April Helms's Reviews > City of Thieves

City of Thieves by David Benioff
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Sep 06, 09

bookshelves: historical-fiction, young-adult
Read in September, 2009

An interesting read, especially for those who like World War II topics and historical fiction, but it is NOT for the weak of stomach. 17-year-old Lev is arrested and imprisoned after he and his friends discover the dead body of a paratrooper and take things off it the body. He winds up being imprisoned with Kolya, who has been arrested for desertion. The two could not be more different. Lev is a younger, reserved and conservative teen while Kolya is a handsome, flamboyant playboy who loves to take risks. They find themselves having to work together after the ranking colonel, instead of sentencing them to death, sends them out to retreive a dozen eggs for his daughter's wedding cake. Their adventures across occupied Leningrad and beyond show them the worst -- and best -- of humanity. They also wind up getting involved in a larger mission: to kill the sadistic commander of the local occupying German forces. All in all, an enjoyable story with a very real feel to it. Some of the sex talk and scenes I thought were a bit excessive, but I loved the characters. It was neat watching Lev grow and change from an insecure teen to someone with more confidence. Kolya, despite his bravado and overactive libido, is impossible to hate. He is so good natured and under his swagger he has a good heart and a lot of patience in dealing with the taciturn, blunt Lev.
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