Review: A Time to Speak by Nadine Brandes

A Time to Speak (Out of Time, #2)A Time to Speak by Nadine Brandes

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

*Note: This review contains spoilers from A Time to Die, the previous book.*

Normally, sequels fall pretty flat. They can drag along without a focused plot, just trying to shuffle along the reader from point A to point B, so the author can get to the exciting conclusion.

However, A Time to Speak is a rare exception. A stellar exception, even.

Surprisingly enough, I liked A Time to Speak better than its predecessor, A Time to Die. The characters were marvelous, and I couldn’t help but to love them. And what fun seeing all the new places they ventured to! My one big beef with the book was the ending-I might suggest not reading this book until the third and last book is released in October. (I would hate for any readers to die of an apoplectic fit.)

Now, on to the fun stuff.

Parvin grows so much in this book as she pursues her calling-to be a shalom-maker. Now that she knows God has a purpose for her life, she steps out in faith to take action. She’s still the Parvin we met in A Time to Die, but she’s changed-in a good way. Even with this transformation, however, she still stumbles in her faith at times.

Thankfully, there’s Solomon Hawke to save the day.

I was pretty upset with Mrs Brandes after she killed Jude-who happened to be one of my favorite characters in A Time to Die. But I was soon reconciled to his death, largely due to Solomon. He was such a fun character to read, and together he and Parvin had some moments which left me giggling and sighing all at once. I think the best part was how Parvin grew closer to both God and Solomon every time they talked. He was such an encouragement to her, and helped strengthen her in the faith by leaps and bounds. I love their relationship, and would be very happy to see more of them in A Time to Speak.

Parvin & Co. traveled to so many new and wonderful places. Prime, Lost Angel, and more fun locations were described vividly, and I felt like I was right there, exploring along with them. I won’t say much more about their adventure so I don’t spoil the story, but rest assured-it’s a fantastic journey.

A lot of twists and surprises kept me on my toes throughout the whole story-and left me with more questions than answers at the end. I will be eagerly awaiting the next book in the series. Until then-tally ho!

Content guide (parenthesis may contain minor spoilers):

Violence/Graphic:7/10(graphic deaths, injuries, attacks, etc)

Sexual:2/10(brief kiss, thoughts about kissing, hugs, etc)

Language:0/10

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Review: A Time to Die by Nadine Brandes

A Time to Die (Out of Time, #1)A Time to Die by Nadine Brandes

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

How would you live if you knew the day you’d die?

A Time to Die by Nadine Brandes is one of the few books that I consider to have rocked my world. The first time I read it, I was in a book coma for the rest of the day. Powerful, moving, and heartbreaking beyond words.

Parvin Brielle Blackwater is an inspiration. She is an amazing character who endured so much for what she felt was worth fighting for. Nadine Brandes does a stellar job of telling the story through Parvin’s eyes-giving the reader the ability to truly live out the story in Parvin’s place. First person narration is very popular in the YA market nowadays, and I can fairly say that I have yet to see an author who can carry it off as well as Brandes. Well done, Nadine.

One of the best aspects of the book is the amazing world it is set in. The author crafts the scenery expertly, leaving the reader immersed in a brave and terrible new world. Terrible, because of the brokenness and lack of hope that resides in the USE, but brave and beautiful as well, shown by the forward-thinking mindset and ingenuity of Ivanhoe. No, it’s not an utopia by any means, but enough light shines through to give the reader hope for the future.

The plot is very interesting in itself as well. It’s hard to get a reader to connect with an already-doomed character. After all, why bother to care about her if she’s just going to die anyway? However, as we get to know Parvin and experience life through her eyes, we begin to start pulling for her to make that last year worthwhile. We want her to win, and as her clock steadily counts down, we already begin to grieve that she won’t have more time with which to make a difference.

There’s a lot of beauty in this book, but with that comes a lot of pain. Even the second time through, when I was bracing myself for the several heart-wrenching scenes, they still hurt. I won’t go into detail so I don’t spoil it for you, but it might be wise to keep the tissue box handy.

Overall, I rate A Time to Die with five glowing stars. It’s inspiring and touching, balancing pain with whimsy. I highly recommend this book to readers 15 and up (due to a few disturbing moments and scenes of peril). I leave you all with a few reminders from Philippians that fit the tone of A Time to Die perfectly:

Philippians 3:12
“Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 1:23-24
“But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better; yet to remain on in the flesh is more necessary for your sake.”

Content guide (parenthesis may contain minor spoilers):

Violence/Graphic:10/10(attacks by wild animals, stitches, amputations, injuries, much mention of death and dying)

Sexual:2/10(brief kiss on cheek, thoughts about kissing, admiring a man’s muscles, shirtless scenes-all kept in an innocent light)

Language:0/10

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