Where to even start on a review of a book like this? It’s exceedingly well written and completely different from anything I’ve read. It’s based right in the heart of the massacre of Jews during WWII. I wouldn’t exactly call it a religious book, yet there is so very much detail into the Jewish religion (of which, to be honest, I know nothing about), and there’s also a ton of Archangel back story (which is really pretty awesome). The author is extremely knowledgeable about the Jewish practices, as well as WWII detail, and extraordinarily well versed in religious beliefs. That said, The Book of Uriel, although fiction, is quite the learning experience about Jewish belief and persecution.
Uriel and Ewe are the main characters, and both are outstanding. Ewe is a German with a great heart, and has been taken by a Nazi Commander to be his personal linguist as he leads his men in the task of law and order amongst the Polish and Jews. Uriel is a young boy, a mute, who after his entire village was massacred and burned to the ground was chosen by Archangels Gabriel and others to help them find one missing Archangel Michael. Michael is said to be the protector of the chosen people and because of his absence more and more are dying by the hundreds. Uriel and Ewe cross paths right in the heart of the powerhouse opener of this book. Uriel had been trampled by his fleeing people, and was clutching the book he writes in to his chest, as he lay in the streets without breath. The commander holding Ewe stopped at the village, and Ewe took Uriel’s book.
The two soon meet back up and though despite none of the other Nazi’s being able to see Uriel because of the special gift given to him by the Archangels, Ewe can. This means that he is also a chosen man with a pure heart. Uriel’s book is one that he’s been writing in his whole life as a mute and it’s fantastic! Whenever Ewe leaves post with the Nazi’s to follow through on his orders Uriel commences on his own mission to search for the missing Archangel Michael. He meets the angel of death who gives him a handful of tasks in order to reveal Michaels whereabouts. From here the story grows and spirals. There is so much tragedy, some that is extremely hard to stomach. There’s also a lot of twists and triumph. Ewe and Uriel form quite the bond, and together they fight in their own ways to change the path of the war.
Again, this was a very well written book. A solid 4 stars for me. I’ll be watching this author closely as she releases more 🙂
Congratulations to author Elyse Hoffman on the release of this absolutely stunning novel, The Book of Uriel! “The Book of Uriel is a heartbreaking blend of historical fiction and Jewish folklore that will enthrall fans of The Book Thief and The World That We Knew.” Read on for an excerpt and a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card!
The Book of Uriel Expected Publication Date: January 26, 2021 Genre: Historical Fiction/ Jewish Fiction/ Jewish Folklore/ Holocaust Fiction Publisher: Project 613 Publishing In the fires of World War II, a child must save his people from darkness… Ten-year-old Uriel has always been an outcast. Born mute in a Jewish village known for its choir, he escapes into old stories of his people, stories of angels and monsters. But when the fires of the Holocaust consume his village, he learns that the stories he writes in his golden notebook are terrifyingly real. In the aftermath of the attack, Uriel is taken in by Uwe, a kind-hearted linguist forced to work for the commander of the local Nazi Police, the affably brutal Major Brandt. Uwe wants to keep Uriel safe, but Uriel can’t stay hidden. The angels of his tales have come to him with a dire message: Michael, guardian angel of the Jewish people, is missing. Without their angel, the Jewish people are doomed, and Michael’s angelic brethren cannot search for him in the lands corrupted by Nazi evil. With the lives of millions at stake, Uriel must find Michael and free him from the clutches of the Angel of Death…even if that means putting Uwe in mortal danger. Add to Goodreads
Available on Amazon! About the Author Elyse Hoffman can write a lot of things, but finds her own story dull and difficult. She has been interested in the Holocaust and Nazi Germany since she was thirteen. Her somewhat morbid fascination is purely intellectual and emotional. She advises you to be careful when signing contracts. You never know where or when you may end up. a Rafflecopter giveaway Book Tour Organized By: R&R Book Tours
Uriel wished he could scream.
Normally, he could. A scream was one of the few noises that ever emerged from the boy’s lips. No words ever escaped, but he could summon a scream.
Yet his lungs couldn’t gather enough air to produce a cry. They struggled to supply enough oxygen to keep the child awake. Smoke invaded his throat and clawed at his lungs. Although screams pierced the air from every angle, he couldn’t add his own to the din.
He still felt the pressure of mother’s fingers locked around his hand, even though she was gone. Uriel’s golden eyes darted to and fro, searching for her face. His fingers twitched as her warmth faded. He strained his ears, trying to hear her call to him, but her voice did not rise above the ruckus.
Mama! Uriel thought, his tears allying with the smoke and assaulting his eyes. He wanted to cry out for her. Perhaps if she heard him, she would find him, and they could get to safety. But his voice had never worked before, and though he opened his mouth to call out, all he could do was pant and cough.
Gunshots rang out. The fleeing villagers clung to their families and their few precious possessions, shoving one another out of the way as they tried to escape the flames enveloping the little town and the murderous mob cutting down the Jews. Young and old, women and men, little children and babies were thrown to the ground, beaten with clubs, shot, stabbed, and slaughtered. Their blood mingled with the warm ash coating the cobblestones.
Uriel stood in the midst of the mayhem, still as a statue, alone. His right hand yearned for his mother, while his left clutched the one possession he had snatched before fleeing his house. His little golden notebook. Small enough to fit in his pocket and filled with stories he couldn’t leave to burn.
Although the villagers would normally never leave a small child alone in the street, concern for their own lives and the lives of their families caused them to stampede. Uriel was pushed against a brick wall, and his golden notebook flew from his hand. He gasped, inhaling an army of ash. The boy desperately tried to crawl to his notebook. Boots and shoes stomped on the cherished book, but Uriel reached it. He grabbed the notebook and held it to his chest, shielding it with his body.
The child was trampled and kicked. His lungs began losing to the smoke and ash entering through his nostrils and silent lips. He felt as though his insides were on fire, as though every bone in his body was about to shatter. When darkness finally took him, all he felt was gratitude.