It's Time to Read! A Time to Die by Nadine Brandes Review

Book cover of "A Time to Die" by Nadine Brandes
(c.) 2014 by Enclave Publishing
Title: A Time to Die (Out of Time #1) 
Author: Nadine Brandes
Published: 2014 by Enclave Publishing

About the Book:
"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."
The Artist Librarian Review:
The concept of a society in which you knew when you would die (often represented by a ticking clock or counter) has been tackled by several speculative fiction authors and in Hollywood.  In Time, a 2011 dystopian film starring Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried comes to my mind first.  However, in A Time to Die, Nadine Brandes gives her own unique take on the concept in a dystopian that kept my e-reader on up until the wee hours of the morning! 

One of the most important parts of a dystopian novel is the world-building.  Brandes' vision of a post-apocalyptic North American society (in Missouri, to be specific) and their technology and government is fascinating.  While I was still left with questions on how exactly the Clocks are matched at conception and why with all the technology seemingly required for these Clocks, they wouldn't be able to ultrasound or determine how many children a pregnant mother was carrying (perhaps it will be expanded upon in future books), I was able to accept the idea of the Clocks existence for the story's sake (plus, it's just a really neat concept).

However, A Time to Die goes beyond your typical dystopian. Perhaps a bit reminiscent of YA survival stories that began with Gary Paulsen's Hatchet, our teenage protagonist fights to survive the wilds: fending for herself outside the Wall.  Some of this portion of the story seems to stretch credibility: Parvin's described multiple times in the story as thin and not very strong, yet the amount of physical injuries she is able to sustain with a bare minimum of sustenance (not to mention a later handicap) ... I don't know how accurate that would be, but I also understand you can't underestimate human tenacity and the will to survive, so I employed literary suspension of disbelief. ;-) Regardless, it's definitely intense and Brandes has no qualms about pushing her protagonist into huge, life-changing situations that have permanent effects ... dare I say, shocking?  There's lot of things for readers unpack, think about, and discuss, for sure!  Fortunately, Parvin is a character that I think teens and other YA fiction readers will be able to relate to.  She makes mistakes, learns from them, and struggles with those big "Who am I?" questions:
"I consider my own question. Am I supposed to make decisions? Or should I wait until I know God has told me something? Have I ever known? No. So then how do I find out God's plan for me?"
And wow.  The ending.  I'm just glad the sequel will be releasing later next month in October ...

Part dystopian, part survival story, along with a dash of romance and some crazy plot twists --Brandes' Out of Time series is off to a unforgettable start!

Reflection on Content: Christian YA dystopian. Survivalist story: characters are injured, maimed.  Romance: lots of UST, almost kisses. =P  I'd recommend to older teens, but of course, dependent on maturity, a younger teen may enjoy it as well.

[Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author for review purposes.]

BONUS GIVEAWAY INFO: Enclave Publishing is currently hosting a huge giveaway to win their entire Christian Fantasy & Sci-Fi catalog of e-books (including A Time to Die)!  Enter here by September 7, 2015! 

About the Author:
 "Nadine learned to write her alphabet with a fountain pen. In Kindergarten. Cool, huh? Maybe that's what started her love for writing. She started journaling at age nine and thus began her habit of communicating via pen and paper more than spoken words. She never decided to become a writer. Her brain simply classified it as a necessity to life. Nadine is a stay-at-home author and writes stories about authentic faith, bold living, and worlds soaked in imagination. She lives in Idaho with her husband and works as a freelance editor. When she's not writing, editing, or taste-testing a new chai, she is out pursuing adventures. A Time to Die is her first novel. Visit Nadine at"
Talk to me about dystopians! What are you favorite?  Why do you think they're so popular right now?

It's Time to Read! A Time to Die by Nadine Brandes Review It's Time to Read! A Time to Die by Nadine Brandes Review Reviewed by The Artist Librarian on 9/03/2015 02:00:00 AM Rating: 5

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