Monday, October 10, 2016

A Book Review of A Time to Rise by Nadine Brandes

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Parvin Blackwater is dead.

At least that's what the Council and the world thinks. But her sacrifice tore down part of the Wall long enough to stir up hope and rebellion in the people. Now she will rise again. Strong, free, and fearless.

Parvin and Solomon must uncover the mysterious clues that Jude left behind in order to destroy the projected Wall once and for all. Meanwhile, the Council schemes to new levels of technology in its attempts to keep the people contained. Can a one-handed Radical and a scarred ex-Enforcer really bring shalom to the world?

Series: Out of Time (Book 3)

Genre: YA Dystopian
Publisher: Gilead Publishing (October 14, 2016)
Page Count: 399 pages

I've been part of Nadine's Ninjas for a few months now, and I got the privilege to acquire an advance reader copy of A Time to Rise which officially releases October 14th! I'm hoping this review will help give the release a good start! 

The Plot: I definitely enjoyed this book more than the second book. Much more hope and much less mass killing, yet enough suspense and mystery to keep you going. This plot definitely had more mystery than the past books. There's an overall mystery about how to shut down the projected wall and Parvin and the gang have to figure it out. The book comes to a great and very unexpected climax.

The Characters: Parvin grows even further in this book. Her arc is quite stunning. I love how brave and faithful she is despite all odds. It's a level of faith that many people never attain.

Solomon is awesome along with Willow and Elm. The side cast are great as well.

The villains are very cool and I love how they're fleshed out even if their backstory is brief. Masterful storytelling there. Skelley definitely has a twist, but spoilers. ;)

The Setting: I love how the settings of these books expand with each one. Now we're over to France and Russia for the majority of the story, which is really cool since I've been to France. I love seeing the foreign environments and the different languages spoken. It adds a whole new element to the story.

Epic Things: Lots of epic things in this book. The suits are just awesome. They make the average person into a superhero. I also really like the knowledge caps. You take one and gain the knowledge within the cap. It's so ingenious I wish I invented them. I also really love the dog sleds included. They're so cool! I want to ride one. 

The Theme: There's a lot of themes in this book and so many good quotes. One of the biggest themes I've noticed was moving past labels. Parvin, Willow, and Solomon struggle with labels and expectations put on them. Parvin has to move past the labels put on her by the council and people who hate her. Willow has to learn to accept her new appearance which jeopardizes her identity. Solomon has to learn that his last name doesn't define who he is.

Content Cautions: There is no swearing or sexual content besides perhaps one kiss. There's mention of a father's abuse to his daughter and there's violence, but less violence than the other book. Nothing that disturbed me.

What We Can Take Away For Our Writing:

1.) Writing a Character with a Permanent Injury - For the majority of the series, I thought that Parvin was going to get a robotic hand or something to make up for her stump, but she never did. Parvin struggles with only one hand throughout the series and it brings up a lot of obstacles for her. I like how Nadine keeps reminding the reader that Parvin is only one-handed so the reader doesn't forget. It becomes one of Parvin's defining traits and is a big part of her character development. 

How this can be applied to writing: Many people with disabilities complain about how books have the disabled character magically healed. Well people this is one of those books you've been waiting for. It's a book where the character is never magically cured of her injury and it works great for the story. Her injury makes her stronger.

Conclusion: This is a fantastic climax to the Out of Time series and one of the best reads I've had this year. Great job, Nadine!

About the Author:
Carol Award winner and Christy Award finalist, Nadine Brandes is an adventurer, fusing authentic faith with bold imagination. She never received her Hogwarts letter, but rest assured she's 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. She writes about brave living, finding purpose, and other worlds soaked in imagination. Her dystopian trilogy (The Out of Time Series) challenged her to pursue shalom, which is now her favorite word (followed closely by bumbershoot.) 

When Nadine's not taste-testing a new chai or editing fantasy novels, she and her knight-in-shining armor (nickname: "hubby") are out pursuing adventures. Find Nadine at her blogFacebook,TwitterGoodreads, and Instagram.

Don't forget to read the first book of the series A Time to Die and the second book A Time to SpeakMore book reviews every other Tuesday!

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