Monday, July 7, 2008

Germania-Brendan McNally

Brendan McNally
Simon & Schuster, Sep 2008, $26.00
ISBN: 1416558829

By March 1945, Albert Speer knows the end of the Third Reich is near. His immediate future is bleak as he and Herr Hitler have had a falling out as Speer sees no miracle to save Germany while the Fuhrer insists victory is soon. If he survives Hitler’s final days, Speer has hopes as the Foreign Ministry believes he will be selected by the allies to run Germany as a technocrat untainted by the atrocities; if not he plans to hide in Greenland. He expects his prime rival will be propaganda genius Heinrich Himmler, who believes he will stand with Ike to repel the Russians out of Europe.

At the same time the Nazi leaders work to spin their recent past into patriotism and fear of the Fuhrer, the Jewish Loerber quadruplets, at one time called the Flying Magical Loerber Brothers before the Nazis broke up the act, have their own personal issues in surviving the war. Manni the assassin uses his mental skills to bend people to his needs. Sebastian can send dreams to multiple people at the same time faked his death to go underground as an operative for the Blood of Israel movement. U-boat captain Ziggy can hear peoples’ thoughts and can bend their thoughts to his wants. Finally Franzi is Himmler’s personal psychic consultant, but also works occult experiments. He, because of his Himmler connection and his counter espionage, is in trouble and his siblings mentally know it; the trio is converging on Franzi inside of beleaguered Germany to rescue him before the fall.

GERMANIA plays out on two levels: that of the siblings trying to rescue one of them and the final days “fantasies” of some of the Nazi’s top leaders. Both subplots are well written and merge quite nicely. However, the fascination is with men like Speers, Himmler, and others who believed strongly they will thrive once the ally occupation began. Readers will appreciate this strong end of WWI historical fiction with its paranormal aspects and the deep look into what some of the German leaders believed was their fate.

Harriet Klausner

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