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Review: A Time to Die

Posted by on September 24, 2014

Happy Wednesday!

Did you happen to make it to Nadine Brandes Facebook Party last night? Man, it was hopping! Cool interviews, prizes, and virtual nachos for everyone. Ha! The A Time to Die blog tour continues on into October where bloggers have joined with Nadine in answering her book’s main question: How would you live if you knew the day you’d die? You can see my post here.

And I’m giving away a Kindle copy of A Time to Die to one lucky winner, so stay tuned!


by Nadine Brandes

How would you live if you knew the day you’d die?

Parvin Blackwater has wasted her life. At only seventeen, she has one year left according to the Clock by her bedside.

In a last-ditch effort to make a difference, she tries to rescue Radicals from the crooked justice system. But when the authorities find out about her illegal activity, they cast her through the Wall — her people’s death sentence.

What she finds on the other side about the world, about eternity, and about herself changes Parvin forever and might just save her people. But her Clock is running out.

Ebook available on Amazon. 

Paperback available for pre-order.

add to goodreads

About the author


Nadine Brandes writes stories about authentic faith, bold living, and worlds soaked in imagination. She lives in Idaho with her husband and works as a freelance editor. When she’s not writing, editing, or taste-testing a new chai, she is out pursuing adventures. A Time to Die is her first novel.





My thoughts

A Time to Die is a Christian Dystopian novel. About a young girl, figuring out how to make her last year count and discovering that God has something much bigger, deeper than she could ever imagine.

This is not an easy book to review. Not that it wasn’t written well, because it was. And not because it lacked in any way either. But because I am still walking around with a hole in my heart.

Parvin Blackwater knows when she will die, and she’s only got one year left.

The story swept me away, before I had even realized it was written in present tense. Something I’m not that fond of, so that is saying something! The characters were so real, each with their own quirks, personalities, strengths and weaknesses.  I was pulled into their struggles, confusion, uncertainties, and heartache. Emotions were so raw and many times, I was left wondering what exactly had transpired between characters, because we only get Parvin’s perspective on everything.

The world building is awesome. There’s a mix of new technology and old, which made me more curious. Rope courses mixed with high rises, clothing that messes with the mind, a camera that captures not only an image, but emotions as well that anyone can experience. Aside from some familiar names, it did not feel like it was set in the future of our world, but rather a completely different world altogether. The varying governing bodies seemed extreme in their contrast of each other. I don’t feel like we got to be immersed in it enough. I felt we just skimmed the top of the iceberg, leaving us with questions and the desire for more. I’m sure we will learn more in the books to come.

It’s a story, I think, needs the next two books in the series to understand completely. At the end, we’re left hanging with so many questions and bottled up emotion, that I didn’t feel any sense of closure. Like a deep wound in need of stitches, what bandages there were had been ripped off, and now it sits exposed indefinitely. Until of course the next book comes out. Ack!

How do you recommend a novel that will put a hole in your heart? Ha! Read with a box of tissues handy!

Nadine Brandes’ debut novel, A Time to Die, is a solid start to an amazing journey that will transform readers as they grapple with Parvin’s questions, struggles, choices, and how they would respond if they had only one year left to live.

Because, you know, we are not guaranteed tomorrow, so how can we not think of our limited mortality?

I received an advanced reader copy to review.


What do you think?

Well, here’s a chance to win an ecopy and see for yourself!

This contest ends 11:59 October 1st, 2014.

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Don’t forget!

A time to die blog hop A Time To Die Blog Tour is still going and you could win a signed paperback copy!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

10 Responses to Review: A Time to Die

  1. Kessie

    Another gut-wrenching book? Oh, I don’t think I could handle that. What is it with these really tragic books?

    I mean, it sounds amazing. If I needed some sadness, I’d go for it.

    • J.L. Mbewe

      Well, I have to say the gut-wrenching is better in this one than that other one we had read, I think. Maybe…Ha! But if you don’t mind the sadness, (because I’m sure Aristotle had something going on with people needing a catharsis), it is a good read. Very well-written and quite different than anything I’ve read before. I think many times I go into a story with preconceived ideas of what I think would be a good ending. I long for it due to all the chaos in the world around us. But at times there’s something so much deeper than just a happy ending, a journey of some sort, and I come away with something more than just warm fuzzies. ‘Course, we won’t know it until we read the rest in her series. Although, I still prefer the warm fuzzies. 😛

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing!

  2. P. Creeden

    This one is on my TBR! And I couldn’t wait to hear your thoughts on it. Thanks for a thorough review! 🙂

    • J.L. Mbewe

      Hi Pauline! Great to see you over here! I’m glad you enjoyed the review. It was a hard one to do! Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Ashley Morris

    I’ve never read this genre. I’m excited

    • J.L. Mbewe

      Hi Ashley! I am kind of new to this genre myself. Although, I LOVE Patrick Carman’s Atherton series. But starting out, I didn’t realize it was dystopian until later. Ha! Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Georgina

    A Time to Die sounds really good! Thanks for sharing your review with us. 🙂

    I have read several book/book series in the dystopian genre, the most recent being Anomaly by Krista McGee and The Giver by Lois Lowry. I love reading sci-fi, dystopian or otherwise, from a Christian perspective. 😀

  5. Allison Ruvidich

    *adds to to-read list* : )

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J.L Mbewe - Author