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Review – A Time to Rise by Nadine Brandes

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Book description

What more can you sacrifice than your life? 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? This is the concluding book in the Out of Time Series.

First impressions

It’s been two years, and finally it’s the turn for A Time to Rise to be released. This book marks the final chapter in the Out of Time series by Nadine Brandes. I’m excited for this release and because if you liked the first two books, then you’ll love this one.

Warning: The Story section starts with some OBVIOUS spoilers, if you want to be completely safe, please skip to the Conclusion section 😉 lol.

Story

A Time to Rise literally picks up the story where the last one left and we have Parvin trusting God against all odds. There’s no need to wait for action, because right from the first chapter, there’s a good dosis of adventure and persecution.

Nadine Brandes successfully develops the story without feeling rushed of slow paced. The two main ingredients I liked the most from a Time to Rise are:

First, there’s a lot of action: persecutions, bombings, rescue missions, but thankfully they have a purpose as they help to untangle many of the unanswered questions left from the previews books (Jude anyone?). These action scenes are very detailed that you can feel as if you’re watching Mission: Impossible with all the special effects. They’re vivid, they feel real.

And second, there’s also a lot of internal dialogue between Parvin and God. Parvin starts to grow out of her relationship and trust in what God is communicating and out of what she’s applying into her circumstances, just like in real life, lol. I liked the idea of God being present in our everyday life and the idea of us making God part of our daily life.

And finally we have the ending. Please stand up and give an applause to Nadine for not rushing the ending as many authors do. I loved the way she started to build tension little by little to give me time to deal with the climax, and to give me time to deal with Skelley Chase being ________ by the end of the book (how? why?)

Characters

Parvin, feels stronger this time. Yes, she still has questions for God, but she also has more confidence on Him. On the other hand of relationships, her relationship with Hawke is part of the story (I mean, it has to be), but thankfully is not being abused to the point of distracting you from the main plot.

I missed Willow, well… the old Willow. It was a character I liked from the very beginning and I was sad when I knew she wouldn’t be the same. I think she had more potential as a character, but at least she’s still present throughout the story.

Skelley Chase, is a complicated character and when everything was finished I still couldn’t figure out who he really was. I mean… how is that… why did he… was he always the good/bad/good/? guy?… Nadine did an awesome job bringing such a complicated character to life but also giving him such an unexpected ending.

Conclusion

It’s hard to say good bye to the this series. Make sure to get the Out of Time trilogy if you’re looking for an awesome dystopian story with great and easy-to relate characters but also if you’re looking for a series that challenges you to live your life at its full potential.

Rating

I received an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Review: The Calling by Rachelle Dekker

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Book description

Remko Brant had never been so sure of anything as escaping the Authority City with Carrington Hale. But bravado comes easy when you have nothing to lose. Now a husband, father, and the tactical leader of the Seers, Remko has never had so much at risk.

As he and his team execute increasingly dangerous rescue missions inside the city, they face growing peril from a new enemy. Recently appointed Authority President Damien Gold claims to be guiding a city shaken by rebellion into a peaceful, harmonious future. But appearances can be deceiving. In order to achieve his dangerous ambitions, Gold knows he must do more than catch the rebels—he must destroy the hope their message represents . . . from the inside out.

With dissension in his own camp—and the CityWatch soldiers closing in—Remko feels control slipping through his fingers. To protect those he loves, he must conquer his fears and defeat Gold . . . before one of them becomes his undoing.

First impressions

After The Choosing, I was excited to keep on reading about Carrington’s adventure against The Authority. The first book set the scenario for an amazing follow-up but I’m not sure I read the right book. Please read at your own risk, since there may be some spoilers from book one.

Story

There are some sequels that pick up right were the first book left, but this is not one of them. Actually this is a whole different story seen through Remko’s eyes; now, after looking at that cover, everything makes sense.

Time has passed and there’s a new enemy in town a.k.a. Authority City and a new hero. Remko is the one in danger this time while Carrington is changing some diapers, I mean… really because now she’s a mom.

There’s still plenty of action and things going on in Remkos life that keeps you interested long enough. While the first book focused in the issues happening IN the city and with the bad guys, this one is focused with the issues happening OUT of the city at the seers camp and with the good/not so good guys.

Characters

Remko, is the central character, unlike many other YA books this one has no POV’s but everything is related to what he’s feeling or thinking or doing. Thank God there’s a believable character development and you can see how Remko is still fighting some ghosts from his past but at the same time taking new responsibilities and challenges.

Jesse, a new character that appears out of nowhere but became a favorite of mine instantly. He’s an archer living in the woods until he finds the seers camp. He has a lot of potential, and thankfully there’s a high probability we’ll see him again.

Aaron, the Jesus type of character, or maybe Jesus himself (who knows?) is seen a lot this time. I love how Rachelle gave him a personality that really inspires you through his dialog with others. I’m excited to see what’s happening with him in the final installment.

Conclusion

The Calling was not the sequel I was expecting but it was indeed a great sequel. There are many loose threads in the story that make you wish to have the last book right now, and thankfully it’ll come out this fall. If you enjoy dystopian stories infused with faith, The Calling is for you.

Rating: 

I received this book from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.