Review: ‘The Only Thing to Fear’ by Caroline Tung Richmond

Review: ‘The Only Thing to Fear’ by Caroline Tung RichmondThe Only Thing to Fear by Caroline Tung Richmond
Published by Scholastic Inc. on September 30th 2014
Genres: Action & Adventure, Historical, Young Adult
Pages: 288
Format: eBook
Source: borrowed from the library
In a stunning reimagining of history, debut author Caroline Tung Richmond weaves an incredible story of secrets and honor in a world where Hitler won World War II.

It's been nearly 80 years since the Allies lost WWII in a crushing defeat against Hitler's genetically engineered super soldiers. America has been carved up by the victors, and 16-year-old Zara lives a life of oppression in the Eastern America Territories. Under the iron rule of the Nazis, the government strives to maintain a master race, controlling everything from jobs to genetics. Despite her mixed heritage and hopeless social standing, Zara dreams of the free America she's only read about in banned books. A revolution is growing, and a rogue rebel group is plotting a deadly coup. Zara might hold the key to taking down the Führer for good, but it also might be the very thing that destroys her. Because what she has to offer the rebels is something she's spent her entire life hiding, under threat of immediate execution by the Nazis.
In this action-packed, heart-stopping novel of a terrifying reality that could have been, Zara must decide just how far she'll go for freedom.

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In an alternate universe, Hitler and the Nazis won. Zara is a young teenager who helps her only relative, her Uncle around the farm. Growing cabbage for the military troops, this is her life. When she starts to get attention from a young German teen, she realizes there might be hope after all. Will he betray her of help save the rebellion to take down the head of the snake?

I loved the new world that Caroline built. She describes a lot about what happens to other countries which I like because most authors don’t mention anything but the United States. The fictional history that she weaved through the story was so interesting and I was never bored.

Zara being a half Japanese and half English main character is so great to see. I wasn’t surprised at all that Japan and Italy would be their allies. To see the prejudice and racism that happened between her and others is also a given. I wasn’t expecting any Jews either to be alive and that thought horrified me. Postwar cleansing? It’s like they wanted to be clean of these sub-par humans. shudders There’s also the Colonel that gave me the biggest shivers who would stare at her in the most perverted ways. So creepy.

I liked the story and it kept moving and moving until the climax. The one thing that I didn’t think was necessary was the romance. Even though it wasn’t a big part of the story, I think even having none of it would keep it strong. It’s hard to fall in love when Nazis are hunting you down. I was also not surprised when there were super human Anomalies who would become part of the military. Genetics and testing on the Jews is something the actual Nazis did.

Overall, I enjoyed reading about a different world if the Nazis won. The fight for love and freedom is so strong and that was the biggest message here.


The Nazis make the rules, and we have to follow them. It’s as simple as that.
These mixed-breed specimens are often lacking in some way, and that why we openly discourage the crossing of the races.
I thought you were smarter than this! I thought if taught you better.
You only see the Eckhart in him, but he’s nothing like his father. Just like I’m nothing like mine.
You’re the bravest person I know, Zara.

reading progress





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