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A German soldier risks his life to drop off the sought-after Enigma Machine to British Intelligence, hiding it in a pub in a small town in northeast Scotland, and unwittingly bringing together four very different people who decide to keep it to themselves. Louisa Adair, a young teen girl hired to look after the pub owner's elderly, German-born aunt, Jane Warner, finds it b A German soldier risks his life to drop off the sought-after Enigma Machine to British Intelligence, hiding it in a pub in a small town in northeast Scotland, and unwittingly bringing together four very different people who decide to keep it to themselves. Louisa Adair, a young teen girl hired to look after the pub owner's elderly, German-born aunt, Jane Warner, finds it but doesn't report it. Flight-Lieutenant Jamie Beaufort-Stuart intercepts a signal but can't figure it out. Ellen McEwen, volunteer at the local airfield, acts as the go-between and messenger, after Louisa involves Jane in translating. The planes under Jamie's command seem charmed, as Jamie knows where exactly to go, while other squadrons suffer, and the four are loathe to give up the machine, even after Elisabeth Lind from British Intelligence arrives, even after the Germans start bombing the tiny town . . .


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A German soldier risks his life to drop off the sought-after Enigma Machine to British Intelligence, hiding it in a pub in a small town in northeast Scotland, and unwittingly bringing together four very different people who decide to keep it to themselves. Louisa Adair, a young teen girl hired to look after the pub owner's elderly, German-born aunt, Jane Warner, finds it b A German soldier risks his life to drop off the sought-after Enigma Machine to British Intelligence, hiding it in a pub in a small town in northeast Scotland, and unwittingly bringing together four very different people who decide to keep it to themselves. Louisa Adair, a young teen girl hired to look after the pub owner's elderly, German-born aunt, Jane Warner, finds it but doesn't report it. Flight-Lieutenant Jamie Beaufort-Stuart intercepts a signal but can't figure it out. Ellen McEwen, volunteer at the local airfield, acts as the go-between and messenger, after Louisa involves Jane in translating. The planes under Jamie's command seem charmed, as Jamie knows where exactly to go, while other squadrons suffer, and the four are loathe to give up the machine, even after Elisabeth Lind from British Intelligence arrives, even after the Germans start bombing the tiny town . . .

30 review for The Enigma Game

  1. 5 out of 5

    Karin

    I lost my mind when I saw there was a new book in the Code Name Verity world coming out. And it was everything I hoped/dreamed/wanted it to be. Set chronologically before Code Name Verity, this follows 3 characters, including Jamie Beaufort-Stuart, in and around a remote Scottish airfield at wintertime early in WWII. Loved Jamie, but equally loved the other 2 protagonists, Louisa and Ellen. Wow. The feelings I have for this series bump it into "favorites of all time" category. I lost my mind when I saw there was a new book in the Code Name Verity world coming out. And it was everything I hoped/dreamed/wanted it to be. Set chronologically before Code Name Verity, this follows 3 characters, including Jamie Beaufort-Stuart, in and around a remote Scottish airfield at wintertime early in WWII. Loved Jamie, but equally loved the other 2 protagonists, Louisa and Ellen. Wow. The feelings I have for this series bump it into "favorites of all time" category.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Deacon Tom F

    A very enjoyable book. More coming.....had chemotherapy infusion, moving slowly. ❤️❤️

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sonja Arlow

    I loved the first two books in the series Code Name Verity and Rose Under Fire so I had high expectations with this one. As with all her books the author takes some interesting WW2 facts and build an easy reading fictitious story around it. This one centres around a German enigma coding machine that falls into the wrong (or in this case the right) hands. Some characters like Jamie and Queenie from previous books play a vital role in this story but as I read the other two books so long ago the thr I loved the first two books in the series Code Name Verity and Rose Under Fire so I had high expectations with this one. As with all her books the author takes some interesting WW2 facts and build an easy reading fictitious story around it. This one centres around a German enigma coding machine that falls into the wrong (or in this case the right) hands. Some characters like Jamie and Queenie from previous books play a vital role in this story but as I read the other two books so long ago the thrill of recognition was muted – I blame old age. It was a good solid read but not as memorable as the first two. The characters and their actions also felt like it was aimed at a much younger audience, but it could just be my own tastes that have changed over time. I do have to also mention I really enjoyed the character of Jane Warner, an old feisty German biddy that needs to hide her origins amid Allied territory. If you are at all interested in trying this author, I would recommend you start with the first two books in this series.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    Thanks to NetGalley and Penguin Random House Canada for an egalley in exchange for an honest review Although this book will not be released until November, readers that are familiar with Elizabeth Wein's WWII historicals from a YA perspective will certainly enjoy her latest installment of the Code Name Verity series. It is certainly a well-researched novel with plenty of action while also stressing the importance of working together and understanding differences. The novel is told through the Thanks to NetGalley and Penguin Random House Canada for an egalley in exchange for an honest review Although this book will not be released until November, readers that are familiar with Elizabeth Wein's WWII historicals from a YA perspective will certainly enjoy her latest installment of the Code Name Verity series. It is certainly a well-researched novel with plenty of action while also stressing the importance of working together and understanding differences. The novel is told through the eyes of Jamie Beaufort-Stewart, a flight lieutenant, Louise Adair, a young Jamaican woman who travels from London to Scotland with an elderly German woman, and Ellen McEwen a driver for the Auxiliary Air Force. When the three are handed over an enigma machine from a German pilot, they become embroiled in some wartime intrigue. Having previously enjoyed Code Name Verity and Rose Under Fire, I must confess that I didn't feel as engaged in this novel as its predecessors. Now I have already told you that Wein has written a well researched and informative novel, so please understand my own personal enjoyment is probably based on mood. Also, I know that I am a little WWII weary, but despite those inner feelings, I still would give a nod that it deserves your attention. #TheEnigmaGame #NetGalley Goodreads review published 13/07/20 Expected publication 03/11/20

  5. 5 out of 5

    Vikki VanSickle

    I love all of Wein's books, but this one is up there with the gold standard, CODE NAME VERITY. This is the story of three young people whose lives become intertwined when an enigma machine is dropped off at a remote Scottish pub near a military base in Northern Scotland. With the pace of a thriller, memorable characters, an incredible sense of urgency and hope, this is top-notch, not to be missed WWII fiction. I love all of Wein's books, but this one is up there with the gold standard, CODE NAME VERITY. This is the story of three young people whose lives become intertwined when an enigma machine is dropped off at a remote Scottish pub near a military base in Northern Scotland. With the pace of a thriller, memorable characters, an incredible sense of urgency and hope, this is top-notch, not to be missed WWII fiction.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Aoife

    4.5 stars I hand Elizabeth Wein my heart on a platter every time I begin one of her stories, and she smashes it to a pulp each time with characters and stories full of love and feeling and the immeasurable sense of loss and destruction that WW2 brought with it. In 1940, 15-year-old Louisa is reeling after the sudden loss of her mother and her father in separate bombing incidents. Now, Louisa sets off to Scotland where she has been hired to care for an elderly German woman. When she arrives, Louisa 4.5 stars I hand Elizabeth Wein my heart on a platter every time I begin one of her stories, and she smashes it to a pulp each time with characters and stories full of love and feeling and the immeasurable sense of loss and destruction that WW2 brought with it. In 1940, 15-year-old Louisa is reeling after the sudden loss of her mother and her father in separate bombing incidents. Now, Louisa sets off to Scotland where she has been hired to care for an elderly German woman. When she arrives, Louisa immediately becomes a member of a secret operation that involves a German soldier spy and an Enigma machine that can crack German code. Enter Jamie Beaufort-Stuart (Yes, OUR JAMIE from Code Name Verity) who uses the cracked code to keep himself and his squadron one step ahead of the German fighter planes eager to take them down. I loved this book which isn't really a surprise as I love Elizabeth's writing, and how she incorporates amazing WW2 stories that have a lot of research and fact to back them up and connects them to younger characters doing their best to save their country. There is an earnestness and a youth to Louisa that I loved, and which was missing slightly in the other two books in this series (minus The Pearl Thief as that is a prequel set well before the war) as the characters we meet (Julie, Maddie and Rose) are all well-versed and involved in the war effort. In this book, we really feel Louisa's urge to help out in some way and the frustration that her age is stopping her (and her belief that her Jamaican birth and her skin colour may stop her from doing so). There is a wonderful relationship here too between Louisa and Jane - the older woman she is hired to care for. There's a fragility to the relationship due to Jane's mental health, as well as her aging body - not to mention her fear that any moment she will be taken away just for being German despite living in England most of her life. Ellen from The Pearl Thief is also a character in this book and we see her struggle with her own secret that she is a traveller and her fear that people will treat her differently when they know. Her secret bonds her to Louisa and Jane as they all feel like outsiders. I would love another book in this series that follows Ellen after the events of this book as she is a terrific character, and she deserves a whole novel just for her (with cameos from her brother, and hopefully Jamie as well). The plot with the Enigma machine was really interesting, and I loved the intense moments when the German soldier was in the room but I have to say that my brain was not made for code or anything of that nature so while some readers may love the way Louisa and Jane were able to work with the Enigma machine, it probably went over my head a bit and I loved the characters themselves and the relationships in this book. I should mention that Julie from Code Name Verity also makes a lovely cameo appearance in this book too! This book was written after Code Name Verity but takes place BEFORE it. However, I would actually think reading in publishing order is still the way to go with this series. The Enigma Game fleshes out Jamie's backstory and brings to life snippets that he shared in Code Name Verity. But there's something lovely about reading The Enigma Game last and getting those thrills when your favourite characters show up or are mentioned. I also loved the author's note in this book that explains the research Elizabeth Wein undertook for this book, as well some interesting historical facts about German defectors, code breaking machines and the Blenheim squadron. I thought it brilliant how she talked about coming up with this story that slotted in with the canon she had already written about Jamie in Code Name Verity and why she also thought it important to include West Indies characters' like Louisa in the war-story as it is a population who committed themselves to the war effort yet rarely get any kind of glory. I can't recommend this enough for fans of Code Name Verity or people looking for amazing WW2 stories that center around younger characters with heart and spirit.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Bill Kupersmith

    Code Name Verity was the beginning of a marvellous series that features brave young women and aviation during the Second World War. In the latest addition, The Enigma Game, we encounter the Bristol Blenheim, an underpowered and underarmed twin-engine bomber piloted by Flight Lieutenant Jamie Balfour-Stuart, whom we had encountered as the brother of the heroic Julie. This book is what would now be termed a ‘prequel’, set in the winter of 1940-1941 near an RAF station in northern Scotland, where J Code Name Verity was the beginning of a marvellous series that features brave young women and aviation during the Second World War. In the latest addition, The Enigma Game, we encounter the Bristol Blenheim, an underpowered and underarmed twin-engine bomber piloted by Flight Lieutenant Jamie Balfour-Stuart, whom we had encountered as the brother of the heroic Julie. This book is what would now be termed a ‘prequel’, set in the winter of 1940-1941 near an RAF station in northern Scotland, where Jamie’s squadron is fighting an unequal battle against the Luftwaffe. But our new principal character Louisa Adair is a fifteen-year-old mixed-race Jamaican orphan who finds herself the companion-care giver to an eighty-four year old former opera singer who had been interned on the Isle of Man as a German enemy alien, though totally English in manner and sympathy. They are joined as narrators by Ellen McEwen, the Scottish Traveller lass who appeared in The Pearl Thief (which I’m yet to read). Now Ellen is a volunteer transport driver for the RAF. Louisa is also a trained classical musician, a talent that plays a crucial role in the story. The plot centres on a German JU88 pilot who defects to Scotland with an Enigma coding machine. Even casual WWII buffs familiar with the basic outline of the Ultra secret and the Bletchley Park code-breaking establishment will know that this story is pure fiction (though later in the war a naval Enigma was captured from a U-Boat) but as a McGuffin it works fine in this novel. Because women were not allowed to fly in combat (except for the Russians), like in Code Name Verity and Rose Under Fire, Elizabeth Wein had some implausible liberties with reality to get Louisa onto an actual Op. I have to admit not being as engaged with the characters as I was in the previous books, but there’s no real chance for Louisa to display the extraordinary courage of Julie or Rose in the earlier books. Nevertheless, I highly recommend The Enigma Game, especially to YA readers.

  8. 5 out of 5

    R.J.

    Is this my favorite book of Elizabeth Wein's since CODE NAME VERITY? Might it even be *more* a favorite of mine than CNV, shocking as that sounds? It's just possible, because it's rich and vibrant and full of tension and intrigue, lavishly researched and exquisitely executed, with a new heroine that I loved with my whole heart from the first chapter (Louisa!!!), and amazing pitch-perfect narration from two other characters we already know from earlier books. There is SO MUCH going on in this boo Is this my favorite book of Elizabeth Wein's since CODE NAME VERITY? Might it even be *more* a favorite of mine than CNV, shocking as that sounds? It's just possible, because it's rich and vibrant and full of tension and intrigue, lavishly researched and exquisitely executed, with a new heroine that I loved with my whole heart from the first chapter (Louisa!!!), and amazing pitch-perfect narration from two other characters we already know from earlier books. There is SO MUCH going on in this book and all of it is amazing. I just finished it and part of me wants to go back and read it again. Also, I ship two of the new characters (no spoilers here) and I need fan fiction. Or another book.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie Jane

    See more of my book reviews on my blog, Literary Flits The Enigma Game is set slightly earlier in time than my first Elizabeth Wein novel (which I also loved!), Code Name Verity. It branches off from that book to expand upon Jamie Beaufort-Stuart's bomber pilot experiences and a brief period of the Second World War in Scotland. Most of the British-set WW2 fiction (and even nonfiction) books I have previously read seemed to focus either on London or places along the south coast of England so I was See more of my book reviews on my blog, Literary Flits The Enigma Game is set slightly earlier in time than my first Elizabeth Wein novel (which I also loved!), Code Name Verity. It branches off from that book to expand upon Jamie Beaufort-Stuart's bomber pilot experiences and a brief period of the Second World War in Scotland. Most of the British-set WW2 fiction (and even nonfiction) books I have previously read seemed to focus either on London or places along the south coast of England so I was keen to learn more about the Scottish campaigns. Wein has again undertaken a lot of good research for her story which I felt had a strong sense of authenticity to it even though the central adventure is of course fictional. What particularly shone through for me were the diverse representations throughout the story. While elements of our media and politicians are currently trying to whitewash the British World War 2 narrative to fit their own narrow perspectives, The Enigma Game accurately depicts the chaotic reality of so many different people drawn together from all across the world. I can quite believe that three native languages across a single bomber crew was not unusual. Wein's character creation for The Enigma Game really makes the story come alive and, while the book's synopsis understandably highlights the young people because of its young adult target audience, my favourite was elderly opera singer Jane Warner. Initially interred in a prison camp due to her natal German nationality, Jane is a wonderfully stubborn woman who refuses to let physical frailty stand in her way. I loved how Wein challenges preconceptions through other people's reactions to Jane, Louisa and also Ellen. Her portrayals of racism, xenophobia and sexism show how hurtful unthinking comments and attitudes can be and how easily we can all be swayed by assumptions based on a first sight. Overall, The Enigma Game is an exciting wartime adventure story. It is told from the points of view of several narrators so there is always a very real sense of tension and I was so swept up into this tale that I almost read all of it in a single day! Although intended for a younger audience, the book's depth meant that I never felt as though I was reading a young adult novel. Instead I thoroughly enjoyed immersing myself in this world.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Megan (thebookishtwins)

    disclaimer: I received this free from the publishers in exchange for an honest review. rep: biracial m/c (white, jamaican), sapphic romani m/c, bi side character content warnings: war, death, racism, homophobia The Enigma Game follows three different people in a small village of Windyedge, Scotland. Jamie, a RAF pilot who flies a Bristol Blenheim bomber, Ellen a volunteer driver with the RAF, and Louisa, a teenager who wants to make a difference who ends up caring for an elderly German woman. When disclaimer: I received this free from the publishers in exchange for an honest review. rep: biracial m/c (white, jamaican), sapphic romani m/c, bi side character content warnings: war, death, racism, homophobia The Enigma Game follows three different people in a small village of Windyedge, Scotland. Jamie, a RAF pilot who flies a Bristol Blenheim bomber, Ellen a volunteer driver with the RAF, and Louisa, a teenager who wants to make a difference who ends up caring for an elderly German woman. When Louisa finds an Enigma machine that was smuggled in by an enemy pilot, Louisa, Jamie, and Ellen all come together to unravel a mystery that may turn the tide of war. “Careless talk costs lives.” Rating five stars purely for my love for the Beaufort-Stuart siblings. JOKING. Sort of. In all seriousness, The Enigma Game was a captivating read with enticing characters, a fast-paced plot with high stakes, and some brilliant friendships – which Elizabeth Wein never fails to achieve. The Enigma Game is a companion novel that takes place before Code Name Verity, but after The Pearl Thief. Both Jamie and Ellen were present in The Pearl Thief, but Louisa is a brand new character, and a lovely addition at that. Jamie is a RAF pilot that is stationed at Windyedge. He is a flight leader for the 648 Squadron, tired of continuously losing his men on flight missions. I liked his character since he showed up in Code Name Verity, so it was nice to get a novel from his POV, and it made me love him even more. He is kind, protective, and brave. When he learns of the Engima machine, he wants to keep it a secret to use to his advantage, to protect his men, knowing that if his superiors found out about it, it would be taken away. Ellen, our other main character is a Scottish traveller who has volunteered to drive for the RAF. She was actually Julie’s love interest in The Pearl Thief and I absolutely adore her. She’s bold and brash! But, what an absolute travesty that Ellen & Julie’s previous relationship was not even mentioned. Even when Julie made a surprise appearance!! As I stated in the rep: section above, this does feature a sapphic character which is Ellen BUT this is established in the previous novel, and has no mention of it in this one. Louisa was the brand new character and I absolutely adored her, and I especially loved her relationship with Jane, the elderly german-born woman that she is caring for. I loved Louisa’s drive, her passion, her bravery and courage, and her overwhelming need to do something. I absolutely adored the piloting aspect in Code Name Verity, and loved it just as much in The Enigma Game. Overall, The Enigma Game is a brilliant historical fiction novel which I would highly recommend to people who enjoy WWII fiction, and also for fans of Code Name Verity.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Eleanor

    I received a digital advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, thanks to Netgalley and Bloomsbury Publishing. I read Code Name Verity years ago when it was first released and I absolutely loved it, so I was very excited to read The Enigma Game. I haven’t read The Pearl Thief, which I understand has some of the characters from this book in it, but I don't think it hindered my enjoyment of the book. The Enigma Game follows a set of three characters: Ellen, Jamie and Lousia. Each o I received a digital advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, thanks to Netgalley and Bloomsbury Publishing. I read Code Name Verity years ago when it was first released and I absolutely loved it, so I was very excited to read The Enigma Game. I haven’t read The Pearl Thief, which I understand has some of the characters from this book in it, but I don't think it hindered my enjoyment of the book. The Enigma Game follows a set of three characters: Ellen, Jamie and Lousia. Each on them involved in WWII in their own way. Louisa wants to do her part to help fight the war that killed her parents when she takes a job caring for an elderly German woman in Windyedge, but it feels like not enough. It’s at Windyedge’s RAF aerodrome that Jamie’s squadron of bombers is based for the majority of the book, and Ellen works as a volunteer driver for the RAF. The three characters lives converge when a german pilot lands under mysterious circumstances, hiding an enigma machine that translated the strange messages Jaime’s squadron had been receiving. Louisa, Jamie and Ellen must work together crossing the firing lines of the enemy, to unravel a mystery that could help turn the tide in the war. I loved all of the characters so much. Jaime was funny, relatable, and such a sweetie, I loved him. He’s constantly worried after losing many men on previous missions and has a rebellious streak which I loved. Ellen was fantastic. Her segments were really interesting, and the inclusion of the prejudice towards travellers was really good, and something I had never really thought about much before. I loved Louisa’s character, and the inclusion of a Jamaican m/c is something you don’t often see in books set in the past. Lousia was such an innocent, but very strong, character and I really loved that about her. I think the book emphasised both the good and bad traits of these characters really well, showing that all characters are flawed. The plot was an intense slow-burner, with things heating up at certain key points in the book. The inclusion of the flight crew was brilliant in building suspense, and the writing really made you feel constantly worried when they were flying their missions. A warning, the end of the book was both devastating and satisfying at the same time. I won’t say anything else, you’ll have to find out why for yourself! Overall, I thought that this was a really enjoyable historical fiction novel, with amazing characters, and a gripping story. I would recommend this to young adult fans of historical fiction, but also to adults as well, the adult characters are also really well written and I felt the book had a sort of ageless quality to it. Review also posted to my blog: https://3lonelyclouds.wordpress.com/?...

  12. 5 out of 5

    christine ✩

    Wein really knows how to write emotion and 1am christine d i e d also apparently i'm never gonna get over the verity books huh Wein really knows how to write emotion and 1am christine d i e d also apparently i'm never gonna get over the verity books huh

  13. 5 out of 5

    MargaretDH

    While this isn't Wein's best Second World War book, it's still pretty good. We have three viewpoint characters here: Louisa, orphaned by German bombs, Ellen, an ATS volunteer driver, and Jamie pilot of Blenheim bomber. They come together at a small aerodrome in Scotland, and together work to use an Engima machine to help the air crews find their targets and avoid danger. Things I liked: - Wein is so good at relationships. Louisa is hired to take care of Jane, an 80 year old German born woman who h While this isn't Wein's best Second World War book, it's still pretty good. We have three viewpoint characters here: Louisa, orphaned by German bombs, Ellen, an ATS volunteer driver, and Jamie pilot of Blenheim bomber. They come together at a small aerodrome in Scotland, and together work to use an Engima machine to help the air crews find their targets and avoid danger. Things I liked: - Wein is so good at relationships. Louisa is hired to take care of Jane, an 80 year old German born woman who has recovered from a broken hip, and I loved watching their friendship build. I also liked the growing alliance between Louisa, Ellen as Jamie, as trust grows between them. No love triangles or unearned romances here! - Louisa's mother was English and her father was Jamaican, and seeing a person of colour navigate war torn England was interesting. Ellen is a traveller, and Jane an immigrant from Germany, and watching all of these women navigate prejudice from people on their side, added nuance to an us vs. them story. - Lots of cool detail about flying and planes and the women who served in military auxiliary services. Wein really does her research and loves flying herself, and her enthusiasm is infectious. What I didn't like: - Since we had three viewpoint characters, and the chapters were all quite short, I felt like I didn't get to know the characters as much as I might have liked. They did all have distinct voices, though. - Much of the plot hangs on the idea that three characters discover (view spoiler)[an Enigma machine, delivered by a pilot who is a member of the German resistance, and for reasons, they decide not to hand it over to the higher ups and keep it for themselves when they realize the pilots can hear coded German transmissions when they're flying over the North Sea. (hide spoiler)] Wein explains why the characters make this decision... but I did not buy it. So I suspended my disbelief and still enjoyed things, but this was a sticking point for me. So at the end of the day, I'm rounding 3.5 stars up to 4. If you liked other Wein books, pick this up. But if you've never read anything by her before, do yourself a favour and start with Code Name Verity.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Renata

    Man, I really wanted to love this one but it ended up feeling kinda sweaty to me? I love the Code Name Verity Cinematic Universe but for me to have three characters from the CNVCU independently end up in the same tiny town felt implausible, even though I was happy to see them. In her author's notes at the end Wein notes that some of what this story was based on involved a recovered piece of radar equipment from a German plane but she felt that writing about the radar equipment would require too Man, I really wanted to love this one but it ended up feeling kinda sweaty to me? I love the Code Name Verity Cinematic Universe but for me to have three characters from the CNVCU independently end up in the same tiny town felt implausible, even though I was happy to see them. In her author's notes at the end Wein notes that some of what this story was based on involved a recovered piece of radar equipment from a German plane but she felt that writing about the radar equipment would require too much detail to explain its importance so she wrote it about an enigma machine instead, but to me it ended up feeling hard to swallow because the enigma machines were SO important that it was like......this is a lot for one 15-year-old girl to stumble upon?! That SAID I still enjoyed this--Wein's research and eye for historical detail is sharp, and I really loved Louisa as a new main character, and I love a historical fiction that shows that people of color like...lived in England in WWII and can be in this kind of historical fiction story in addition to the usual Civil War and civil rights movement stories.

  15. 4 out of 5

    The Candid Cover (Olivia & Lori)

    DNF @ 25% This book is very slow paced and I am just not feeling it right now. Not for me, unfortunately.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Daphne

    I love Elizabeth Wein's pilots. While reading about the earlier life of some characters from Code Name Verity, I felt as if I was in on a secret. It was a delight. I love Elizabeth Wein's pilots. While reading about the earlier life of some characters from Code Name Verity, I felt as if I was in on a secret. It was a delight.

  17. 4 out of 5

    El

    I was really disappointed with this after loving code name verity so much! I don’t know if it’s because I read it in digital & not physical form? But Louisa just got a bit annoying sometimes with how naive she acted. It had some good bits but I just overall didn’t really enjoy it :/

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kirsten

    I could not wait for this book to be released and I was not disappointed. A precursor to Code Name Verity(perhaps my favorite book of all time) this follows Jamie Beaufort-Stewart (Julie’s older brother,) his bomber crew stationed at an airfield in Scotland and a couple of amazing new characters—Louisa Adair, age 15, whose parents both died tragically early in the war and Jane Warner, age 82, a former German opera star, living in England with a Class-B alien status. I love that Elizabeth Wein me I could not wait for this book to be released and I was not disappointed. A precursor to Code Name Verity(perhaps my favorite book of all time) this follows Jamie Beaufort-Stewart (Julie’s older brother,) his bomber crew stationed at an airfield in Scotland and a couple of amazing new characters—Louisa Adair, age 15, whose parents both died tragically early in the war and Jane Warner, age 82, a former German opera star, living in England with a Class-B alien status. I love that Elizabeth Wein meticulously knits everything together seamlessly with her other Code Name titles—The Pearl Thief is another companion novel that follows the same characters. Impeccable research, suspense, intrigue. The best kind of historical fiction. I loved it. Feeling bereft now that I’ve finished it.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Liralen

    I don't have a real review for this and I'm not going to try, but these books are the best thing to come to YA lit since I don't know when. My library copy came through on Saturday (same day the US election was called; it was a good day), and I tore through it in two days (it would have been one, but a girl has to sleep sometime). We got Ellen and Jamie and Julie in this book, plus Louisa and Jane, and I think I can die happy now. I don't have a real review for this and I'm not going to try, but these books are the best thing to come to YA lit since I don't know when. My library copy came through on Saturday (same day the US election was called; it was a good day), and I tore through it in two days (it would have been one, but a girl has to sleep sometime). We got Ellen and Jamie and Julie in this book, plus Louisa and Jane, and I think I can die happy now.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Tsana Dolichva

    The Enigma Game by Elizabeth Wein is another World War II YA thriller, following some of the same (fictional) characters as Code Name Verity, Rose Under Fire, and the pre-war prequel, The Pearl Thief. I enjoyed and reviewed all of the previous books, as well as the companion Black Dove, White Raven, which followed unrelated characters in Ethiopia. It is not an exaggeration to say that this is my favourite non-SF series of all time. The Enigma Game is not set at Bletchley Park, which I thought it The Enigma Game by Elizabeth Wein is another World War II YA thriller, following some of the same (fictional) characters as Code Name Verity, Rose Under Fire, and the pre-war prequel, The Pearl Thief. I enjoyed and reviewed all of the previous books, as well as the companion Black Dove, White Raven, which followed unrelated characters in Ethiopia. It is not an exaggeration to say that this is my favourite non-SF series of all time. The Enigma Game is not set at Bletchley Park, which I thought it might be when I first saw the title. It is set near the start of the war, 1940-41, and mostly in the vicinity of an airbase in Scotland. Our in to the story is Louisa, a half-English, half-Jamaican girl, that takes a job looking after an elderly lady near the airbase after both her parents are killed. There she meets female enlistees and the squadron and accidentally gets caught up in wartime secrets concerning an Enigma machine. My favourite thing about this book was the way in which it addressed identity and perception. Three of the characters do not fit in because of their backgrounds, but only Louisa, the half-Jamaican, is unable to hide it, thanks to her skin colour. The other two — Ellen the Scottish Traveller and Jane the elderly German woman — can pass as British without having to try too hard. And yet, they are both constantly terrified that others will find out their secret (they're not spies, so it's not secret to everyone) and ostracise them for it. Meanwhile, the only reason Louisa got her job near the start of the book was because she was hired over the telephone and her new employer couldn't tell the colour of her skin from her posh English accent. And even better than just having these characters with similar problems in the book is that they all recognised the similarities in each other, which I really appreciated. The point of view in The Enigma Game is split fairly evenly between Louisa, Ellen and Jamie, the pilot/flight lieutenant. Jamie was a minor character in Code Name Verity and appeared in The Pearl Thief, and Ellen was a minor character in the latter. But all the books stand alone and you don't have to have read any of the others to enjoy The Enigma Game. In fact, since The Enigma Game is set before Code Name Verity, most of the time I was reading, I was dreading/anticipating a crucial event that's mentioned in passing in Code Name Verity. But unlike some prequels which lose tension through predictability, Wein maintained a tense atmosphere throughout basically all the flights we saw the squadron undertake. Especially the climactic part near the end. One bit was so ridiculously tragic that I just knew it had to be based on something that really happened (and the afterword confirmed that it was). A lot of the book is upbeat and there are even some funny bits, but Wein sure knows how to punch a reader in the feels. I highly recommend The Enigma Game if you enjoyed any of Wein's other WWII books. If you haven't read them but the description and premise sound appealing, then you can absolutely jump right in with this one. And if you do and enjoy it, there are several more books waiting for you! Sucker for punishment that I am, I hope we get more books set in this "world". 5 / 5 stars You can read more of my reviews on my blog.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Brittany

    4.5 stars! Loved getting Jamie's story and Ellen's! Plus having Julie show up. While Code Name Verity will always be my favourite I loved getting this story as well. In the Enigma Game we follow the POVs of Ellen, Jamie and Louisa. All three of them bring something special to the table. Louisa just lost her parents to the war but as a part Jamaican is struggling with the racism of the time and the added difficulty this causes for her in finding work. I loved the way Elizabeth Wein treated the rac 4.5 stars! Loved getting Jamie's story and Ellen's! Plus having Julie show up. While Code Name Verity will always be my favourite I loved getting this story as well. In the Enigma Game we follow the POVs of Ellen, Jamie and Louisa. All three of them bring something special to the table. Louisa just lost her parents to the war but as a part Jamaican is struggling with the racism of the time and the added difficulty this causes for her in finding work. I loved the way Elizabeth Wein treated the racism and sexism issues that were and are still present. Lousia was so much more than her race though. She was a strong young woman who wanted to make a difference. Her love of music was infectious and her ability to take care of Jane was admirable. Ellen who we got to know in The Pearl Thief is a traveler who was hiding her heritage to avoid the dirty looks and instead to her job as a volunteer and driver. She manages to stand up for herself and others so well, seeing more of her and who she is was wonderful. Jamie is a fabulous character and even knowing in advance what had to happen to him by the end of the book it was still extremely emotional. I cannot imagine what it was like to fly those Blenheim's knowing that you are under powered compared to the German planes. How one can survive from those loses and everything else that occurred during the war is just insane to me. The Enigma Machine and everything about it was fascinating. The intelligent use of code names entertained me. How the coding system worked and the daily change of ciphers was sophisticated and well explained. I also loved all the details from the Limehouse and the dead man's money. All those superstitions fascinate me. Narration was perfect, I couldn't ask for better. I will continue to listen to everything Elizabeth Wein writes. Her books are fantastic and they chose the best narrators.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Emma

    “People being nice to you after someone has made you feel like a criminal or an enemy is just like sticking cardboard in your window after a bomb has blasted all the glass out of it. The hole is stopped up, but the glass is still smashed and you can’t see through the window anymore. Everything in the room is uglier and darker.” The Enigma Game was a nice change of pace from the standard WWII story. Maybe it's just because I love Scotland but I always feel like its experience during the war is oft “People being nice to you after someone has made you feel like a criminal or an enemy is just like sticking cardboard in your window after a bomb has blasted all the glass out of it. The hole is stopped up, but the glass is still smashed and you can’t see through the window anymore. Everything in the room is uglier and darker.” The Enigma Game was a nice change of pace from the standard WWII story. Maybe it's just because I love Scotland but I always feel like its experience during the war is often overlooked in favor of London. Windyedge was an evocative setting and Wein's characters were, as always, top notch. I fell in love with Louisa from the very beginning. Her love of music, desire to find a place to belong, and grief for her parents made her a compelling main character. I can't speak for the accuracy of the biracial representation but did appreciate the information in the historical context section about the role that people from the Caribbean played in Britain's war effort. The plot took a bit to get going but once it did, I was utterly hooked. Without giving anything away, there are multiple story arcs woven expertly together in a captivating way. I was so impressed with how Wein situated The Enigma Game within the broader timeline of her books. Wein excels at crafting well-researched historical fiction with characters that feel like friends. The Enigma Game was a great read and I'd definitely recommend it if you're looking for a twisty WWII story. C/W:(view spoiler)[racism, bigotry, war violence, death of parents, death of a friend, plane crash, sexual harassment (hide spoiler)]

  23. 4 out of 5

    Brooke Nadzam

    This was a solid YA historic fiction. Many of us have heard of the Enigma Machine. This book imagines a situation where the British are given one by a German sympathizer. The story is told in three points of view. Jamie is a picket for the Royal Air Force. Ellen is a Traveller, though nobody knows her story except for Jamie, who keeps it a secret so that she doesn’t face persecution. And then there’s Louisa, a 15-year-old girl whose parents have both been killed during the war. Her mother was Bri This was a solid YA historic fiction. Many of us have heard of the Enigma Machine. This book imagines a situation where the British are given one by a German sympathizer. The story is told in three points of view. Jamie is a picket for the Royal Air Force. Ellen is a Traveller, though nobody knows her story except for Jamie, who keeps it a secret so that she doesn’t face persecution. And then there’s Louisa, a 15-year-old girl whose parents have both been killed during the war. Her mother was British, her father Jamaican. She can’t hide herself like Ellen can. There are many wonderful minor characters—Jane, Silver, Mrs. Campbell—who bring this story to life.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Nishta Mehra

    I will read anything in the Code Name: Verity world, but this one wasn't my particular favorite. I did enjoy being able to be around Jamie, Ellen, & Julie again - and I very much appreciated the introduction of Louisa and thought Wein did a capable, respectful job of writing from her perspective as a woman of color - but I got lost in a lot of the air strike details in Jamie's sections. Just not personally something that interests me, but those sections didn't stop me from enjoying the overall p I will read anything in the Code Name: Verity world, but this one wasn't my particular favorite. I did enjoy being able to be around Jamie, Ellen, & Julie again - and I very much appreciated the introduction of Louisa and thought Wein did a capable, respectful job of writing from her perspective as a woman of color - but I got lost in a lot of the air strike details in Jamie's sections. Just not personally something that interests me, but those sections didn't stop me from enjoying the overall plot of the book and the world Wein created.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Amanda R

    Much like The Pearl Thief, I liked the characters very, very much, but I enjoyed the story itself only intermittently. But the characters are so good, especially Louisa, that I was quite happy to just hang out with them, even when they were making me extremely anxious and not in a fun way. Much like The Pearl Thief, I liked the characters very, very much, but I enjoyed the story itself only intermittently. But the characters are so good, especially Louisa, that I was quite happy to just hang out with them, even when they were making me extremely anxious and not in a fun way.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Elijah

    the disappointment is so real, and i think this book is just aiding to my reading slump. i will force myself to pick it up again sometime but i just want to clear out my 'currently reading' and start over with books that i'm excited to read. the disappointment is so real, and i think this book is just aiding to my reading slump. i will force myself to pick it up again sometime but i just want to clear out my 'currently reading' and start over with books that i'm excited to read.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Mary Lee

    Read this all in a Christmas Eve gulp. Wein is SUCH a great story teller, and it was good to come back to some favorite characters and meet others. The friendship between Louisa and Jane, actually Jane herself was my favorite part. THAT'S what kind of an old lady I want to be. Read this all in a Christmas Eve gulp. Wein is SUCH a great story teller, and it was good to come back to some favorite characters and meet others. The friendship between Louisa and Jane, actually Jane herself was my favorite part. THAT'S what kind of an old lady I want to be.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Lindsay

    Another fabulous read by Elizabeth Wein. I enjoyed this much more than The Pearl Thief but nowhere near as much as Rose Under Fire. I attempted to read Code Name Verity years ago and couldn't get into it. In my opinion, Wein spent too much time talking about planes instead of telling a story, and for someone who doesn't care about planes I was merely bored and passed on the book. I understood that the details of planes were used by the character to prolong her time alive, but I still could not m Another fabulous read by Elizabeth Wein. I enjoyed this much more than The Pearl Thief but nowhere near as much as Rose Under Fire. I attempted to read Code Name Verity years ago and couldn't get into it. In my opinion, Wein spent too much time talking about planes instead of telling a story, and for someone who doesn't care about planes I was merely bored and passed on the book. I understood that the details of planes were used by the character to prolong her time alive, but I still could not make myself finish it. The Enigma Game thankfully didn't spent ample time discussing planes. There was a story (and backstory) with the three characters Jamie, Louisa, and Ellen. Jamie and Ellen are returning characters from previous novels, though I didn't remember Jamie and barely remembered Ellen from reading The Pearl Thief two and a half years ago. I liked all characters since they each possessed a passion to contribute to the war in their own way. I initially thought I wouldn't like Jamie's narrative because of all the plane details, but I relaxed when I realized it wasn't overboard. Jane was a tough but sweet character that I adored. Her bond with Louisa was unbreakable and I loved watching their interactions. Jane took Louisa under her wing right away and stood up for her when someone questioned her background. Felix was enjoyable too and I hope to see more of him and Louisa in future novels. I somewhat knew where the ending would go, but it still came as a shock. I had to reread passages just to make sure I understood what happened because my mind didn't want to believe it. Thanks NetGalley for an ARC.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Tamsyn

    Loved this latest companion to Code Name Verity, this time focusing on Julie’s brother Jamie, an RAF pilot. The narrative was moved along by Ellen (a Tinker girl from The Pearl Thief) and a new character, 15-year-old Jamaican-English Louisa, hired to be a companion for an 82-year-old woman. The women all live in the pub closest to the airfield, where Ellen is employed as a driver and the story gets even more exciting when a German pilot “Odysseus” shows up to meet with his contact, but is unsucc Loved this latest companion to Code Name Verity, this time focusing on Julie’s brother Jamie, an RAF pilot. The narrative was moved along by Ellen (a Tinker girl from The Pearl Thief) and a new character, 15-year-old Jamaican-English Louisa, hired to be a companion for an 82-year-old woman. The women all live in the pub closest to the airfield, where Ellen is employed as a driver and the story gets even more exciting when a German pilot “Odysseus” shows up to meet with his contact, but is unsuccessful when his English counterpart doesn’t make it in time. Wonderful, interesting, sympathetic characters as always (with a few tantalizing glimpses and references to others) and a story that keeps you turning the pages, including sone of Jamie’s flying missions. Elizabeth Wein is one of my favorite current writers. (Look for this book to be published in May! Time to read the others first. 😉)

  30. 5 out of 5

    Raji

    Find this review and more on my blog at Worlds Unlike Our Own . 4.5 stars Thank you to the publisher, Penguin Random House Canada, and NetGalley for providing me with an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. When a German pilot drops off an Enigma Machine in a small Scottish town, it brings together four very unlikely people: the local pub owner’s elderly German aunt Jane Warner, the half-Jamaican teen Louisa Adair who has been hired to take care of her, Ellen McEwen, a volunteer a Find this review and more on my blog at Worlds Unlike Our Own . 4.5 stars Thank you to the publisher, Penguin Random House Canada, and NetGalley for providing me with an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. When a German pilot drops off an Enigma Machine in a small Scottish town, it brings together four very unlikely people: the local pub owner’s elderly German aunt Jane Warner, the half-Jamaican teen Louisa Adair who has been hired to take care of her, Ellen McEwen, a volunteer and driver for the local airfield, and Flight Lieutenant James Beaufort-Stuart. Louisa, who discovers it, doesn’t report it, instead putting it to use translating the coded messages that Jamie Stuart’s squadron is picking up on their flights. Jamie and his fliers soon have a huge advantage, the intercepted messages not only keeping them out of harm’s way, but also providing intelligence of upcoming attacks that they can foil. But how long can they keep the machine a secret? When the German bombers turn their attention to their small town, the group is still reluctant to give up this machine that provides them with such a large advantage, even when it appears that the Germans may suspect what they may have in their possession. The Code Name Verity series has been on my radar for a very long time, and it’s funny that when I finally got around to it, I’ve started with the latest and last book. It sounds like some characters may have appeared in previous books, but this story itself is a standalone and I didn’t have any trouble understanding it at all. I’ve heard about Enigma machines before, and this was as interesting a read as I hoped it would be. The use of coding systems and ciphers during the war was really well explained and fascinating to learn about. I love the author’s writing style which just has a way of pulling you into the story, getting you completely invested in the characters’ fates. The setting of wartime Scotland also felt very authentic and atmospheric, and it is very clear how much research must have gone into this book. Each WWII book I’ve read this year has taken me through a story of the war from a new front, and this book was no exception. The Enigma Game gives us a glimpse into both how life was for civilians at the time, and also what it was like to be in the thick of things. While such quick shifts in perspective has the potential to be a little confusing, I found it quite easy to follow and it kept the story engaging. The historical notes at the end were interesting to read and a wonderful addition to this book. All three of our main characters were very well written, and I particularly enjoyed Jamie’s POVs, where most of the action was occurring. Louisa’s story on the other hand, provides a great perspective of what the war was like for people at home, and having experienced significant personal losses, she is desperate to help the war effort in any way she can. The camaraderie that develops between Louisa and Jane was also really lovely to see. The Enigma Game was not as emotional as some others I’ve come across this year, but it is certainly a thought-provoking and insightful read. It’s not all about war time, or the dangerous flights that fighter pilots undertake or even deciphering exciting messages. It has the mood of a thriller, an adventure in some sense, but when you look beyond that, at its core, it is about people, who are in some way or the other, outsiders, coming together and finding a place where they fit in a society that is less than welcoming of them. It may feel at times that the narration is slow, but that only lets the tension build up for the finale. The climax of this book is one that will hit you really hard, and it makes it all the more evident how much character development has been happening in the background, and not only for the main characters. This book has only made me want to read the others in this series even more and I’m hoping to get to those by the end of this year. The Enigma Game was a great read and I would highly recommend it for historical fiction fans.

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