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The Book of Uriel: A Novel of WWII

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In the fires of World War II, a child must save his people from darkness… Ten-year-old Uriel has always been an outcast. Born mute in a Jewish village known for its choir, he escapes into old stories of his people, stories of angels and monsters. But when the fires of the Holocaust consume his village, he learns that the stories he writes in his golden notebook are terrifyi In the fires of World War II, a child must save his people from darkness… Ten-year-old Uriel has always been an outcast. Born mute in a Jewish village known for its choir, he escapes into old stories of his people, stories of angels and monsters. But when the fires of the Holocaust consume his village, he learns that the stories he writes in his golden notebook are terrifyingly real. In the aftermath of the attack, Uriel is taken in by Uwe, a kind-hearted linguist forced to work for the commander of the local Nazi Police, the affably brutal Major Brandt. Uwe wants to keep Uriel safe, but Uriel can’t stay hidden. The angels of his tales have come to him with a dire message: Michael, guardian angel of the Jewish people, is missing. Without their angel, the Jewish people are doomed, and Michael’s angelic brethren cannot search for him in the lands corrupted by Nazi evil. With the lives of millions at stake, Uriel must find Michael and free him from the clutches of the Angel of Death...even if that means putting Uwe in mortal danger. The Book of Uriel is a heartbreaking blend of historical fiction and Jewish folklore that will enthrall fans of The Book Thief and The World That We Knew.


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In the fires of World War II, a child must save his people from darkness… Ten-year-old Uriel has always been an outcast. Born mute in a Jewish village known for its choir, he escapes into old stories of his people, stories of angels and monsters. But when the fires of the Holocaust consume his village, he learns that the stories he writes in his golden notebook are terrifyi In the fires of World War II, a child must save his people from darkness… Ten-year-old Uriel has always been an outcast. Born mute in a Jewish village known for its choir, he escapes into old stories of his people, stories of angels and monsters. But when the fires of the Holocaust consume his village, he learns that the stories he writes in his golden notebook are terrifyingly real. In the aftermath of the attack, Uriel is taken in by Uwe, a kind-hearted linguist forced to work for the commander of the local Nazi Police, the affably brutal Major Brandt. Uwe wants to keep Uriel safe, but Uriel can’t stay hidden. The angels of his tales have come to him with a dire message: Michael, guardian angel of the Jewish people, is missing. Without their angel, the Jewish people are doomed, and Michael’s angelic brethren cannot search for him in the lands corrupted by Nazi evil. With the lives of millions at stake, Uriel must find Michael and free him from the clutches of the Angel of Death...even if that means putting Uwe in mortal danger. The Book of Uriel is a heartbreaking blend of historical fiction and Jewish folklore that will enthrall fans of The Book Thief and The World That We Knew.

30 review for The Book of Uriel: A Novel of WWII

  1. 4 out of 5

    Dave

    Hoffman's "The Book of Uriel" combines history and Jewish mysticism in a fantasy tale about the Holocaust, the best and worst of the Angels, and the indomitable strength and resiliency of the human spirit. Told through the eyes of a ten-year-old child, mute from birth, and never fully accepted by his peers, Uriel's innocence shines through on every page. This is particularly true after he meets the Angels, assumes his power of invisibility, and duels with the Angel of Death. The concept in less Hoffman's "The Book of Uriel" combines history and Jewish mysticism in a fantasy tale about the Holocaust, the best and worst of the Angels, and the indomitable strength and resiliency of the human spirit. Told through the eyes of a ten-year-old child, mute from birth, and never fully accepted by his peers, Uriel's innocence shines through on every page. This is particularly true after he meets the Angels, assumes his power of invisibility, and duels with the Angel of Death. The concept in less able hands would have been sure to fail, but Hoffman brings a ring of absolute authenticity to every page. This is a beautifully-written story, well-balanced, and heartfelt. Never forget there aren't any monsters, just men and women and a world of choices.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Bonnie DeMoss

    The Book of Uriel begins in World War II Poland, when a Jewish village is destroyed and its people slaughtered. A little mute boy, Uriel, survives against all odds. Unable to speak, Uriel has always written stories in his golden notebook, stories of angels and demons. Taken in by Uwe, a linguist for the Nazis, Uriel finds his stories coming alive. He begins an amazing mission to find the missing Archangel Michael and strikes a bargain with the Angel of Death. This is an intricately woven tale tha The Book of Uriel begins in World War II Poland, when a Jewish village is destroyed and its people slaughtered. A little mute boy, Uriel, survives against all odds. Unable to speak, Uriel has always written stories in his golden notebook, stories of angels and demons. Taken in by Uwe, a linguist for the Nazis, Uriel finds his stories coming alive. He begins an amazing mission to find the missing Archangel Michael and strikes a bargain with the Angel of Death. This is an intricately woven tale that shows the cruelty of the Nazis and the horrors of the holocaust while at the same time portraying the spiritual war that is being fought alongside the physical war. Hoffman weaves together historical facts, the Bible, and Jewish folklore to create a written tapestry that you won't want to put down. Her ability to combine historical fiction with a rich spiritual world is awe-inspiring. As a Christian, I don't know anything about Jewish folklore, but I do know the Bible. The prophet Elijah, the Archangel Michael, and more familiar Biblical characters are also part of this story. it is a fascinating read, and I definitely believe that the actual battle of good vs. evil is both physical and spiritual. Fans of the Book Thief will love The Book of Uriel. I also see just a tiny bit of a similarity with Christian author Frank Peretti's writing, as he too shows the spiritual world alongside the physical world in some of his books. I downloaded this book on Kindle Unlimited. I also received a free copy from the publishers via Reads and Reels. My review is voluntary.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kate Eminhizer

    I do not think that I have EVER read a book like this before. This book offers a unique blend of historical fiction, Jewish heritage, and otherworldliness. I have never read anything else by this author but in this book, Hoffman shows a range that will undoubtedly be very difficult to match. Uriel epitomizes what it is to have unwavering faith, love, and optimism despite being mute and experiencing horrific ordeals in his young life. He is the embodiment of self-sacrifice. Uwe stands as a reflec I do not think that I have EVER read a book like this before. This book offers a unique blend of historical fiction, Jewish heritage, and otherworldliness. I have never read anything else by this author but in this book, Hoffman shows a range that will undoubtedly be very difficult to match. Uriel epitomizes what it is to have unwavering faith, love, and optimism despite being mute and experiencing horrific ordeals in his young life. He is the embodiment of self-sacrifice. Uwe stands as a reflection of how upholding one's beliefs is worthy enough to fight for. The stories in Uriel's book have multiple layers and provide the reader with a grounding point between the harshness of the WWII events and the transcendent interactions that Uriel experiences. It does take a bit to get over the jarring juxtaposition between the settings. Once the reader settles into the rhythm that Hoffman creates the book becomes a very inspiring read. I received an advanced copy of this title via BookSirens.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Didi Oviatt

    Where to even start on a review of a book like this? It’s exceedingly well written and completely different from anything I’ve read. It’s based right in the heart of the massacring of Jews during WWII. I wouldn’t exactly call it a religious book, yet there is so very much detail into the Jewish religion (of which, to be honest, I know nothing about), and there’s also a ton of Archangel back story (which is really pretty awesome). The author is extremely knowledgeable about the Jewish practices, Where to even start on a review of a book like this? It’s exceedingly well written and completely different from anything I’ve read. It’s based right in the heart of the massacring of Jews during WWII. I wouldn’t exactly call it a religious book, yet there is so very much detail into the Jewish religion (of which, to be honest, I know nothing about), and there’s also a ton of Archangel back story (which is really pretty awesome). The author is extremely knowledgeable about the Jewish practices, as well as WWII detail, and extraordinarily well versed in religious beliefs. That said, The Book of Uriel, although fiction, is quite the learning experience about Jewish belief and persecution. Uriel and Ewe are the main characters, and both are outstanding. Ewe is a German with a great heart, and has been taken by a Nazi Commander to be his personal linguist as he leads his men in the task of law and order amongst the Polish and Jews. Uriel is a young boy, a mute, who after his entire village was massacred and burned to the ground was chosen by Archangels Gabriel and others to help them find one missing Archangel Michael. Michael is said to be the protector of the chosen people and because of his absence more and more are dying by the hundreds. Uriel and Ewe cross paths right in the heart of the powerhouse opener of this book. Uriel had been trampled by his fleeing people, and was clutching the book he writes in to his chest, as he lay in the streets without breath. The commander holding Ewe stopped at the village, and Ewe took Uriel's book. The two soon meet back up and though despite none of the other Nazi’s being able to see Uriel because of the special gift given to him by the Archangels, Ewe can. This means that he is also a chosen man with a pure heart. Uriel’s book is one that he’s been writing in his whole life as a mute and it’s fantastic! Whenever Ewe leaves post with the Nazi’s to follow through on his orders Uriel commences on his own mission to search for the missing Archangel Michael. He meets the angel of death who gives him a handful of tasks in order to reveal Michaels whereabouts. From here the story grows and spirals. There is so much tragedy, some that is extremely hard to stomach. There’s also a lot of twists and triumph. Ewe and Uriel form quite the bond, and together they fight in their own ways to change the path of the war. Again, this was a very well written book. I’ll be watching this author closely as she releases more :)

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Belmont

    The Book of Uriel by Elyse Hoffman is an expertly crafted historical fiction that blends into the Jewish faith and folklore. This book was thrilling and downright addictive. Setting it down was not an option after I picked it up. Uriel’s story is absolutely gripping. A story of bravery and sacrifice, that takes the reader on an emotional journey. I love the different elements that have been added into this story. The Jewish faith mixed in just made this more authentic as it takes place during Worl The Book of Uriel by Elyse Hoffman is an expertly crafted historical fiction that blends into the Jewish faith and folklore. This book was thrilling and downright addictive. Setting it down was not an option after I picked it up. Uriel’s story is absolutely gripping. A story of bravery and sacrifice, that takes the reader on an emotional journey. I love the different elements that have been added into this story. The Jewish faith mixed in just made this more authentic as it takes place during World War II. I really love the message of this book. To create a better world, humans have to set aside hate. I highly recommend this emotional and captivating read. Easily five stars from me. *I received a free copy of this book from R&R Book Tours to review honestly on the blog tour. All opinions are my own and unbiased.*

  6. 4 out of 5

    Amy Bruno

    Blog tour coming in January!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Vesna S.

    I was offered a free copy of the book trough BookSirens in exchange for an honest review. Meet Uriel. He's a 10 year old boy. He's Jewish. He was born different because he can't speak. He's a mute. But he knows how to communicate. He has a golden notebook which is precious to him. He writes down magical stories. The war came to his village and he soon learns that angels and demons are not only in his stories. They're walking among humans and they've given him a quest that could be the last hope f I was offered a free copy of the book trough BookSirens in exchange for an honest review. Meet Uriel. He's a 10 year old boy. He's Jewish. He was born different because he can't speak. He's a mute. But he knows how to communicate. He has a golden notebook which is precious to him. He writes down magical stories. The war came to his village and he soon learns that angels and demons are not only in his stories. They're walking among humans and they've given him a quest that could be the last hope for humanity. Meet Uwe. He's a German linguist. He is assigned to work for the Major that runs the Control Police. The Control Police are sweeping through towns and villages trying to find Jewish people that need to be eliminated. But Uwe is not a regular German soldier. He questions everything. But what happens when their worlds collide? The Book of Uriel is historical fiction where fantasy meets religion. I'm not a religious person but all the aspects of religion were put into the book nicely. It shows the faith of Jewish people and their heritage which does make sense since upbringing back in the days was very religious. The book is very character driven. We follow two different stories. One of Uriel and one of Uwe and through the novel we get to know both of them well. The novel is often interrupted with stories within stories. They're the stories Uriel had written in his golden notebook and the stories that capture Uriel's memories from when he was still with his family. In the beginning they were interrupting my reading flow a bit but after reading a few of them they capture the whole novel nicely. I loved the memories of Uriel and through them you really get to know his character. Speaking of side stories I have to say that Hoffman's writing style is really beautiful. The beauty is portrayed the most in those stories. It often felt like a fairy tale. I didn't have many problems with the book. The only thing that bothered me a little is the story of Uwe and his actions through the novel. I'm sure that he would be captured, locked down or even dead if he questioned everything and rebelled in the war like he did in the novel. But for the purpose of the story his actions work. I doubt Hoffman's idea was to write historical fiction true to the events as they were but she surely captured what it's like to have faith beyond reason and optimism despite everything going wrong. The novel shows that sometimes that's all it takes and it's worth fighting for. I usually don't compare books to each other but this one really reminded me of The Book Thief which I loved. As much as there is similarity in themes they are also very different from each other. But I would still recommend this book to everyone who loved Zusak's work and enjoys when fantasy joins history.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Savannah

    I don't want to come on too strong... but I loved this. If you are reading the reviews to try and see if you should read it, yes, yes you should. Especially would recommend to lovers of The Book Thief. I love this concept and went in with an open heart and mind, not wanting my inner WW2 obsessed teen-self to be let down, but boy was I happily surprised! Read it so we can discuss it thanks bye. 4.5 rounded up. I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily. I don't want to come on too strong... but I loved this. If you are reading the reviews to try and see if you should read it, yes, yes you should. Especially would recommend to lovers of The Book Thief. I love this concept and went in with an open heart and mind, not wanting my inner WW2 obsessed teen-self to be let down, but boy was I happily surprised! Read it so we can discuss it thanks bye. 4.5 rounded up. I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sofe Gershman

    EBook Review: THE BOOK OF URIEL by Elyse Hoffman (T) ender (H) earts (E) xperiencing (B) ad (O) utcomes... (O) bserve (K) ilings... (O) utweighs (F) rustration... (U) ltimately (R) equires ( I ) ntense (E) ntrusted (L) oyalty THE BOOK OF URIEL, shows depth of commitment. Does not take lightly, what's asked of many. Possible may be tested, regarding goodness of soul. Whatever situation find ourselves, will rise to occasion? Will what we read, be the inspiration needed? Our actions demonstrate dedication, inner faith EBook Review: THE BOOK OF URIEL by Elyse Hoffman (T) ender (H) earts (E) xperiencing (B) ad (O) utcomes... (O) bserve (K) ilings... (O) utweighs (F) rustration... (U) ltimately (R) equires ( I ) ntense (E) ntrusted (L) oyalty THE BOOK OF URIEL, shows depth of commitment. Does not take lightly, what's asked of many. Possible may be tested, regarding goodness of soul. Whatever situation find ourselves, will rise to occasion? Will what we read, be the inspiration needed? Our actions demonstrate dedication, inner faith of belief? To not be discouraged, by our perceived limitations? Willingness to unite together, for goodness of mankind? World full of self-righteous, having it their way. Familiar pattern throughout time, means need pay attention. This story worth reading, over and over again. So glad I found, and able to share.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kaitlyn

    "The Book of Uriel" by Elise Hoffman offers a distinct perspective of the Second World War that offers up a beautiful glimpse into the Jewish faith and religion mixed in with a little bit of the supernatural. Uriel is a ten-year-old boy born mute. The only voice he has come from his journal where he writes incredible stories of angels and monsters. It's only when the trauma of the war reaches his village that he learns those stories he's written are impossibly and horrifyingly real. Uriel is taken "The Book of Uriel" by Elise Hoffman offers a distinct perspective of the Second World War that offers up a beautiful glimpse into the Jewish faith and religion mixed in with a little bit of the supernatural. Uriel is a ten-year-old boy born mute. The only voice he has come from his journal where he writes incredible stories of angels and monsters. It's only when the trauma of the war reaches his village that he learns those stories he's written are impossibly and horrifyingly real. Uriel is taken in by a linguist name Uwe, who is forced to translate for the Germans and commander of the Nazi police. Uwe desires to protect Uriel by keeping him close but hidden from the Germans he works under. Except, Uriel's safety cannot be guaranteed when the angels from his story give him an impossible but necessary task to fulfill. The angel Michael is missing and without him, the lives of the Jewish people are at stake. When the angels themselves are unable to locate their fallen friend among corrupt Nazi lands, the task is placed in Uriel's hands. To save his people, Uriel must do the impossible and put his own life at risk, otherwise, he will lose everything. Hoffman creates an incredibly thrilling and addictive read that is impossible to put down. Uriel's story is gripping from the very start and the trauma he faces is deeply felt throughout these pages as monsters of all kinds appear. Monsters that are given a very humane and somewhat sympathetic portrayal, but who are very merciless and undeserving of forgiveness. It is these monsters that drive home the bravery and courage Uriel has to fight for his people and the heartbreaking willingness to put his own life in danger to end his people's suffering. The author's choice to add elements of Jewish faith is a touching aspect as it drives home the point many forgot in the Second World War: that the Jewish people are people. Through their faith and their religious practices, the Jewish are given humanity, identity, and a voice during a period that tried to erase all of that through acts of hate and prejudice. "The Book of Uriel" shows how faith, hope, determination, and setting aside one's hate can change the world for the better. This is a story that is worth every word, every page, and every second spent reading. The expected publication date is January 26th, 2021. Save the date, add it to reading lists, and prepare for a wild and emotional journey through an incredible pair of eyes. Thank you greatly to BookSirens for providing me with a free e-arc edition of Elyse Hoffman's "The Book of Uriel" for an honest review.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Raicel Celis

    *Thank You to NetGalley, Elyse Hoffman, and the publisher for the ARC in return for leaving a review on here* I would first off like to say this is the first time reading a book like this and it was a very interesting read for me. I loved the friendship between Uriel (a 10-year-old Jewish boy) and Uwe ( A german linguist who is assigned to work with a major that runs the control police). Uriel is such a smart kid and it amazes me throughout the story how brave he was. It amazes me how brave he is *Thank You to NetGalley, Elyse Hoffman, and the publisher for the ARC in return for leaving a review on here* I would first off like to say this is the first time reading a book like this and it was a very interesting read for me. I loved the friendship between Uriel (a 10-year-old Jewish boy) and Uwe ( A german linguist who is assigned to work with a major that runs the control police). Uriel is such a smart kid and it amazes me throughout the story how brave he was. It amazes me how brave he is too after everything he has witnessed he still manages to keep his head held up high. I also loved how the Angels were a part of this story and how much historical fiction and Jewish Heritage ( which I don`t know a lot about but was very impressed with how it was described in the book). Overall, I enjoyed this book very much and would recommend reading this book to anyone who is interested in historical fiction and the supernatural. Rated this book a sold 5 stars read it in one whole day and was hooked from the very beginning that is how good this book is. This is one of those books that you just go into without knowing very much but come out of it having had an experience.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Monique Rosenbaum

    The book of Uriel is a heartwarming, yet sad & somewhat emotional piece of historical fiction. Some of the story tells of the German attacks of trying to whipe out Jews and polish. I'm assuming the author did research of what would be many German's thought & treatment of others. It definitely shows how evil some humans can become even when they start off just like anyone else. What would you put up with if you know it's not right? Stand by and let things happen, join in on the torture so you don The book of Uriel is a heartwarming, yet sad & somewhat emotional piece of historical fiction. Some of the story tells of the German attacks of trying to whipe out Jews and polish. I'm assuming the author did research of what would be many German's thought & treatment of others. It definitely shows how evil some humans can become even when they start off just like anyone else. What would you put up with if you know it's not right? Stand by and let things happen, join in on the torture so you don't get the same fate or stick up for what is wrong. While there is plenty of history in this book it is really about a relationship between a Young Jewish boy and a German linguist who are believer's of God and try to help with ending a war. "Uwe & Uriel" are wonderful main characters who show true love, faith in others that are different from themselves. There are Angels, Talking Birds, Faith, Religion, Love, Torture, Death, Pain, Heartache, Friendship in this story. The ending wasn't quite as I was expecting, it was a happy ending but I was hoping for different turnout than that. I was given this ARC for my honest opinion from BookSirens.

  13. 5 out of 5

    KayBeth Bookish

    Thank you to BookSirens for the opportunity to read this ARC in exchange for a review. All opinions in this review are solely my own and reflect my thoughts and experiences reading this book. When I first picked this book, I was a little doubtful about the mixing of such a horrendous piece of history, AKA the Holocaust, with fantasy and worried it would be disrespectful or improper. However, as I started to read, I was quick to throw that thought away, as everything was blended together in a way Thank you to BookSirens for the opportunity to read this ARC in exchange for a review. All opinions in this review are solely my own and reflect my thoughts and experiences reading this book. When I first picked this book, I was a little doubtful about the mixing of such a horrendous piece of history, AKA the Holocaust, with fantasy and worried it would be disrespectful or improper. However, as I started to read, I was quick to throw that thought away, as everything was blended together in a way that honoured and respected historical events and the fantasy element only enhanced that. I know almost nothing about the Jewish religion, but the stories from Uriel's book and the reflections he had on his life gave me an insight I'd never had before. It gave me more understanding of the Jew's faith, and made it all the more emotional to read the horrific things happening to them as the German soldiers tore their communities to pieces. This was a beautiful book, written with a perfect balance between Uriel's childish wonder and logicand the viewpoints of theevil Major Brandt and Uwe, the German liguist forced to work for the Nazi's while protecting Uriel.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    The Book of Uriel is a well written, steadily paced novel aimed at middle schoolers. The protagonist reveals his personality bit by bit, and would make an amazing character to analyze in depth. The author also does a good job of showing how even though the Nazis did terrible things, they are still people who love their families. That said, does it humanize them too much? Part of me feels that this novel concept would work well for older grades, but the level of writing is aimed at younger childr The Book of Uriel is a well written, steadily paced novel aimed at middle schoolers. The protagonist reveals his personality bit by bit, and would make an amazing character to analyze in depth. The author also does a good job of showing how even though the Nazis did terrible things, they are still people who love their families. That said, does it humanize them too much? Part of me feels that this novel concept would work well for older grades, but the level of writing is aimed at younger children who may not be able to fully grasp the finer details of human nature. All that said, this is a novel that deals with tough subject matter while making it approachable for younger kids. This would pair well with other notable Holocaust literature, and provide a bit of a different view on the events.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Carol Keogh (Goodfellow)

    What is there to say about this book? The text grabbed me from the first paragraph and although this was shocking, the power of the images and writing made it impossible to stop reading. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. I might not recommend it for my learners, I will certainly make reference to parts of the story. Well done. Many thanks to the author for such a beautifully written tale. Thanks also to the publishers for their courage in publishing this book and especially netgalley f What is there to say about this book? The text grabbed me from the first paragraph and although this was shocking, the power of the images and writing made it impossible to stop reading. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. I might not recommend it for my learners, I will certainly make reference to parts of the story. Well done. Many thanks to the author for such a beautifully written tale. Thanks also to the publishers for their courage in publishing this book and especially netgalley for an ARC of this amazing publication.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Liliyana Shadowlyn

    This book grabs you from the start. What starts as a heartbreaking opening quickly turns to a ray of hope. Angels, both good and bad, the Nazis, a reluctant linguist, and one unlikely hero populate this story. Honestly after meeting the angels, I wasn't sure how much I would enjoy the story, but I absolutely loved it. The pacing is perfect, and you get so wrapped up in the story once you start. The descriptions make you feel like you're in the story itself, and I definitely recommend this! This book grabs you from the start. What starts as a heartbreaking opening quickly turns to a ray of hope. Angels, both good and bad, the Nazis, a reluctant linguist, and one unlikely hero populate this story. Honestly after meeting the angels, I wasn't sure how much I would enjoy the story, but I absolutely loved it. The pacing is perfect, and you get so wrapped up in the story once you start. The descriptions make you feel like you're in the story itself, and I definitely recommend this!

  17. 4 out of 5

    bhoomi ♡

    Did I know this book had to do with WW2? Absolutely not. If so, I maybe would not have gravitated towards it. But I read it, and I am fascinated. If you are looking for romance, or dragons you won’t find it here, but I think you’ll enjoy it anyway. What’s more is I love the way the author has woven in Jewish fantasy. It’s something we see so rarely, and to see it in the context of World War 2, with a strong boy who tried so carry the world on his shoulders is just beautiful.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Carol

    I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily. I really loved this book because even though it was set in a dark time where the Jewish people were being killed and abused the read mostly focused on Uriel a mute Jewish boy who I absoulty fell in love with, he was just such a brave an sweet little boy I could read about him all day I loved it.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Juli

    I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. I thoroughly enjoyed this book where the horrors of the holocaust are mixed with a fantasy world in a superb way. Uriel is a perfect character to which everyone will connect.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kendall Brooks

    A beautifully written tale by a master storyteller, this book combines fantasy, Jewish folklore, and WW2 history, to create a moving tale that will change you for the better!! Thus us a powerful, moving, emotion evoking book that should not be missed1! We will all be better for having read this story

  21. 5 out of 5

    Mark Buxton

    My name is Uwe, and I hate my role as an interpreter for the German Order Police. I've witnessed the torture of prisoners and the murder of Jewish women and children at the direction of Major Brandt. I know the major is getting angry with me, since I've spoken against these atrocities right in front of his soldiers. I don't want to be a part of this war, but I'd like to help the Jews and Poles hiding in this area. It would help if the two groups could work together, but the Poles hate the Jews a My name is Uwe, and I hate my role as an interpreter for the German Order Police. I've witnessed the torture of prisoners and the murder of Jewish women and children at the direction of Major Brandt. I know the major is getting angry with me, since I've spoken against these atrocities right in front of his soldiers. I don't want to be a part of this war, but I'd like to help the Jews and Poles hiding in this area. It would help if the two groups could work together, but the Poles hate the Jews almost as much as the Germans do. I fear Major Brandt will discover the mute Jewish boy named Uriel hiding in his house, but I'll do all I can to protect him. Not that Uriel needs much help, since he's always sneaking into the woods in search of something. It's like he's invisible to the guards outside the house, but I still wonder what he's looking for. This book is due to be released in early 2021, and there was much more to it than I anticipated. It had the most religious focus that I've seen in a middle grade book, and many of the topics were pretty mature and intense. Uriel wrote a collection of stories that often sounded like they came from a holy book, and his main conflict was trying to free Michael, the Jewish guardian angel, from the Angel of Death. He could only accomplish this quest by completing five challenges put forth by the former Arch Angel, so these tasks took up most of his pages. Uwe's efforts seemed to be on a separate path, and he was totally unaware of what Uriel was up to. He questioned his own job with the German army and reinforced the notion that not all Germans totally supported Hitler's philosophies. However, people like Uwe were considered traitors if they spoke up. Uwe and Uriel's stories converged in the end, and Uriel had some divine assistance. The climax and resolution were unexpected but still brought the book to a satisfying conclusion. This book will appeal to lovers of historical fiction, the Jewish faith, and fantasy. I'm not used to reading a book so based in a real-life religion, so that's a primary reason for my three-star rating. It didn't grab me. The book was well-written and interesting, so I recommend you give it a shot.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sarah-Hope

    I have deeply mixed feelings about The Book of Uriel. The premise has a great deal of promise: Uriel, a young, mute boy, the only survivor of a pogrom in Nazi-occupied Poland, is charged by angels with the task of finding Michael, the guardian angel of the Jewish people, who has been kidnapped by the fallen angel Samael. Uwe, and unwillingly conscripted translator for Nazi forces manages to provide shelter for Uriel and develops his own means of resistance, unaware of Uriel's mission. With a def I have deeply mixed feelings about The Book of Uriel. The premise has a great deal of promise: Uriel, a young, mute boy, the only survivor of a pogrom in Nazi-occupied Poland, is charged by angels with the task of finding Michael, the guardian angel of the Jewish people, who has been kidnapped by the fallen angel Samael. Uwe, and unwillingly conscripted translator for Nazi forces manages to provide shelter for Uriel and develops his own means of resistance, unaware of Uriel's mission. With a deft hand, this kind of magical realism could lead to a genuinely profound exploration of the struggle between good and evil—on a cosmic level and a mortal one. The problem is that Hoffman creates too many unlikely coincidences even for the world of magical realism. Samael sets Uriel a set of tasks that will free Michael. Capture a mythical, rock-eating beast that Solomon purportedly employed when building temples and palaces? OK, maybe. But then realizing that capturing this creature will require the recovery of the cloak of Elijah the Prophet? And finding that cloak in a pile of remnants from a genocidal Nazi attack on a local Jewish community? The number of sacred relics Uriel hunts down—and finds—in one small corner of Poland is just too unbelievable, even for magical realism. The book offers an engaging read, but I was aware again and again of opportunities missed and credibility strained as I worked my way through it. I received a free electronic ARC of this title from the publisher via NetGalley. The opinions are my own.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Elzecatreads

    *I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily. Uwe is a German linguist who is hired to help the Nazis question prisoners. Uriel is a little boy who is mute, but has a vivid imagination and writes stories down in a golden notebook. When his family and village are destroyed by the Nazis, Uriel encounters a group of angels who ask him to free the Angel Michael. He learns that he can only do this by completing a series of quests given to him by the Angel of De *I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily. Uwe is a German linguist who is hired to help the Nazis question prisoners. Uriel is a little boy who is mute, but has a vivid imagination and writes stories down in a golden notebook. When his family and village are destroyed by the Nazis, Uriel encounters a group of angels who ask him to free the Angel Michael. He learns that he can only do this by completing a series of quests given to him by the Angel of Death. Uwe and Uriel's paths cross, and Uwe finds himself hiding the little boy from his German employers. The chapters about Uwe and Uriel are interspersed with Uriel's "stories" from his notebook. I would classify this book as a religious fantasy. I am Jewish myself, but many of the stories (they appear to be based on stories from the Torah) that Uriel has in his notebook were completely unknown to me, or had different endings than I had previously read, and some didn't make sense. Overall, I thought the book was ok. I liked the growing relationship between Uwe and the mysterious Uriel. The plot was good, but the writing was overly wordy at times. The book alternates between the viewpoints of Uwe and Uriel. I could not determine whether the book was meant as a middle grade book or a book for young adults. I don't know if I would want to read more work from this author.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Santhosh Shankar (The Book Talk With Santhu)

    The historical fiction which happens in the World War II era is a combination of Jewish mysticism and actual history tied in a beautiful knot that never lets our attention down. The author’s writing style is simple and elegant. Unfortunately I have mixed feelings for this book. Though it is considered common knowledge that Jewish tales are somewhat known, I had absolutely no idea whatsoever about them. So this book was more of a revealer. It was quite distracting switching modes between serious The historical fiction which happens in the World War II era is a combination of Jewish mysticism and actual history tied in a beautiful knot that never lets our attention down. The author’s writing style is simple and elegant. Unfortunately I have mixed feelings for this book. Though it is considered common knowledge that Jewish tales are somewhat known, I had absolutely no idea whatsoever about them. So this book was more of a revealer. It was quite distracting switching modes between serious business happening in the real world and the lightness of fantasy world. I would have really loved with all the beautiful emotions of terror, love, humanity, anger etc., only if it had less detailed mysticism. Either way, as an avid reader I enjoyed reading it.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Ashley zeissler

    Entertaining and interesting plot

  26. 5 out of 5

    grace (gracelwrites)

  27. 5 out of 5

    Armance

  28. 5 out of 5

    Barbara Clay

  29. 4 out of 5

    Faye

  30. 4 out of 5

    Billy C Craft

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