Review: The Sentinels: Fortunes of War

The Sentinels: Fortunes of WarThe Sentinels: Fortunes of War by Gordon Zuckerman
Sent by the Publisher, Greenleaf Book Group, for review
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is a political thriller with a global banking theme, set during World War II.

In 1938, a group of six UC Berkeley students — rich, intelligent, multinational and attractive, of course — attempt to warn of the dangers of the financial support behind Hitler’s rise to power. They are basically ignored by those in power. Later, toward the end World War II, they set a trap for the German industrialists behind the money and put themselves in danger to avoid another, similar conflict in the future.

The pace was very good and the story moved along quickly. I have to admit to being bogged down among the banking concepts and terminology, but that’s a personal brain block and it wasn’t overwhelming.

The story was told from different points of view, jumping from character to character, but unlike today’s shaky, jerky videos and newer films (that tend to give me a headache), it wasn’t irritating; it was very smoothly done and made sense. I enjoy this “limited omniscient” POV because it gives more insight into the characters. Of course, some characters seemed quite stereotypical: the clever French resistance fighters, the goofball German officer, the nasty Nazi hitman, etc. But others were drawn with more sympathy and showed the reality of being stuck between a rock and a hard place at the wrong time, in which position many people truly were.

The story tended to concentrate on three of the students and included quite a bit of romantic uncertainty. There were times when I wondered if the author was trying too hard: was this a thriller or a romance? The ‘good guys’ were so wonderful and brilliant, how could they keep from falling in love? Their connections and money come in very handy during several conflicts, which was a little too convenient for me. On the other hand, the ‘action’ sequences were wonderfully done, especially the Alpine chase, which was particularly exciting.

Overall, I enjoyed the book, although it was a little uneven on plot. Suspend belief a little and enjoy the ride. link: The Sentinels: Fortunes of War

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