Night of Flames

A Novel of World War Two

Fiction - Audiobook
Audio Book
Reviewed on 11/24/2017
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Doug Jacobson is an engineer, business owner and World War Two history enthusiast. Based on the experiences of his Belgian relatives and his own Polish heritage, Doug has traveled extensively in Europe researching the stories of common people who accomplished extraordinary feats of bravery in the face of grave danger for the cause of freedom. It is these true stories that form the basis for Night of Flames and Doug's second historical novel, The Katyn Order.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Francine Zane for Readers' Favorite

Night of Flames: A Novel of World War II by Douglas W Jacobson opens with the invasion of Germany into Poland and follows the stories of Anna and Jan Kopernik as they fight to survive the atrocities of war. When Jan escapes what is left of the annihilated Polish army, British intelligence recruits him for an underground mission with the Resistance. Meanwhile, Anna must flee Poland when she finds out she may be arrested by the German police.

Douglas W Jacobson does an amazing job of balancing military history and underground intrigue with the human element that brings the story to life for readers. His character building is done in stages, feeding bits and pieces as needed, so that the reader stays engaged and learns about them as they would get to know strangers who are soon to become friends. The scenes in Night of Flames: A Novel of World War II are descriptive, the relationships real, and the story unfolds with all the compassion, fear, and desperation one would expect under such circumstances.

Narrator Ian Fisher is a true professional. He matches his pacing with the action in the story to perfection. His enunciation and strength as a narrator is unmatched. Fisher is the perfect narrator for Night of Flames. The production quality is first class—clear and crisp. World War II buffs will enjoy this book, as will anyone who enjoys character-driven books that are edged with danger. Jacobson has truly created a well-rounded historical novel that will appeal to a wide audience.

Romuald Dzemo

Night of Flames is a spellbinding story set against the backdrop of WWII. Anna and Jan Kopernik suffer unimaginable loss, thanks to the German attack on Poland. Anna is an assistant professor at a university in Krakow, while Jan is an officer in the Polish cavalry. The war tears the couple apart, and while Anna flees to Belgium for her safety, her husband works with the British. When an opportunity is given to Jan to return home as an undercover agent for the British, he seizes it, knowing it is his only opportunity to search for Anna. Will he find her in a world of uncertainty and violence?

If you’re fond of listening to audio books while you drive, then don’t start Night of Flames by Douglas W. Jacobson, because you’ll become engrossed in it and be transported to places that will make you unaware of your immediate reality. Ian Fisher did an awesome job as the narrator, articulating clearly and in a tone that is both neutral and compelling, a faint fruitiness coming out in the voice and sweetening the overall listening experience. I found myself captivated by the story, and it is just brilliant to notice the punctuation, the pitch, and how the intense action comes across in the rise and ebb of the narrator's voice. The narration quickens when the action does, and Ian Fisher has the unique gift of infusing life into the narrative by letting the emotions of the characters come through in the voice. Douglas W. Jacobson crafts a story that will entice readers and take them into the heart of the war, to relive its horrors and the ingenuity of people fighting for their survival. The plot is wonderfully constructed and executed with mastery. A 'must listen to' kind of story.

Sefina Hawke

Night of Flames (A Novel of World War II) written by Douglas W. Jacobson and narrated by Ian Fisher is a book that would appeal most to a diverse audience of mature young adults and adults who enjoy historical fiction set during World War II and who do not mind violence and harsh language. When the Germans invaded Poland in 1939, Anna and Jan Kopernik found their everyday lives forever altered by the unimaginable level of violence, fear, and confusion. Anna was an assistant professor at a university in Krakow, but found herself having to flee to the resistance in Belgium; her husband, Jan, an officer in the Polish cavalry, escaped to Britain. Will Anna and Jan survive the war and will they ever be reunited, or will they die alone, forever separated in their attempts to save their home?

Night of Flames (A Novel of World War II) by Douglas W. Jacobson was a wonderfully created audio book filled with vivid imagery. The use of similes and metaphors was beautifully done and helped me to create a better picture of the events of the book as they occurred in my head. While I did like Jan, I personally found Anna to be my favorite character. I loved the way she was willing to fight for what she believed in. I was close to tears when her father was sent to a death camp as I could imagine the mix of horror and sorrow that she must have been feeling. Overall, I enjoyed the romance, historical accuracy, and the suspense of this audio book quite a bit; I really hope the author decides to write future books set during World War II!

The narrator of this audio book was Ian Fisher. Mr. Fisher has experience narrating audio books of all genres, but some of his most notable narrations are: Biddable Brides, Hitler's Religion: The Twisted Beliefs That Drove the Third Reich, and Owen: Tudor Trilogy, Book 1. His acting experience was clearly displayed as he expertly altered the speed, volume, and tone of his voice to match the emotions of the different characters. I personally found his narration of Anna to be my favorite as he managed to expertly portray her thoughts and emotions.

Mamta Madhavan

Night of Flames, written by Douglas Jacobson and narrated by Ian Fisher, is an audio book set against the backdrop of the German invasion of Poland in 1939, in which Anna and Jan Kopernik get separated. The story, narrated through the viewpoints of Jan and Anna Kopernik, takes readers back to when Germany was carrying out raids on Warsaw. Anna is in Warsaw at that time with her friend Irene and Irene’s son, Justyn. They flee to Krakow, only to find out that it has been raided too. They manage to get out of Poland. Jan Kopernik works with the Polish army and, when it surrenders to Germany, he escapes to Britain. Jan gets an opportunity to go back to Krakow on an undercover mission. The book covers the fall of Poland, a separated couple trying to find each other, and the Belgian resistance movement known as the White Brigade. Will Anna and Jan be able to find each other amid all the confusion and panic caused by the war?

The plot has many dimensions to it and delves into WWII, the fates of Jan and Anna Kopernik, and the fate of all the members of the White Brigade. The author captures the panic, confusion, desolation, and destruction caused by war, making it a compelling read. It is a good book for all those who love historical fiction and the well portrayed characters in the story are memorable, real, and relatable. I like the concept of audio books and the narration by Ian Fisher is excellent. He makes the story come alive with his crisp and clear narration, and the modulation and adjustments in his tone make readers feel the settings of the plot and the emotions of the characters clearly.

Rabia Tanveer

Night of Flames by Douglas W. Jacobson is the story of a married couple who were living a happy life, but that was destroyed by the Second World War. Forced to pick up the pieces of their lives, the two fight hard to find each other once again. The story follows a Polish couple, Jan and Anna Kopernik, who were perfectly content until the Germans invaded Poland, destroying lives everywhere. Jan is an officer in the army while Anna is a teacher at a university. Jan is sent to fight and Anna is forced to run away to Belgium, where she joins the Resistance effort against the invaders.

While Anna is depressed and fighting with the Resistance, Jan is barely surviving. He flees to Britain, where he is asked to take up an undercover mission in which he would be required to contact the Resistance. Seeing this as his only chance to reconnect with his wife, Jan snatches the opportunity to make his way back to Anna. Both of them are fighting for a better life, for a second chance of being together, and neither of them is willing to give up. What can they do when the forces against them are too powerful to resist? Will they succeed or will their love be lost forever?

Breathtaking, heartbreaking and emotional, Night of Flames is a brilliant audio book that discusses a difficult question and nails it. There are many novels about World War II from many different perspectives, yet this novel stands out, largely because Jacobson did a wonderful job of creating believable characters. The story was fast paced and intense with plenty of action and grit to keep me wanting more. I was happy with Jan and Anna, and sad when they were sad. This is a testament of strong writing that takes the reader on a journey with the characters and the author handled it wonderfully. Also, the narration by Ian Fisher just took the whole novel to the next level.