Thursday, December 30, 2010

Review: Thirteen Days to Midnight by Patrick Carman

Thirteen Days to Midnight 

Author: Patrick Carman 
Published: 2010
Source: Received for Review

You are indestructible.

Three whispered words transfer an astonishing power to Jacob Fielding that changes everything. At first, Jacob is hesitant to use the power, unsure of its implications. But there's something addictive about testing the limits of fear.

Then Ophelia James, the beautiful and daring new girl in town, suggests that they use the power to do good, to save others. But with every heroic act, the power grows into the specter of a curse. How to decide who lives and who dies?

In this nail-biting novel of mystery and dark intrigue, Jacob must walk the razor thin line between right and wrong, good and evil, and life and death. And time is running out. Because the Grim Reaper doesn't disappear. . . . He catches up. (taken from
I didn't really know what to expect from this book. I hadn't heard much about it. Now, I have mixed feelings. The characters were alive and intriguing, but the storyline lost me somewhere. At first it was interesting, but it got too complicated and far-fetched. 

Jacob, the protagonistwas your fairly standard teenage boy. While this means that he was easy to relate to, he wasn't all that original. When Jacob meets Oh (Ophelia), it is love at first sight. If you can get over their relationship's unrealistic beginning, their love was solid and a nice touch. Milo, Jacob's best friend and partner in crime, was my favorite character. His quirky comments provided a bit of comic relief in a fairly dark novel.

Thirteen Days to Midnight brought up some fascinating questions. Jacob's gift (or curse, whichever you want to call it) gives him the power to save others. Unfortunately, every time he tries to help an innocent person, he is drawn deeper into the dark side of the gift. If you were Jacob, would you be able to let others die when you knew you could save them? Would you keep your power a secret or use it for the good of others? These are the kinds of questions that the story will leave you with.

When I was younger, I read Carman's The Land of Elyon series and really enjoyed it. I didn't care for Thirteen Days to Midnight as much as those books, but it was still an entertaining read. Overall, I'd recommend reading it if you have time, but I wouldn't put it at the top of your to-read list. 

*I received this novel from the publisher in exchange for an honest review