Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Release Date: June 3, 2014
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Word Rating: Short and Sweet
About the book:
The future world has been divided into sectors--each the same as the other. Surrounded by thick steel fences, there is no way in and no way out. Yet a cyborg army penetrates each sector, picking off its citizens one by one, until no one is left. Behind the sectors' thick walls, the citizens wait to die. Few will be chosen to survive what's coming; the rest will be left behind to suffer. A new world has been created, and its rulers are incredibly selective on who will become a citizen. They want only those with important roles in society to help create a more perfect future.
Sixteen-year-old Sia lives in one of the sectors as part of a family that is far too ordinary to be picked to live. According to the digital clock that towers high above her sector, she has only fifteen days to live. Sia has seen the reports and knows a horrific death is in store for her, but she is determined to make the most of her final days. Sia refuses to mourn her short life, instead promising herself that she'll stay strong, despite being suffocated by her depressed mother and her frightened best friend. Just when Sia feels more alone than ever, she meets Mace, a mysterious boy. There is something that draws Sia to him, despite his dangerousness, and together, they join a group of rebels and embark on an epic journey to destroy the new world and its machines, and to put an end to the slaughter of innocent people.
Dark Days was not a book as dark as the title and description suggests. It was a very quick read, and even though it was a dystopian book set in a very bleak future, I didn't find the content too heavy. While there were some things I wish had been different, overall I liked the book and found it an entertaining way to spend a few hours.
The beginning of the story did a pretty good job of drawing me in. It was written well and Kate Ormand began to set up the world they lived in. I wish that throughout the book there had been more explanation of why the sectors were built and what they initially offered protection from. There's a lot of information we don't get about the world and I wish she had explored that a bit more, especially since there were plenty of opportunities to do so.
I also liked Sia as a character. A lot of the times she made bad decisions or was stubborn and I wanted to yell at her but that added to her dynamic and growth. In general, she was a good protagonist although I think the side characters were definitely a lot more interesting and more fun to explore, even some who only got a few scenes in the book. My favorite thing about Sia is her list of things to do before she dies. It's one of the first things we see and it made me like her instantly. While I liked Mace, her love interest in the book and the guy who kickstarts this whole journey, I thought it was a bit too insta-love. She felt this connection with him after seeing him once and kept thinking about him and I thought it was just too much but I understand that she needed a reason to seek him out again and so I can respect the artistic choices. Mace was very interesting to read about, especially since we only get to see him from Sia's perspective so we learn things about him as she does, which adds to his mystery. I liked his charm and presence and thought he brought out good qualities in Sia.
As for the plot, the book is a countdown starting fourteen days before Sia's sector is supposed to be destroyed, killing everyone in it who hadn't been taken out and chosen to start life in the New World. With that little time to live, everything happened pretty quickly, which I definitely appreciated. I think this book definitely needed a fast-paced plot and anything else would have made it hard to get through. Kate Ormand also tried to include a big plot twist -- you'll definitely know it when you read it. While it wasn't actually all that hard to see coming, I appreciated it and I think it helped move the story along. I also like date ending and how it was slightly ambiguous.
Overall, while I think the book needs some polishing up with things like developing the characters more and establishing the setting, it's a good story and very easy to get through. It's a quick, short read and moves quickly enough to provide a few hours of entertainment.
Also there are cyborgs. I love cyborgs. A+ for cyborgs.
About the author:
You can see more about Kate and her writing by visiting her website (www.kateormand.wordpress.com) or on Twitter (@kateormand).
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