27 Days to Midnight
by Kristine Kruppa
Genre: YA, Steampunk, Adventure
Release date: May 3rd 2016 Giant Squid Books
Source: This book was given to me by YA Bound Books Tours in exchange for an honest review.
Summary: Everyone in Dahlia's world knows when they're going to die. Except her.
Her father has never shown her the pocket watch counting down the days she has left to live. When he sacrifices himself to save her from her scheduled death, Dahlia abandons her comfortable home and sets off after his murderer to uncover the secrets her father died top rotect...and the time research that could bring him back to life.
Then she meets Farren Reed. She should hate him. He’s an enemy soldier, a cowardly deserter, and the most insufferable man Dahlia’s ever met. Still, she needs all the help she can get, and Farren is the only chance she has to find the man who murdered her father. But Farren has only twenty-seven days left on his watch.
In that time, Dahlia must recover her father’s time research, foil a psychotic general’s plot, and learn to survive in a world that will never be the same. But the research holds secrets more dangerous than she had ever imagined. She will have to choose what is most important: revenge, Farren's life, or her own. And time is running out.
My Review: In this steampunk novel, everyone is given a watch to let them know when they are going to die. Dahlia was supposed to die on the night of her eighteenth birthday, however her father sacrifices himself to let her live. Dahlia then sets out on a path of revenge to find her father’s murderer and find a way to bring her father back to life. On her quest, she meets Farren, an enemy soldier and a deserter. He is the only one who knows where Sebastian, her father's murderer, is. However, Farren only has twenty-seven days left to live. This forces Dahlia to make a hard choice, should she continue her quest for revenge or save Farren’s life?
One thing that I really liked about the book are the characters. Dahlia starts out as a happy individual who goes about her everyday life until one night when everything changes. She is a living individual, yet through a tragedy, she faces feelings of hatred and revenge as she goes through her hard trials. She is a woman who is deeply pained and distraught. However, this tragedy is what makes her stronger. She is very tough, and she is also very serious. She can also fight for herself.
I also loved the character, Farren. He is very composed with his situation. Even though he knows he does not have many days left, he makes the most of it. He is very clear-headed and smart. He is also very resourceful. He can also be sarcastic and is very funny. I also loved his relationship with Dahlia. Both of them do not get along initially, but over time their feelings begin to evolve. Both of them need and rely on each other.
Overall, this book is about love, family, and choices. I felt that the characters were very complex. I even found the villain, Sebastian, to be compelling. He was very fleshed out and had many layers to him. The story was also very fast-paced and action-packed. Because of this, it was a very light easy read. It was also very thrilling, and it kept me on the edge of my seat. The story also had romance and mystery. The only thing I did not like about it was that the world-building was a bit too confusing at first, but throughout the course of the novel, I began to comprehend their world. I recommend this to anyone interested in steampunk novels and an off-beat love story.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
From Chapter 1:
The sky was bright and clear on the day of Dahlia Walker’s death.
Morning sun shone as she strode down the road, smiling and humming to herself. It was her eighteenth birthday. The paper bag tucked under her arm held a new dress for the occasion. Her steps clicked along the sidewalk in time to a quick, jaunty tune in her head. Her watch hung in its locked case around her neck.
People streamed in and out of shops arrayed in neat lines on either side of the cobblestone street. Clockwork horses drew carriages transporting chauffeurs, ladies in ruffled skirts, and straight-backed gentlemen. The occasional blue military airship patrolled overhead on a pleasant breeze. It was a bustling, wonderful day. A cake waited back at Dahlia’s house, and she knew the mechanical servants would already be setting out the silver and chilling the birthday champagne for her party.
“Get your news! Get your daily news!” A young paperboy stood on the corner, brandishing copies of the Sainsbury Herald. "Anglian airships sighted over the Hattaran Mountains! Is Sainsbury their next target? Get your news, be ready!” A clockwork monkey crouched on his shoulder, its exposed gears whirring contentedly.
Dahlia paid them no heed; lately the papers reported on nothing but the war with Anglia, and she’d just about had enough of it. Under her breath, she sang along to the cheerful little tune in her head.
“Help, please!” A voice from a nearby alcove snapped the song away.
A hand snatched her sleeve and Dahlia spun.
“Let me go!” she shouted, jerking her arm back.
An old woman, wrinkled and gray, clung to Dahlia’s carefully pressed blouse. Dirty hair curled in wisps around her head, and grime streaked her shapeless dress. Crooked yellow teeth peeked into view like rotting daisies. A pair of broken auto-focusing spectacles dangled uselessly around her neck. Dahlia coughed against the pungent smell: a combination of sewer water and unwashed skin.
“Please, you’ve got ta help me,” the woman croaked, panic in her eyes. “Look...look at me watch!”
The misshapen crone thrust her watch in front of Dahlia’s face. It took a moment for Dahlia to notice there were only three minutes left on it.
Surprise stunned Dahlia into silence.
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About the Author:
(Author Photo Credit: Sunny Wong)
Kristine Kruppa is a mechanical engineer, writer, and world traveler. Her days are spent designing cool new car parts, but her evenings are filled with writing and cats. She has traveled solo to seventeen countries on five continents. Her other hobbies include hunting for the perfect cup of coffee, exploring used book stores, and accidentally climbing mountains. To keep up with her adventures, follow Kristine on Twitter @kskruppa. Visit her on Twitter and Goodreads.
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