The Huntress (Kindle Edition)
by Kate Quinn

Told from the POVs of a Russian Red Army pilot, an American teenager, and a British journalist-turned-Nazi Hunter, we get the converging threads of a hunt for a mistress of an SS officer who hunted Polish and Jewish refugees for sport along the banks of a lake in the Polish forest just as World War II was ending.

Nina is a fierce woman, grown up in the wilds of Siberian Lake Baikal (or Old Man as everyone calls it) who longs for the sky. She gets her chance when Comrade Stalin, desperate in the face of Hitler’s advance, allows women to become pilots. She becomes one of the first famous Night Witches. Its in the details of Nina’s story that most of my interest lay: the tea tasking of oil, the naming of the U-2’s, the small indignities (like having to wear the men’s uniforms) they suffered. All of that was fascinating. And the voice of Nina’s abusive father in her head driving her away from loving relationships and spurring her on to acts of greatness.

The other two voices were more…ho hum for me. Ian Graham, the journalist, is a bit murky until he meets up with Nina, and then watching his jaded, weary soul come a little bit alive again as he discovers Nina’s bravery and recklessness actually matches his own was cool. Although, his partner, Tony, and his shameless flirting was also fun. I guess Ian and Tony were more caricatures than actually characters…like comic book versions of themselves…which wasn’t as interesting to me.

And then there was Jordan, finaceed to her high school sweetheart, forbidden from college from her loving but confining father. I guess because we, as the readers, already knew what was in store for her when her widowed father remarried that it just wasn’t as interesting. I kept wishing for more Nina, less Jordan. I kept wishing she would trust her own instincts and follow up on the suspicions of her new stepmother.

Lots of interesting history (I love learning history from novels) in the areas of the Russian Night Witch pilots finding freedom even under the repression of Stalinist Russia, and the ways in which Americans escaped much of the horror of WWII, as well as an added dash of Nazi hunting.

While at times a little banal, and a little melodramatic in the ways the author crafted the characters, an interesting read.