Cover Image: Midnight Train to Prague

Midnight Train to Prague

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Member Reviews

I received an Advanced Reading Copy of this book through NetGalley and I have not been paid for the review. The following is my unbiased opinion of this book.

I am an avid and voracious reader, and one of my favorite genres is historical fiction. 

First, the things I like - Good cover, good description of the book. 

Unfortunately, this book did not work for me as it was very confusing.

The description of the characters was distorted - there are too many characters introduced at the same time, and each of them not thoroughly established, before being introduced to the next one. 

The timelines are all over the place. The incidents kept switching between the past and present, 

The writing was terrible - the author needs a better editor. It felt like I was reading a middle school writing project. 

All in all, I was unable to finish the book (I read about 350 pages) as it was too confusing for me. I'm sorry, but this one gets 2 stars! There's probably a good story in there, but it needs to be written better.
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While the content had potential, the book dragged at parts and didn't move the story along well enough. I felt I was being "told" what happened instead of experiencing the storyline with the characters. Overall, not terrible, but not the best book I've read on WWII.
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Wonderful novel. I love the descriptions of places I feel like I'm there. I love this style of writing the author has really got this down to a T. So thank you for that. I was hooked.

I loved Natalia and her journey to her mum. She seems like a troubled person to start with but I think in the end she just wants to make sure her mum is ok and she wants to find love. 

Feel sorry for her at the beginning but by the end i think she realised what she wants.
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I found that this WWII historical fiction was hard to get into - character development was disjointed and confusing at times.   For those that like a lot of detail, this would probably be enjoyable.  I didn't finish this one - but may give it another try in the future as I like the premise of the book.  Thank you for the opportunity to read and review this book.
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While I was extremely excited by the premise of this book, I found it difficult to engage with the prose or the characters making it a rather monotonous read. I found the time-hopping disjointed and disorienting causing me to flip back and forth in order to understand exactly which character's backstory was being told. As a result, I did not become invested in the outcomes of any of the characters or storyline and eventually stopped reading about halfway through. I do appreciate the Netgalley copy of the book.
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I was so excited about this book because of the description. I love reading historical fiction, especially when it involves Europe and stories of resilience during WWII but I could not get into this book. The narration made it tough for me to care about any of the characters, which in turn made it difficult for me to care what happened to them.
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I was intrigued by the description of this book, but it was very hard to get into.  The story was promising, but the plot was dragging and I made it 25% of the way into the book and could not deal with the slow pace anymore.   Readers who enjoy a tremendous amount of detail will enjoy this more than I did.
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I received an advanced copy of this book from NetGalley. The book sounded so interesting from the description and I enjoy reading fiction centered around World War II. This book was very slow  but the history of Hungary is very interesting and it opened my eyes to the challenges of another country in World War 2.
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This one was good but not great . It was slow to get into and felt at times disjointed. I  did enjoy learning about Hungary and it’s history
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Thank you to Netgalley for this ARC. The premise of the story peaked my interest. The story itself drowned that interest quickly. I struggled through the first 100 pages of character upon character and back stories. I don’t care what they were wearing even if it added to character development which it didn’t. I don’t need to know the trains were slow and smelled. What else would you expect just after WWI. The book doesn’t flow smoothly, the characters themselves aren’t particularly interesting and I do hope you enjoy their enjoyment of an abundance of food because that was what they did. They ate. They had tea. They took post-prandial strolls. I then forwarded to more than halfway through the book. The story surely tugs on the heartstrings as we read about concentration camps and the liberation of camps by Allied forces. However, I would rather read non-fiction or accurate historical fiction on WWII and the Holocaust than a book that can’t find its focus. This was a disappointment.
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An interesting combination of stories but I found it difficult to see the tie in until the very end.  Now sure this a bad thing but I go back to times of frustration.

The history of Hungary is very interesting and it opened my eyes to the challenges of another country in World War 2.
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I saw this book on NetGalley, and I thought to myself, 'I am drawn by this cover, I am going to take a look!'. I read the description, and I was keen on reading it. I always had a thing for history, especially the WW II stories, so this seemed like the right novel for me. I requested it and funny enough I received an ARC edition of it. It pains me to write this review, but they asked for an honest one, and this is the right thing to do.
The story is about Natalia and her journey since childhood until WW II in Prague. Natalia was an ideal student, but when she was 16-years-old, her mother made her give up school to travel with her from Berlin to Prague. The action focuses on her journey and the people that are going to change her life forever. She meets an exceptional woman (who is going to have a significant impact on her life), her future husband, and she finds things about her past that are going to change her life forever. This is an unusual story about loss, fighting for your own life, love and friendship. Doesn't it sound like the perfect kind of book?
As soon as I received the ebook, I sent the file to my kindle and began reading. After the first page, the problems started; some words where split up in the middle and a new paragraph started, at the end of the chapter, they didn't leave the remaining page blanc, and the next one started right away. That annoyed the hell out of me, but I still didn't want to give up the book, so I downloaded the PDF version on my computer and continued reading. To my happiness, there was nothing wrong with the PDF file, and I was able to read it without complications. It has been a bumpy road, that is all I have to say.
And here I am, reading the book. I usually don't have any problems with the books written in the passive voice, but this one has been a pain in the ass. It didn't help at all. I didn't feel like I was building a connection with the characters because I was rather watching what they were doing, instead of living the action with them. On top of that, my reading experience has been paved with misunderstandings and a bit of anger because of the usage of the passive voice. It hurts me to say all of these because I believe the idea of the book is frankly astonishing, and it has the potential of being a delightful read. The action is engaging, and there are some plot twists. The description paragraphs are well written, and it makes you see the scene in your head. It seems like the perfect novel for the fans of history and mystery books, but the writing quality leaves it to be desired. 
I have high hopes for this novel, and I am going to give it another try when the audiobook is released. I still want to read this book, and I think I'll recommend it for further reading.
Rating:
Writing Quality 3/5
Character Development 4/5
‘Couldn’t put it down’ – ness 2.5/5
Intellectual Depth 2/5
Originality 5/5
Overall 3.3
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While I am drawn to historical fiction pieces that take place in WWII, and enjoy a perspective not from the US or England, this book was very difficult to enjoy. I often don't mind stories written in the passive voice, but I don't think it worked well for this one. I felt myself questioning not only my own connection to the story, but the characters to each other, and to their experiences.  I didn't fully buy into any of the relationships, especially the romantic ones. A lot of these characters went through extremely traumatic events, but it seemed like they were told to the reader as dully as someone were to read the advertisements in the newspaper. Despite a whole section of the book leading to Natalia's meeting of her husband, it seemed as if they barely knew each other, which meant even less of the book was devoted to her losing him, her going to the camps, etc. I also had a hard time following dialogue and past events in their lives versus what was happening currently for them. It really is a shame, because I could see from my perch up in the distance that there was character-changing trauma for so many of the characters, but little to none was actually fleshed out.
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Already not a fan of historical fiction based around the World Wars, this didn't help that opinion. I didn't feel as if I could follow the plot and I felt nothing for any of the characters.
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The story is about  Natalia Faber,  her life from childhood, her schooling in a Ursuline convent in Munich to her trip from her home in Berlin to Prague and then  her  life during WWII in Prague. Natalia has an eccentric mother Beatriz who takes her out of school to accompany her on one of her many trips. Her mother is as quick to abandon her daughter as she is to pick up new travelling companions. Natalia meets Miklos Count Andojan on this trip and her life changes.
I found the book hard going at times but was invested in finding out how Natalia’s life turns out. 
 It is a book about love, loss and friendship. It was not the usual historical fiction about the events of WWII but an enjoyable read.
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I don't like to give low ratings for ARC books, but have been asked for my honest review, so I feel that I need to rate this book 2 stars, which is 'it was ok' for me.  I felt like the book I was reading was different from the book described.  I had difficulty keeping track of the character lines, the time lines, and the locations.  I hope that will be fixed before printing & publishing.
One issue I had that was not related to the writing, exactly, but did detract from my enjoyment of the book was the narration being in passive voice.  I don't enjoy books that give me the gods-eye view of the story, I prefer to be in the story.  I felt like I couldn't connect with the characters because I was just watching from afar.  But even that isn't fair - you can watch a movie and still understand and identify with characters, but with this book, it was all observation.  
I also felt like the story was inconsistent and actually looked to see if there was one or two authors.  Some portions were more engaging and I could get into the story a bit more, but then there would be a change and I lost interest in it all again.  

Once the book is published and an audio version is available, I might give this another try.  I feel like there is a good story somewhere in there, but I couldn't find it.
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This was a book I was really looking forward to. But to my dismay it was all over the place. There were to many sudden jumps from flashbacks to present and then storyline failed to hold my attention.
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I was really excited for this book based on the description but it dragged for me. I wasn’t able to finish it as I didn’t connect with the character.
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I received an advanced copy of this book from NetGalley. The book sounded so interesting from the description and I enjoy reading fiction centered around World War II. While there were parts of the book I devoured quickly, it didn’t really follow a logical sequence. There were times when things would take an abrupt jump and I would find myself going back several pages to see if I had missed something... which I hadn’t. There were many characters and a lot of back story on parts that didn’t matter in the overall concept of the book. The story was just bogged down with too many ideas to truly make it flow.
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Thank you Netgalley for a copy of Midnight Train to Prague in exchange for a review:: 

I did not enjoy this. I was really looking forward to it, as I love historical fiction and love Berlin, but those loves were soon ignored as I couldn’t get a handle of this book. It was all-over the place. 

First of all, it didn’t help that the majority of the story was told in the passive (tell). There was a lot of: ‘When they finished doing this, X did this and Y then did that.’ Pages and pages of tell. Very little active/ present voice. I felt like I had a narrator standing behind me telling me things I was already watching. 
It also didn’t help that there was lots of backstory. In fact, on the very first page, the hopping back and forth between present and past was rather jarring. 

I might give the book a “re-read” when the audiobook comes out, I don’t know why, but that sometimes helps polish out the bumps that I, as a reader, experience.
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