Written by Craig Simpson
Review by John Manhold

Set in Nazi-occupied Norway during the Second World War, this novel tells the story of two brothers, Marek and Olaf, who join forces with the Resistance in Norway.

On returning from a hunting trip in Hardanger, they see their father being arrested by the Gestapo. Set on revenge against the force that has taken away their father, the two brothers set about planning a cunning plan. When this plot goes disastrously wrong, they are forced to flee into the wilderness and are discovered days later by members of the MILORG, the Norwegian Military Organisation, having nearly perished from the extreme cold. From then on they unsuspectingly find themselves caught up in cunning but extremely dangerous plots to disrupt Nazi activity, culminating in plans to destroy trains and German U-Boats.

Having no previous knowledge about the Norwegian Resistance, I found the story a little confusing at first. Narrated by Marek, a fourteen year old with an extremely mature head, the novel interestingly explores how he changes during the war, as well as how the dynamics of his relationship with his brother, Olaf, alter. I found it fascinating to watch as Marek steps out from behind his older brother’s shadow and finds his own talent for engineering. As Marek stated ‘the world has changed. I’ve changed. Life’s different now and there’s simply no going back. War does that.’ I found the ending of the novel gripping and extremely unpredictable as it contains several twists in the plot.