If you enjoy well-written historical fiction books or stories occurring during the period of World War II, you will like “The Lebensborn Experiment: Book 1” written by Joyce Yvette Davis and narrated by Kevin Gallagher. The author weaves a fictional tale around actual historic events taking place by Nazi Germany. These Lebensborn experiments were conducted in a hope to rapidly increase the German population by building an army of pure and healthy “Aryan” people. The population growth and experiments were initiated by kidnaping children from other countries, mostly Poland, and indoctrinating them through brainwashing and other techniques to become German Nazi soldiers. The term “Lebensborn” translates roughly to “fount of life” in English, and Germany was hoping these practices would permit them to turn the tide of the second world war.
Historic fiction is a genre I do not often listen too, nor is the subject matter something I actively seek to read, however I will say that I thoroughly enjoyed the ride the author and narrator took me on; often surprising me along the way. The story was very well crafted and unique in the many twists and turns it took from start to finish. The author did an exceptional job of balancing the character’s current and backstory details so one could better understand why they acted in the way they did. The story helped me to understand the despite reasoning of the Germans who were attempting to win the war at any cost, even if that meant sacrificing many of their own people to achieve their ultimate outcome; it was a very dire time.
This is a very powerfully written book including some quite shocking events showing how ruthless and relentless the Nazi party was in attempting to create the ultimate perfect race for their war effort. The book educates the reader on the many atrocities carried out against other races which the Nazi party believed inferior. I thought the author’s inclusion of the racist attitude of the Americans towards colored people serving overseas during the war was also quite informative. It made me think of the “Tuskegee Airmen” and the struggles they faced during the war. Although it is not something our society likes to hear or remember, it is historically accurate during this time.
It will be interesting to see the direction the author decides to take this series as it could go in many different directions. The ending of Book 1 closes out many of the open plot details revealed in book one, however there are some open-ended items that will lead into at least an additional book. As this is book 1 in a currently unnamed series, I could not find any details on the number of books the author expects; so for some readers this “unknown” may make it difficult to start the series until this information is released.
I will say that I enjoyed the book’s flow and descriptive nature along with the writing itself. I often found myself experiencing extreme emotional highs and lows while listening to this book, and I’m sure this would be heightened for those having more background on the events of World War II. At times, although it was used infrequently, the author injected humor as a release mechanism for the reader; which was welcomed.
The book is exceptionally narrated by Kevin Gallagher. Like his other two book I have previously listened to, Mr. Gallagher is able to heighten this already powerful story by adding the right amount of inflection to the characters and his ability to correctly pace the flow of the story. He is spot on with the German accents and those of the many other main characters. When he speaks on behalf of a number of children and woman characters in this book, he does not leverage a falsetto voice, and is still able to capture the character’s voice quite well.
The audio quality is excellent and the narrator has done an exceptional job of cleaning up any audio artifacts picked up during the recording process. There are no pops, clicks, or swallows I detected while listening to this book. Although Mr. Gallagher has narrated only eight book, at the time of this review, he has quickly become one of my go to narrators when I’m looking for something new to listen too.
Disclaimer: This book was provided to the reviewer at no charge by the author, narrator, or publisher in exchange for publishing a non-bias review.