Book Review – The Enigma Game by Elizabeth Wein

I was recently sent The Enigma game by Elizabeth Wein to read, and review, which I’m always appreciative of, but especially when its such a good book that I’m sent! I’ve not really read any stories set in wartimes, except when forced to during school, so it was new for me to get so absorbed in this type of book. Since I enjoyed this so much, I did a little google after i finished reading, and I’m over the moon to find out its a part of a series of books, most of which include the same characters! 

Speaking of which, the characters in this book are the type that really step off the page, and feel like real people. Our three main characters are Jamie Beaufort-Stewart, who is a pilot, Ellen McEwen, who drives for the RAF, and Louisa Adair, an orphaned, half Jamaican young woman who ends up finding work looking after an old lady, in a pub in Scotland. Experiencing the perspectives from all three characters really allowed me to feel closer to each character, and the tone of writing used for each character was different enough for me to distinguish between them. 

The story kicks off when a German defector lands at an airfield near the pub, carrying a precious package. Jamie, Louisa, and Ellen end up in a bit of a predicament, as they find themselves hiding a codebreaking machine that powerful people are searching for. 

I found the first third of the book a little slow, but it introduced the characters so beautifully i can forgive it. The action really picks up during the rest of the book though, turning it into a real page turner. I never really thought about how tension and risk filled wartime life must have been, and although this is of course dramatised to be an interesting book, it still felt realistic. Spies, codes and secrets all play their part to make this a thoroughly engaging read that i totally recommend. 

The Enigma Game is a solid 4 stars out of 5 for me, if that’s how I’m rating things now. Its given me a new interest in a genre i previously ignored, and I will definitely be reading more from Elizabeth Wein in future!

-Dana


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