A TIME TO RISE BOOK REVIEW
I’ll admit I’ve sort of been putting this review off. Somehow, actually writing a review for the last book in an incredible series seems too…final. And I don’t want it to end.
Still, if there’s one thing I’ve learned from Parvin, its to not be afraid to speak. So, here goes….
***Minor Spoilers Ahead***
It’s the first word Parvin hears when she is brought back to ‘life’, finding herself buried in her own coffin.
It’s the command that pushes her from said coffin, to find Solomon (which is the sweetest, most heartwarming reunion ever, btw) and rejoin the rebellion. Its when she realizes that God not only saved her from death, but has something so much more important planned for her than she can imagine–if Parvin can but rise above her insecurities.
It’s the choice she must make, when they decide for Parvin to stay in hiding for a time, using the fact that the council thinks she’s dead to their advantage. To let go of her desperation to stay at the front lines, in the role of a leader, and let others inspired by her courage to speak, become leaders themselves.
It’s what she must do when her survival is finally revealed, and supposed friends become enemies, while enemies become allies. When she only knows of one person she can truly trust…her God.
It’s a daily, hourly, secondly outlook Parvin must cling to as she is drawn into the very lair of the vipers, speaking for her people, while surrounded by those who want nothing more than to strip her of who she truly is. When all she has is her God to cling to.
It’s having hope even in the darkest moments. It’s unconditional love—sacrificial love. It’s an ending Parvin never expected, but how her God had chosen to bring shalom from the beginning.
It’s how Parvin will live her life, long after the wall has faded, the council disbanded, when all she has are those she dearly loves, and those who love her.
Its what this novel has taught me, personally. To rise above the hurt, the petty arguments, the fear and the uncertainty. Because I am His, and even though I am nothing, He has made me more than I can imagine. I can rise, because He has lifted me up.
A TIME TO RISE is the concluding chapter in the OUT OF TIME series, and somehow manages to culminate every stray thread, every lingering question, every nail-biting problem, into a finale woven together so beautifully you won’t be able to put it down. And when you finally do close those last pages, you may be crying tears of joy, and some bittersweet ones, too. That’s just how it is, and always has been with this series. When a book reaches so deeply into your soul, the characters becoming a part of you, their lessons and their hurts causing you to rise above your own tragedies, its hard to not feel as though a part of you has been left behind when you close those final pages.
But, that’s the beauty of a good book, isn’t it? The way it stays with you long after you’ve put it down.
Now, although I adored this novel, there were a few things that didn’t quite sit right with me. For starters, I felt like at points the pace slowed and I found myself tempted to skip ahead. And some scenes were a little on the random side, but that is all my personal preference.
Last but definitely not least, there’s Jude.
***MAJOR SPOILERS FOR A TIME TO DIE***
I don’t know if I’ve ever really stopped mourning his death in book one. Not that I don’t think Solomon and Parvin are an amazing pair, because they are. More so than Parvin and Jude, simply because of their personalities, and the way they strengthened each other. It was such a glorious example of a strong relationship that was so much deeper than just attraction. Serious goals.
(I mean, Sol is so sweet. And You have no idea how amazing this scene was. The idea that after everything this two went through, that they could have a sunrise. The promise of a new day. Together. <3)
However…I never really felt like Parvin mourned Jude nearly as much as I did. Which sounds weird, I know, but all through the book she is seeing things that he did, being reminded of him, and for the most part she is unaffected, while I was balling my eyes out. Not to say that there wasn’t a point where she was able to find closure, but even that felt almost too…easy. She just moved on so fast, and hardly seemed to miss him, while he’d been such a huge part of her.
I think that fact, that she didn’t seem to really miss him, made it even more difficult for me to feel like I’d had the closure I needed. As a reader, I felt a bit cheated in that aspect. Like Parvin had just skipped off, shrugging away the heartache, while I was still standing behind her going, “but…but, its his house…and his room…and his family…and his plan…and his message…DOESN’T THIS EFFECT YOU?”
😉 Which probably just goes to show how amazing of a writer Nadine is, to have a reader so wrapped up in a character.
Even with what seemed like a lack of closure to me (but not necessarily to anyone else), the novel was still amazing. I was on a road trip to Yellowstone, and my family had to drag me away from the book to look at the buffalo. It was that good.
SO GO GET A COPY OF THE WHOLE SERIES. You’ll probably need a box of tissues, some cookies, and end up buying a tightrope. But it’ll definitely be worth the journey, because by the time you reach the end, you might just find you’ve learned what it truly means to live. To speak. And to rise.
ON TO MY Q & A with NADINE BRANDES:
Kara Swanson (KS): Hey Nadine! Thank you so much for being willing to answer a few questions! My first one for you is this. What would you do with your last year of life? (If you knew what it was )
Nadine Brandes (NB): I would do what I’m doing now—strive to be intentional with every choice I make. I would write the stories I feel I need to write, strive to love the people around me, and grew deeper and bolder in my relationship with Christ.
When I first started writing A Time to Die, I thought, “If this was my last year alive I’d do so many things differently.” And that’s how I knew that I wasn’t living the way I should be or wanted to be. Now, my answer is “If this was my last year alive…I’d be doing what I’m already doing.” Maybe that’s a boring answer, but I’m quite pleased that I can officially say that. 🙂
(But I would certainly pray that God would help me write faster! I have way too many books in me that need to come out.)
KS: What are some of the quirks and passions you share with Parvin and the other characters?
NB: Her obsession with sweet coffee. Well, for me it’s tea, but the sweetness must reach “liquid candy bar” level. 😛 I also love to travel! She wanted to travel so badly and that’s my constant bug—wanting to explore the world. With purpose, of course. Not just as a tourist. 😀
****SO MANY SPOILERS FOLLOWING THIS LAST QUESTION!***
I’m serious. Lots of spoilers. BUT. If you want to read a spoiler about Sol and Parvin, go right ahead
KS: WHY DOES SOLOMON TAKE SO LONG TO PROPOSE RO PARVIN?!?! Seriously…they’re so serious and committed yet it takes him till the Epilogue 😛
NB: Honestly, there just wasn’t a great time during the whole save-the-world-and-try-not-to-die stuff going on. 😛 Besides, he and Parvin still needed to figure out what relationship looks like when they’re not running for their lives.
Haha I suppose that makes sense. Maybe 😉
Well, folks, that’s it for today!
Did you enjoy the Q & A? Have you ever read any of the OUT OF TIME series? What is one of your favorite Dystopian series?