Book Review – “Thief of Glory” by Sigmund Brouwer

When I was looking for a new book to review, this one caught my eye for two reasons. 1: The cover. Something about it just popped at me. 2: The fact that it takes place during World War 2, which happens to be a time period that I have always been interested in. This book helped me look at the time through a different perspective. Instead of a German concentration camp, the characters in this book are taken to a Japanese concentration camp in the Dutch-ruled East Indies. We hear so much about what was suffered at the hands of the Germans, but most people forget that some atrocities were committed by the Japanese as well.

I definitely had trouble getting into the book, especially the first person. Normally, I love first person POV, but for some reason, it made it harder to get into the story at first for me. But as the book progressed, I was drawn in, slowly but surely. The characters were certainly fascinating, though I wish the story hadn’t been told in first person so we could have seen things through the eyes of Laura as well. Jeremiah, for his part, was a good protagonist, and his raw emotions and heartache made me cry close to the end. I did feel like he was a very violent child, something that I honestly didn’t like. I struggled to relate to him. As I said, I wish we could have gotten to know Laura better, but overall, she turned out to be a wonderful character. I think the one character that I ended up absolutely NOT liking one bit was Georgie. He was the epitome of a spoiled brat, and even when Jeremiah tried to make things right, he still was too prideful. Another character worthy of mention is Jeremiah’s mother. Throughout the book, I just didn’t like her. I couldn’t explain why, but something about her was odd. By the end of the book, I realized why, and it was really sad.

The storyline itself was a good one, bringing to life what the people in these camps endured. The adventures and bravery of Jeremiah and Laura were inspiring as well, as they put their lives on the line to make sure that people got the help they needed. And watching Jeremiah grow and change throughout the story was neat. Sadly though, I couldn’t find anything particularly memorable about the storyline except for the last quarter of the book. The characters were what stuck with me.

There were some content concerns. There was a bit of cussing, particularly the “a” word. There was also mention of men doing their… *ahem* business. (yeah, TMI) It is also implied that a character is involved in a relationship with the leader of the camp. In terms of violence, there is a great deal. People are punched, kicked, shot, bitten, etc. The biggest concern I had was a revelation near the end of the book that reveals that a character killed their own children.

Overall, “Thief of Glory” was a good book, but not something I would recommend to everyone. I would recommend it for 16 and up due to content issues.

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