A complimentary advanced reader copy of this book was provided by Sky Pony Press in exchange for an honest review. (Thank you!) My review was in no way influenced by this consideration.
Sia has just 15 days to live. 15 days to cram in whatever she still wants to do with the rest of her life. Or…15 days to figure out how to save her family.
I love novels like Dark Days–the pressure’s on because there’s a finite amount of time to work with, and the characters have to really move. Sia and her family are living under a heavy threat: their walled-in sector will soon be destroyed by an army from the New World. They’ve already seen footage from the other sectors; there will be no survivors. Sia just wants her life to be normal, but her mother spends her days staring at the horrific reports on the television, and her father disappears all day. Her best friend seems to be shutting her out, and she’s basically left alone, with 15 days to kill (no pun intended).
While I really enjoyed this story, and the plot and settings were really fun, I wanted a little more from Dark Days. In the end, I felt like it was at least 100 pages too short, and some things could have been explored in more detail–the premise behind the New World’s creation, the other sectors, and some of the relationships between the other characters, in particular. I liked the characters quite a lot, but sometimes their interactions with each other left a bit to be desired, especially when it came to the romance between Sia and Mace. It seemed to come together awfully quickly–as teenage romances do, but we didn’t get a whole lot of insight into why. I gave things a little leeway because, sure, in times of war and extreme duress, people do crazy romantic things without a lot of need for development, but as a reader, I wanted more beats. More pauses. More body language. If there had just been a bit more, overall, I think things would have felt more believable between the two of them (and I really wanted them to be believable, because I liked them both quite a lot).
In the end, though, the story what it is, and it’s not disappointing. I came away feeling like I really liked Sia and Mace’s world, and I’d like to see more from Kate Ormand and how she develops as an author. If you want an action-packed book that’s fun and wraps the whole story in one quick read, this might be for you.
No language. Some battle scenes that get a little graphic and some mild sexuality, so it might not be for your younger readers. 3.5 stars.
First Line: “I wake to a shrieking sound.”