The Violence of Reason by Pete Planisek

As spring returns to Norway in 1942, Norill Haugen, a spy in the Norwegian resistance movement, barely recognizes her once quiet life. Two years of Nazi occupation, aided by the collusion of those loyal to the illegitimate government of Vidkun Quisling, a German sympathizer, has divided her country and brought untold suffering and strife. But the arrival of Gerntz, a Nazi soldier, will change everything. Her spy ring compromised, Norill will soon find that the war has truly come home as the line between friend, foe, and family blends and shatters them all.

The Violence of Reason explores the complexity of loyalty and relationships in a time of war. In order to survive, Norill must try to solve a thrilling mystery that can only bring about the downfall of those she loves and that will, perhaps, destroy herself. Betrayed, alone, and on the run, Norill must challenge all she has ever known as powerful forces converge and summon her and her nation toward either a dark fate or freedom.

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ISBN 978-0-9850982-7-8 (ebook)
ISBN 978-0-9850982-8-5 (print)

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Featured Review

The Violence of Reason by Pete Planisek is a gripping historical fiction thriller set in Nazi-occupied Norway. Aside from her job at a bookstore, Norill is an amateur pianist, courier, and spy for Norway’s underground resistance against the Nazi regime. But when her friends and family members inexplicably start disappearing around her, Norill’s whole world collapses, and she finds herself detained and tortured by the Germans for information. Unsure of who to trust, Norill’s only hope lies in a German double agent with mysterious motives. Meanwhile, the Nazis forcefully acquire her family farm, but she somehow manages to find a way to escape with an Allied soldier. But not everything is as it seems, as Norill will soon find herself in a confrontation with someone familiar. Will she meet the same fate as her friends and family?

The Violence of Reason is a moving tale that sheds light on those men and women who risked their lives and those of their families on behalf of dignity and right in their fight against the Nazis. Pete Planisek has crafted a relentlessly brutal narrative that doesn’t shy away from showcasing the atrocities committed by the Nazis during their heyday in a realistic manner that makes it all the more impactful. The plot is full of shocking reveals, twists, and turns that you never see coming. As a reader, you can’t help but feel for the plight of Norill, whose courage and will to fight amid terrifying situations make her easy to root for. I was honestly surprised by the ending and thoroughly enjoyed the book overall. Highly recommended.

5/5 Stars
Review by Pikasho Deka, Readers’ Favorite

Links about Norwegian history during World War II

Norway in World War II – Life in Norway
The Norwegian resistance
Norwegian resistance to the Nazi occupation
Heavy Water War – The Story
Nazi-Occupied Norway Offers a Glimpse of What Hitler Wanted for the Entire World

Useful Links/Book Club Resources

Book club questions and activities (pdf)
Supplemental material: Types of literary criticism (pdf)
Columbus Makes Art – Pete Planisek profile
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About the Author

Pete Planisek author photo

Pete Planisek lives in Columbus, OH, where he teaches English, runs Enceladus Literary LLC, and is co-host of an entertainment podcast called Hindsight is 20-20. He received his Masters from Ohio University where he founded a student literary arts magazine called Recently Eclipsed. He has published newspaper articles, short stories, poetry, and is a member of the Independent Book Publishers Association.  He served for seven years as adviser/co-adviser to a NCTE award-winning student literary arts publication. 

He has two published works in his Resurrection Trinity series titled Frankenstein A Life Beyond (Book 1 of 3) and Frankenstein Soul’s Echo (Book 2 of 3) and won a 2016 Silver Honoree IBPA Benjamin Franklin Digital Book Award for his children’s fantasy book titled Princess Bella and the Dragon’s Charm. The Violence of Reason is his third novel.

You can become a fan on Facebook or follow on Twitter @peteplanisek or Instagram @enceladusliterary


Thanks to Carol Low, Susan Turley, Abby Planisek, Scott Coons, Elizabeth Nordquest, Jen Otten, Trish Sanders, Debbie and Kevin Skarsten.

The Story Behind the Cover

Feature: The Story Behind the Cover

The process of the book cover’s development, from initial concept to final design: Link (pdf)

The Tale of the Accidental Novel

Feature: The Tale of an Accidental Novel

How an idea for a short story turned into much more: Link (pdf)