precarious haven closer to the source of danger than she ever imagined - one that will propel her through the extremes of privilege and terror under Hitler's dictatorship.

In early 1943, Magda Ritter's parents send her to relatives in Bavaria, hoping to keep her safe from the Allied bombs strafing Berlin. Young German women are expected to do their duty - working for the Reich or marrying to produce strong, healthy children. After an interview with the civil service, Magda is assigned to the Berghof, Hitler's mountain retreat. Only after weeks of training does she learn her assignment: she will be one of several young women tasting the Führer's food, offering herself in sacrifice to keep him from being poisoned.

Perched high in the Bavarian Alps, the Berghof seems worlds away from the realities of battle. Though terrified at first, Magda gradually becomes used to her dangerous occupation - though she knows better than to voice her misgivings about the war. But her love for a conspirator within the SS and her growing awareness of the Reich's atrocities draw Magda into a plot that will test her wits and loyalty in a quest for safety, freedom, and, ultimately, vengeance.

Vividly written and ambitious in scope, The Taster examines the harrowing moral dilemmas of war in an emotional story filled with acts of extraordinary courage.

Buy Links: Amazon 

My Review:

Listening to an audiobook about World War II from the perspective of the people of Germany made my heart ache. But I found this story to be totally fascinating. The narrator was excellent and managed to pull me in immediately and kept me hanging on. I could not stop listening until I finished. I believe the audio version is much better than the print version.

Although the storyline was captivating... imagine what a person experienced each time they tasted Hitler's food, thinking they could be poisoned at any time... but the romantic encounter between Magda and Karl was lacking in emotion. Aside from the romance, the realities of Nazi Germany were horrifying and the fact that so many of the German people had no idea of the atrocities occurring with the Jewish population. 

A word of caution for those who have difficulty with certain topics, there is a rape scene in this book involving German girls and Russian military men.

My Rating

About the Author:

V S Alexander is an ardent student of history with a strong interest in music and the visual arts. Some of V.S.’s writing influences include Shirley Jackson, Oscar Wilde, Daphne du Maurier, or any work by the exquisite Brontë sisters. V.S. lives in Florida and is at work on a third historical novel for Kensington.


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