Sunday, April 11, 2010

Review of Thirteen Days to Midnight

Thirteen Days to Midnight by Patrick Carman
Pages: 304
Genre: YA Fantasy
Pub. Date: April 12, 2010
Received ARC through SLJ's Webinar
My Rating: 3/5 stars

Goodreads says, "When Jacob’s foster father whispers, “You are indestructible” seconds before dying in a car crash that should’ve killed them both, Jacob never imagines he could possess a real superpower. To test it Jacob and his friends start indulging comic book-like fantasies. Later, they commit to use this amazing power of indestructibility to do good in the world and save others from death. But how do they decide who to save? And what happens when they blur the lines of life and death, right and wrong, and good and evil? Thirteen Days to Midnight is a nail-biting tale of dark intrigue, powerful romance, friendship and adventure."

Jacob Fielding has a gift. He's indestructible and on top of that, he can pass this gift onto others.  Imagine being in high school and having this amazing gift.....think of the possibilities.  Jacob shares his secret gift with his best friend, Milo and their new friend, Ophelia, who goes by "Oh."  Without giving away too much, Jacob comes to realize that he doesn't truly know how to use his gift and he actually ends up hurting others in the process.  Patrick Carman's debut young adult novel, Thirteen Days to Midnight, has a fascinating premise; however, the novel didn't keep my interest as much as I had hoped for.

On the other hand, I really liked how this book discusses some serious issues despite the fact that it's a fantasy novel.  For example, this book explores the idea that you can't cheat death.  It also explores the concept of saving someone.  How do you know if someone is worth saving verses someone else?  Essentially, Jacob's gift asked him to "play God" a few times and inevitably that will bring up some moral dilemmas.  I also enjoyed Patrick Carman's writing style and how he organized the novel.  Each chapter was a countdown from thirteen days to that important climatic moment in the novel. This definitely built anticipation and suspense.

I gave it 2.5 stars out of 4, because, for me, the superhero story is a bit played out. I blame my husband for "Netflixing" season after season of the television show, Heroes.  I am simply "Hero-ed" out if you will.  That may be why this novel didn't capture my attention as much as I had hoped for.  As I mentioned before, the premise is truly compelling, but towards the middle of the novel, I found the plot was slowing down and losing momentum.  

On a positive note, I do think my middle school male students will love this novel and I plan on sharing it with them as I think that's the audience the novel is geared towards.  Ultimately, for fans of superheroes, Heroes or Unbreakable, this book is for you.

*Check out the outstanding website for this book. 
Buy It Here:


  1. Hmmm... I like the fact that it asks some serious questions about a person's right to play god. That sounds like the sort of thing that gets me thinking. But it sounds a little immature too so maybe as you say, it would appeal to youunger readers. Great honest review.

  2. Becky- Yeah, definitely younger readers. My middle school boys will enjoy it. It just wasn't for me. Thanks for the comment. :)

  3. Great review. I've just seen a couple of episodes of Heroes so I might like this novel but then again I might not. Hard to say really but I've enjoyed what little I've seen of Heroes.

  4. Ladybug- If you are a big fan of Heroes, you might enjoy it. Let me know what you think if you ever get around to reading it! Thanks for the comment!


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