Official Review: Beyond Denial by Juri Vancans

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Official Review: Beyond Denial by Juri Vancans

Post by bclayton13 » 02 Jul 2018, 20:42

[Following is an official review of "Beyond Denial" by Juri Vancans.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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Beyond Denial by Juri Vancans is a story of love, betrayal, and of redemption. Or is it? This book made me question every assumption I had not once, but multiple times. Benjamin Steinhardt, originally Manfred Kroner following his departure from WW2 Germany, is on a mission to find his father. His father, SS officer Hans Kroner is guilty of crimes against humanity and Ben has devoted his life to finding him and killing him, not just for his actions under Hitler, but for killing his mother, a Jew. After searching the globe for many years, straining not only his relationship with his family but his ever resource, Benjamin thinks he's found him in the most unlikely of places. Yet, Ben has his doubts. Who is this man?

That's precisely the question that plagues Ben and the reader for a good portion of the book, and ramps up the tension in the process. At first, Ben really thinks he just might be who he's hunting. Upon closer inspection, he finds evidence that seems to suggest otherwise. Or does it? That same question gives birth to many, many more. This book is written in an engrossing back and forth style that kept me off-balance and completely absorbed in the narrative.

While Ben investigates this mysterious man, he remembers the last time he saw his father. We learn more about what he went through, about his experiences in Werwulf, a real Nazi suicide mission that forced children to fight the invading Allied forces. This, in particular caught my attention because I hadn't heard of it, despite the extensive research I'd done on WW2 Germany in college. While I don't consider myself a historian, I thought I knew more than the average person, but this book kept surprising me. This book is littered with accurate historical facts, including those I knew about, and those I didn't. Readers, no matter their level of knowledge about WW2, will surely benefit.

I read this book at a breakneck pace, and enjoyed every moment. It's deeply engrossing, and while the topic is sobering and disturbing for many, the story itself is just as good as any in a Dan Brown novel. This is a superior story about an essential topic that I truly believe everyone should pick up. Benjamin is a man consumed by hate, and is deeply flawed, yet is completely relatable. If I had gone through half of what he had, hate would blind me too. The characters are deep and complex, and often make the reader wonder; just who is right? No one is who they seem, yet the reader also questions if they just might be exactly what they seem.

This book kept me on the edge of my seat until the very end while the story twisted and turned. In addition, I found no grammatical errors to pull me out of the story. So, I rate Beyond Denial 4 out of 4 stars. I actually read this book on a car trip, much to the annoyance of my family, because I wouldn't engage in any conversation. That's how good this book is, and that's the one thing that's beyond denial.

Beyond Denial
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Post by Lunastella » 04 Jul 2018, 22:09

Thanks for a really appealing review! I have to read this book!
I have also read a lot about WWII and had never heard of Werwulf, so now I´m hooked. And I have to know if he kills his father. What a complicated issue between family and ethics!
Complex characters are the most human of characters, in my opinion.
Straight to my shelves!

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Post by Sharon serena » 05 Jul 2018, 00:42

This book sounds very interesting. Love that it is written according to the historic back ground of world War two as those doing history may benefit from it. I appreciate your well written review. Nice work!

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Post by Jkind » 05 Jul 2018, 04:31

What a heart catching review, straight to the shelve, I must confirm if he was able to be that strong and courageous getting his father killed... Thanks for taking to the shelve again.

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Post by SABRADLEY » 05 Jul 2018, 05:48

This sounds like a book I must read. I have an immense draw toward this historical frame of reference and the storyline has me hooked. Thanks for a compelling review.

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Post by kandscreeley » 05 Jul 2018, 08:53

Wow! This one definitely sounds intense. I think it would grip you right from the beginning trying to find out who is who and if everyone is as they seem. Thanks so much for the great information. This one definitely sounds like a winner.
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Post by Roc Madness » 05 Jul 2018, 10:24

Wow! Awesome critique. I'm reading it. Tweeting it out today. Thanks!

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Post by Britty01 » 05 Jul 2018, 11:35

Excellent review on what appears to be a must-read book. I am interested in history and WWII especially.
From what I absorbed here it looks like it will keep me 'hooked' through to the end. I cannot imagine how it must feel to have lost a parent and realize the other may be responsible, either fully or in part. I hope the protagonist does not lose his own humanity in the process.

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Post by Cecilia_L » 05 Jul 2018, 13:31

From your description of Ben's character and the new questions that arise from his discoveries, I can see why you read this at breakneck pace. It sounds like a well-developed plot about a topic that can be hard to read. Great review!

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Post by kdstrack » 05 Jul 2018, 18:40

So many people have contentious relationships with their parents, but this seems over the top. The historical aspect also intrigues me. Great job on putting readers on the edge of their seats.

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Post by KitabuKizuri » 05 Jul 2018, 21:09

The review has me gravitating towards the book. I might pick it up given the chance.

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Post by Julie Green » 06 Jul 2018, 12:34

I've read lots of books about WW2 but I don't think I've come across one that asks us to consider the historical perspective of an SS officer. This sounds quite a compelling book!

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Post by Faithmwangi » 07 Jul 2018, 10:33

Sounds like you had fun with this read. There is nothing like a book that simply won't let you do anything else from the moment you get hold of it. Thanks for the review.

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Post by JR Mercier » 08 Jul 2018, 10:25

I love historical reads and this sounds so great! Will definitely be checking out this read and I loved your review
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Post by Amarie90 » 09 Jul 2018, 07:35

Anything related to WWII catches my attention. My grandfather was an American soldier during WWII and helped liberate one of the concentration camps in Germany. This sounds like an intriguing read, I may check it out.

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