Thursday, March 24, 2016

My Review: A Time to Die

How would you live if you knew the day you'd die? Parvin Blackwater believes she has wasted her life. At only seventeen, she has one year left according to the Clock by her bedside. In a last-ditch effort to make a difference, she tries to rescue Radicals from the government’s crooked justice system. But when the authorities find out about her illegal activity, they cast her through the Wall -- her people's death sentence. What she finds on the other side about the world, about eternity, and about herself changes Parvin forever and might just save her people. But her clock is running out.

Nadine's long and boring bio (her words, not mine):

I am an adventurer, fusing authentic faith with bold imagination. I never received my Hogwarts letter, but rest assured I’m no Muggle (and would have been in Ravenclaw House, thank you very much.) This Harry Potter super-nerd has been known to eat an entire package of Oreos (family-size) by herself, and watches Fiddler on the Roof at least once a year. I write about brave living, finding purpose, and other worlds soaked in imagination. My dystopian trilogy (The Out of Time Series) challenged me to pursue shalom, which is now my favorite word (followed closely by bumbershoot.) When I’m not taste-testing a new chai or editing fantasy novels, me and my knight-in-shining armor (nickname: “hubby”) are out pursuing adventures.

My Review: 4 stars
I have mixed emotions and thoughts regarding this book. I was incredibly intrigued by the premise, though I’d never read anything from the dystopian side of the genre. In spite of that, I was so curious and had read so many great reviews that I just couldn’t resist. This book definitely lives up to all of it’s great reviews and I really enjoyed it.

Nadine Brandes does an excellent job of bringing her setting to life, and making things futuristic without going so far over my head that I couldn’t figure out what on Earth she was talking about. I loved some of the new gadgets she invented and the interesting things my imagination encountered in this book. Nadine does an great job with descriptions and “showing” us the world she’s created, without anything being overdone or gory. The story does get a bit dark at times and I found myself almost crying at one point, so I might not recommend it to younger teens (under 15), but it is without a doubt worth the read.

The narrative is definitely unique and unlike anything I’ve ever read. I found myself engaged within moments of turning the first page and was constantly curious as to what would happen next. I did find my attention waning a bit about two-thirds of my way through the book, though the ending was definitely worth preserving for and I have every intention of reading the second book very soon.

Pavin Blackwater is the main character this story revolves around and her perspective is the only one we see. I confess to struggling a bit to connect with Parvin, at first. The story starts on the first day of her final year, according to her Numbers. When we start, she has what I kind of thought of as small or maybe selfish dreams, but the further I went, the more she seemed to find her purpose. She begins to search, to question, to stop being comfortable with the status quo. I loved seeing her come alive and stop accepting the all of the “no”s she encountered. Parvin is forced to become strong and to keep pressing forward on her journey. I began to feel I was on that adventure with her, which was great!

Though Parvin is the main character, we are also introduced to a fairly large cast of characters that all play a part in her story. I enjoyed seeing how each one impacted her and how they helped her on her journey. Though I was (and still am a bit) mad at the author over one of the characters. I won’t spoil anything, but suffice to say that had I been holding a paper copy, the book may have gone soaring through the room in that moment. Despite that, I’m really curious to see what happens with Parvin’s new friends in the next book.

I also really enjoyed the spiritual side of the story and seeing Parvin grow in her new faith. She has to learn to trust God in her weakest moments, and I appreciated the focus on “Shalom” and her desire to see things become the way they are supposed to be. Though God isn’t mentioned on every single page, He is very evident throughout the story and I loved the hope shown in the darkness. I’m excited to see how her faith goes forward after the final pages of the story. Nadine definitely left me with incentive to scoop up the next book and read until dawn!

Overall, I’m giving this story 4 stars due to the slight lag in the middle, and because I’m still a bit peeved about that character. That said, I do very highly recommend it and you definitely don’t have to love the genre to enjoy this incredibly unique tale!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author for my honest review, which I have given. I was not required to write a positive review and have not been compensated for it in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my review!  This book was definitely stepping out of my reading "comfort zone," but so worth it!  I highly recommend it, even if like me, you've never read dystopian before.
If you'd like to look into it further, links are below.  The ebook version is currently on sale for $5.99 on Amazon.  I also might be giving away a copy of this book, when I post my review for the second one.  They really have to be read in order and I might as well enable someone else, right?  I'm still writing my review, but I'm hoping to share it soon.
Thanks, again!  Have a delightful day!


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1 comment:

  1. Aw, great review. I'm thinking I know exactly why you wanted to throw the book across the room. There's 2 instances that I would have done that lol. The 2nd one is BETTER THAN THE FIRST. Loved the 2nd one wow! Btw, it's interesting you mention a lag in the middle. I felt that the book started off extremely slow. The first 1/4th for me dragged on and on and I was like...what is the purpose? but then we discover the purpose and it's definitely a fun read after that. Thanks for the review. I might message you to ask at what point you were so upset lol!