Thursday, May 13, 2010

Thirteen Days to Midnight by Patrick Carman (ATWT)

Published: April 12th 2010 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Hardcover, 304 pages
ISBN: 0316004030
ISBN13: 9780316004039

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 has secrets. Secrets you'd never be able to guess, let alone begin to guess at unless he told you. If you're his best friend or his girlfriend, then at least you know the basics of the Black Lion. Being able to escape death time and time again is not a gift, not even when you are able to pass that power to someone in danger. Karma always comes back to bite you in the butt. When Ophelia James first comes into the picture right after a majorly tragic event in Jacob's life, he doesn't believe he could be this lucky. Who is this stunning girl who should be in South Cal, but appears out of nowhere in Salem, Oregon? Knowing he has a deeper connection with Oh, Jacob takes a chance with both Milo and Oh when nothing happened to her after she took a serious face-plant tripping off her long board. Knowing something was wrong from the start, Jacob dismissed many things to please Oh, and actually try to save some lives with his dark ability. Only has it becomes harder to do, Jacob begins noticing changes with his power--whenever it comes back in or goes out again--Oh becomes increasingly severe. What effects is Jacob's power having on Oh? What depths will he go to when the real rules of his ability are revealed and finds out it may just be too late?

Even though I read YA, Thirteen Days to Midnight was new territory for me. I took a chance with this one, and was in the end greatly satisfied. While I haven't read any earlier works of Patrick Carman, I plan to look into his other works that have been labeled with high praise, and trying out the ones that haven't--though I don't there are many. Thirteen Days to Midnight is basically a dark, edgy superhero portrayal that floods over with sarcastic humor.Throughout the moments of suspense in the novel, I'd get really frustrated when I had to put it down. The morbid dialogue and thrilling scenes were very much enjoyed and resulted in some serious nail-biting. This may be going a little overboard but, at one point, I thought I'd really punch someone if I didn't at least get to a lull. (Which were rare and far in-between). Patrick Carman has some serious tricks up his sleeves as a writer, making up characters and a plotline that leaves you at the edge of your seat just itching to know what's going to happen next.

Definitely recommended to readers of all aspiring ages that enjoy a trying-to-save-the-world novel with a serious twist.

Grade: A

Find out more about author Patrick Carman: