4 out of 4 stars
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The Nazi combatants ambushed an American army base in Poland. The originally five American survivors took refuge in a chapel where they found a trap door leading to the 'Angel of Death's abyss' - a Nazi's underground lab where humans were experimented without any anesthesia and zombified. Out of five, only Corporal David Brandt and Private Richard Jones remained alive. An escaped Jewish girl named Klaudia was leading their way out. Who was the Angel of Death and what happened when he set a deal of freedom in exchange for a spy among Brandt's group? Read the story and thank me later.
I'm sure, just like I do, those who will pick this book up to read will never want to put it down until they would reach the end. Their minds will keep on replaying the story long after reading this magnificently interwoven masterpiece. I finish reading it in just one sitting. The feeling is like I'm watching a box-office hit movie on a wide screen. The story is short and concise with an enthralling plot, fast pacing, unpredictable storyline, and realistic characters. The events are very descriptive and craftily exposed. The flashbacks are neatly inserted. The 'twists and turns' are wonderfully unfolded.
All along, I thought that the events are just what is happening. Jones overheard from the roving Nazi combatants that a spy is with them. He suspected it's Klaudia. After the Angel of Death's revelation, this is my reaction: "A Nazi using a brave and patriotic Corporal of the American army to spy against his own men? How? You've gotta be kidding me!" The flashbacks give me the "aha!" moments. My heart bleeds when Brandt achieved redemption for his act of treason with his last bit of life.
Though it's clear that Brandt is my favorite character, I can't stop admiring the other characters' bravery, too. One example is the almost dying Corporal Fuller who electrocuted nine of the enemy's combatants together with himself. On the other hand, I can't stop gritting my teeth on the antagonists - especially the ruthless Angel of Death. The book is not error-free. I found irregularly broken sentences, randomly capitalized words, name inconsistency, punctuation and grammar errors. The errors neither affect my enjoyment while reading nor the magnificence of the story. The presence of German and Polish conversations might put some readers off.
I cyber stalked the author and based on his profile, he is only two days younger than me, but his achievements are very far beyond my reach. This book is an awesome manifestation of his love for filmmaking and his expertise in screenwriting. It's not surprising he managed to put together a story like this that lures the readers to check out his other books after reading this one. Enough for the praises, but Mr. Craig R. Key is now my favorite author, and I had voted 'The Angel of Death's Abyss' for 2018 Book of the Year on Online Book Club.
The perfect combination of thrill, the wonderfully unfolded 'twists and turns', the complexity of its plot, the realistic conversations, and the strong characters got me invested in this book. Those are the elements that set this book higher than the other historical books I had read. It's my pleasure to award The Angel of Death's Abyss by Craig R. Key 4 out of 4 stars. I recommend this book to the mature audiences who are into a thrilling historical fiction. However, violence and gore are neither for the very young audiences nor for the persons who have reservations on those matters.
The Angel of Death's Abyss
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