So the last couple weeks I’ve been helping with the launch team for Nadine Brandes and her latest book. She’s a fellow Idaho author who has crazy adventures and uses them as fuel for her fiction.
After the success of her first book, A Time To Die, which won a Carol Award, it’s a pleasure to review the next book from this talented author.
A Time To Speak is the second book of the Out of Time series. (Spoilers for book 1 ahead)
Parvin Blackwater is dealing with the shocking aftermath of A Time To Die. She had been so sure that her Clock was running out and she was about to die, but now she needs to find a reason to live. Her family struggles with the shock of the events, but Parvin finds a new ally in Solomon Hawke, an Enforcer with a conscience.
She learns how the Council has manipulated her and events to increase their hold over the populace. This leads to her new mission, to speak out against the Council and bring truth.
But no one wants to listen.
As Parvin wrestles with God over her seemingly ineffective actions, the Council pulls an unexpected stunt that has Parvin and hundreds of Radicals shipped far away for experimentation.
Now stranded in a barren wasteland, Parvin and Solomon have to rise up and lead the survivors if there’s ever to be a hope of speaking out again.
Nadine has a unique voice and space in YA fiction. She loves dystopian, but there’s an element of hope that doesn’t usually cross over in this genre. The world-building that was set up in book one expands in this book, creating an interesting world with real consequences for characters.
Parvin continues to suffer. This is not a character who skates above the trouble, and details aren’t spared. Sometimes Parvin gets down and doubts herself, but her faith in God is growing, and she clings to her perceived mission with dogged determination. She can be headstrong and a bit stubborn, but she’s also a literary character that can be a strong role model for readers.
The action builds throughout the story. At one point it seems things are coming together too well, but Nadine ably blows our expectation at appropriate times.
I definitely enjoyed the book a lot. My main complaint would be that some segments drag on a little too long, and sometimes we spend too much time having Parvin’s thoughts ruminate on a plot point or issue. Overall, the rich world-building, rising consequences, and damaged but determined heroine make it a strong read for lovers of YA or dystopian fiction.
Oh yeah, the legal mumbo-jumbo: I did receive a review copy in exchange for a fair review.
And if you want to win a free book from Nadine, check out the contest below.