Thursday 1 April 2010

Thirteen Days To Midnight - Patrick Carman

Thirteen Days To Midnight
Patrick Carman

Little Brown

ISBN 9780316004039

This book was so compelling I could not put it down. I literally read it in one sitting. (Mind you I stayed up much later that I should have.) Patrick Carman is one of my favourite authors; I will not pull any punches. I love his writings in all their variety. I have had the pleasure of corresponding with him and find him friendly, encouraging and caring. He seems to personally emulate the best of what is in his books. However, this new book is a very different venture for him. It is not the technical wonder of either Skeleton Creek or Trackers, combining video, websites and text into a single story.

This is the story of Jacob Fielding. He has been given a gift or maybe a curse; he is indestructible. But like any great gift, with it comes responsibility. The problem is, Jacob does not understand the gift and ends up hurting everyone he cares about. Jacob's best friend is Milo Coffin and they both befriend the new girl at school Ophelia James or just Oh as she prefers to be called. Jacob has this ability to be indestructible, and he can pass it off to someone else. Oh is the first person he passes it to. That is when the problems begin; soon they want to start using it to save other people's lives, but what if you cannot cheat death, what if for every life you steal from death a darkness is growing and it is getting closer to you, you can feel it but you also feel trapped? What are the morals of saving someone's life, how do you choose, what if you fail? These are all questions the three friends struggle with but ultimately it comes down to Jacob. It is his gift to give or to take back. The three friends attend a private catholic high School in Oregon, and Jacob is living at the rectory with Father Tim the principal of the school and some older priests. He was recently orphaned, and he must figure out the secret of this gift before it destroys him, his friends and their friendship.

Told in the first person narrative, it looks back at the 13 days leading up to Jacob standing over a friend and letting them die. This story is tightly-packed and it wrestles with some large questions. This book is the first written by Carmen exclusively for young adults. It is darker and grittier than his earlier works; it also showcases his talent and skill as a writer and showcases a greater range of skill in storytelling than his previous works.

Other of Patrick Carman Books:

The Dark Hills Divide - The Land of Elyon Book 1
Beyond the Valley of Thorns - The Land of Elyon Book 2

The Tenth City - The Land of Elyon Book 3
Into The Mist - The Land of Elyon Prequel
Stargazer - The Land of Elyon Book 4

The House of Power - Atherton Book 1
Rivers of Fire - Atherton, Book 2
The Dark Planet - Atherron Book 3

Saving Mr Nibbles
- Elliot's Park Book 1
Haunted Hike - Elliot's Park Book 2
The Walnut Cup - Elliot's Park Book 3
A Windy Tale - Elliot's Park Book 4

Skeleton Creek - Skeleton Creek Book 1 - A Prereview.
Ghost in the Machine - Skeleton Creek Book 2

Crossbones - Skeleton Creek Book 3
The Raven - Skeleton Creek Book 4

The Black Circle
- 39 Clues Book 5

Trackers #1

Thirteen Days to Midnight

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