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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
Stalingrad, Iron and Fire is a work of fiction in the historical fiction and interpersonal drama subgenres. It is best suited to the mature adult reading audience owing to graphic violence and sexual scenes and was penned by Richard J Reese. The plot follows two central figures, one from Germany and one from Russia, as they grow up in a world where they are expected to fight for their countries. Bavarian soldier Johann-Egon Koppenhausen finds himself pitted against NKGB agent Kirill Antonovich Novikov as the world falls apart around them. Whilst Hitler and Stalin battle on the higher plane for dominance, the tale at ground level is one of hardship, love, loss, and personal pain.
Richard J Reese has crafted a fantastic war story that works in perfect harmony on its two main levels. On the macro scale, it tells of the devastation and destruction of the Second World War and the relentless bloodshed caused by men of power. On the micro-scale, it relates to the hyper-realistic and emotional struggle of ordinary men trying to operate and survive in this hellish world. I was especially interested in the story from Novikov’s perspective and the Russian viewpoint in general, which was delivered with much interesting factual detail but presented via engaging dialogue and scene work that kept the pace and action going throughout. The descriptions of the battles and the interpersonal scenes were cinematically atmospheric and so well arranged that it felt like a film playing out in my head. I highly recommend Stalingrad, Iron and Fire to fans of WW2 fiction and intense dramas with realistic emotional and social narratives.