Rend (Riven #2) by Roan Parrish {review}
An Unconditional Freedom by Alyssa Cole {review}

The Huntress by Kate Quinn {review}

The Huntress

Genre: Historical Fiction


My Review - 5 Stars

When I heard Kate Quinn had a new book coming out, I was immediately on board without even knowing the subject matter. After reading the synopsis, I was even more intrigued. The post-WWII setting proved to be refreshing in more ways than one and has lessons for us today, if we’re willing to listen.

The Huntress is told from three perspectives. Jordan is in her late teens, an aspiring photojournalist who works at her dad’s antique store. Ian is a British journalist-turned-Nazi hunter, alongside his coworker Tony. Nina is a bisexual former Russian bomber pilot. Ian, Tony, and Nina want to hunt down the Nazi murderess known as The Huntress. Where Jordan fits in is slowly revealed as the plot emerges.

Quinn knows how to weave a tale and I had no idea how the threads were going to intersect. The tension built with every page and I was kind of a nervous wreck by the end, wondering if the Huntress would be caught or if anyone would be hurt in the process.

I don’t know that I’ve read much fiction taking place after World War II and I loved learning more about this specific period, especially from Nina’s vantage point as a Russian. She’s the only character who has flashback scenes during the war, which gives us insight into how she became a pilot and how her path first intersected with Ian’s. Because of the Cold War and current events, it’s easy to villainize Russia but they were our allies during the war and this proved to be interesting history. While they were allies, all was not well for the country and Nina gives us a great window into that world, particularly as someone who was eager to be a bomber pilot but who was not a true believer in Stalin. This is contrasted by her girlfriend and fellow pilot Yelena who is all in for Stalin, regardless of what they see around them.

Nina was one of the most interesting, memorable characters I’ve encountered in some time. Her voice was distinct and I loved anytime we got more of her story, whether past or present. She and Ian had such a fascinating dynamic. She’s prickly and cold one minute, hot and impassioned the next, but always determined not to be vulnerable, no matter what.

The story does a great job of examining the line between human and monster, good and evil. This is especially crucial in the work Ian and Tony do. Will they succumb to torturing others in their quest to hunt down Nazis or will they stay the course and remember that how they catch them matters?

The Huntress also interrogates the idea of the “good” racist. Jordan’s stepmother Anna is casually anti-Semitic, xenophobic, and racist and it took me aback each time. Her character is fairly well established before she puts forth her abhorrent views and Jordan and her father react very differently. Jordan wants to push back and call her out, whereas Jordan’s dad wants to let it go, insisting that Anna is a good woman. Ah, but there’s where we can get into trouble. You can be “nice” and still believe and espouse awful things about other people. Racists, homophobes, anti-Semitics are not only Nazis and KKK members. They’re our next door neighbors, our family members, our friends, even ourselves. We have to interrogate our ingrained beliefs and we have to stand up for marginalized groups whenever we hear them disparaged. It’s how we prevent history from repeating itself.

This was a fascinating, compelling read. I didn’t know how it would stack up against The Alice Network but it more than exceeded my expectations. There were great twists and turns and I could not read the last 80 or so pages fast enough to see what would happen.

Be sure to read the Author’s Note at the end. Quinn talks about actual events and people she based parts of her story on and it gave me even more understanding of how she crafted this.

CW: death of a loved one, grief, anti-Semitism, racism, xenophobia, threat of sexual assault, violence, bombing, murder, war



From the author of the New York Times and USA Today bestselling novel, THE ALICE NETWORK, comes another fascinating historical novel about a battle-haunted English journalist and a Russian female bomber pilot who join forces to track the Huntress, a Nazi war criminal gone to ground in America.

In the aftermath of war, the hunter becomes the hunted… 

Bold and fearless, Nina Markova always dreamed of flying. When the Nazis attack the Soviet Union, she risks everything to join the legendary Night Witches, an all-female night bomber regiment wreaking havoc on the invading Germans. When she is stranded behind enemy lines, Nina becomes the prey of a lethal Nazi murderess known as the Huntress, and only Nina’s bravery and cunning will keep her alive.

Transformed by the horrors he witnessed from Omaha Beach to the Nuremberg Trials, British war correspondent Ian Graham has become a Nazi hunter. Yet one target eludes him: a vicious predator known as the Huntress. To find her, the fierce, disciplined investigator joins forces with the only witness to escape the Huntress alive: the brazen, cocksure Nina. But a shared secret could derail their mission unless Ian and Nina force themselves to confront it.

Growing up in post-war Boston, seventeen-year-old Jordan McBride is determined to become a photographer. When her long-widowed father unexpectedly comes homes with a new fiancée, Jordan is thrilled. But there is something disconcerting about the soft-spoken German widow. Certain that danger is lurking, Jordan begins to delve into her new stepmother’s past—only to discover that there are mysteries buried deep in her family . . . secrets that may threaten all Jordan holds dear.

In this immersive, heart-wrenching story, Kate Quinn illuminates the consequences of war on individual lives, and the price we pay to seek justice and truth. 


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Disclosure: I borrowed my friend's advanced copy. Yay for me! Affiliate links included in this post.