Review: Anna and the Swallow Man by Gavriel Savit

aatsmAuthor: Gavriel Savit

Publisher: Penguin

Release Date: February 2nd 2017

Genre: YA Historical Fiction

Pages: 240

Anna and the Swallow Man is a stunning, literary, and wholly original debut novel that tells a new WW2 story.

Kraków, 1939, is no place to grow up. There are a million marching soldiers and a thousand barking dogs. And Anna Lania is just seven years old when the Germans take her father and suddenly, she’s alone.

Then she meets the Swallow Man. He is a mystery, strange and tall. And like Anna’s missing father, he has a gift for languages: Polish, Russian, German, Yiddish, even Bird. When he summons a bright, beautiful swallow down to his hand to stop her from crying, Anna is entranced.

Over the course of their travels together, Anna and the Swallow Man will dodge bombs, tame soldiers, and even, despite their better judgement, make a friend. But in a world gone mad, everything can prove dangerous . . .

This was one of (many) books that have been sitting on my TBR shelf for a long while so I thought it was only fair that I should pick it up when I participated in the 24in48 readathon.

I do love a good Historical Fiction book. And as I read this, I got a very The Book Thief vibe from it. And I adored that book so I think maybe I compared them a bit too much and Anna and the Swallow Man just didn’t live up to The Book Thief’s standard. Which is awful! I shouldn’t compare! So I’ll try my best not to and go into this review without any knowledge of The Book Thief.

I loved the main character, Anna. I love her attitude to everything and I love her determination to find her father. I thought it was a really cool character quirk as well that she could speak like six languages! I’m glad that I did enjoy the protagonist because she’s one of the main things that kept me going.

I also loved the whole mystery of the book. I loved the Swallow Man and how enigmatic he was. I love how the ending leaves you with unanswered questions and begs the question, was the Swallow man even real at all or was he just a figment of Anna’s imagination to keep her going on her journey?

What I didn’t like about this book was that it was very slow-paced. I found some of the plot dragged on and I just wanted to find out what was going to happen next or what the conclusion was going to be, rather than being stuck in the same dull moment for what seemed like ages. Also there were times when I didn’t know what the hell was going on.

Overall, this book had some really amazing language and was brilliantly written so to allow yourself to be immersed in the world when WWII was happening.