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Dark Days Hardcover – June 3, 2014
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From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—In a dystopian future, 16-year-old Sia awakes with just fifteen days to live before her sector is destroyed and she is murdered by a cyborg army, along with everyone she knows. After climate change took out most of the living creatures on Earth, the remaining people were rounded up into sectors to keep them safe. Eventually, walls were built around the sectors, and a leader with a desire to create a New World emerged. This New World would be inhabited by only the best people, and everyone else would be destroyed. Sia's sector is dominated by constant reports of the horrors to come via television, and a digital clock with red numbers that counts down the days left to live, so she creates a short, four-item bucket list: swim in the lake, spend time with her parents, kiss a boy, and fall in love. In addition to checking off items on her list, the protagonist also participates in a rebellion against the cyborg army. With a half-baked plan for rebellion, a weak romance, and a countdown clock as a poorly disguised plot device, readers may not get lost in Sia's world. This title does not stand up to others in the genre, but if your teens absolutely can't get enough views of our potential future on this planet, consider making a place for this.—Heather Acerro, Rochester Public Library, MN
Chilling and all too plausible. . . . Readers are going to love Dark Days.” —Emma Pass, author of Acid
"Deadly cyborgs in the grimmest of worlds with a heroine who still dares to hope. The pages utterly flew by." —Elsie Chapman, author of the Dualed series
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Top Customer Reviews
This book was everything that I though it was going to be and so much more. I have Dark Days 4.5 out of 5 stars.
To start I do not like this cover. I think the background is hard to see and the pink in over powering. BUT PLEASE DO NOT JUDGE A BOOK BY IT'S COVER. Especially not this book!
Now I think with all dystopian type books, people who have read The Hunger Games always seek out hunger games like similarities. And yes there are some in this book but this book is completely different than the Hunger Games.
We are introduced to Sia. And she has 15 days left until a cyborg army comes and kills everyone in her sector. Everyone in this sector lives in the same types of houses with the same types of furniture. No one is allowed to be unique and different. The only people in her sector that are not being killed are being taken to the New World. They are being picked because they bring something more into this world than normal people and Sia already knows that here family will not be picked.
I read this book within 24 hours. It was fast paced and gripping. I was shocked at some of the plot twists and the directions they went.
I honestly think this book could have been longer. It could have been a series but in a way I like it as a short book. It is only 250 pages long. If you are looking for a fast dystopian that will engage you this book is for you.
Now like I mentioned before this book does have a few Hunger Games like aspects to it but what I liked the most is one of the characters you meet reminds me of Effie. But this Effie like character goes bad. It kind of makes me image if Effie ever snapped in Mockingjay this would have been her. I couldn't stop laughing at the image,
I really loved this book. Now I took off .5 stars on it because I felt like there was some repeating paragraphs throughout the book but other than that it was a awesome adventure and I really wish/hope there will be another book like this by Kate Ormand!
This is very much a plot driven, edge of your seat kind of story - but, even so, the characters are beautifully developed - none are wasted - all play a role in either progressing the storyline or tugging at your heartstrings. I was particularly a fan of the main character Sia's best friend - while we didn't see much of her in the story, her existence perfectly communicated the divisive nature of the government's methods of handpicking families to escape a scheduled extermination of their sector.
The extermination itself is something quite horrific - a fifteen day countdown until the population is massacred to alleviate economic pressure on the government. And, yet, the narrative is not single-mindedly heading for a hero-saves-the-day ending as is often the case with this genre. In fact, Sia is initially focused on her own short and very sweet bucket list (which includes a first kiss!), having tragically accepted her fate.
This novel is getting some great reviews for good reason. Dark Days is a wonderful blend of The Hunger Games, Divergent and something wholly unique, with a writing style reminiscent of Cormack McCarthy (think The Road). I highly recommend it to anyone seeking an entertaining and quality young adult read.
I really liked the premise of this book. I’ve read books where authors have set a time limit on their plot line; some pull this off really well and some not so much. Ms. Ormand does a good job of pulling it off. There’s not a lot of back story, because that isn’t what this story is about. The reader is taken on a journey with these characters over those 15 days. How do they cope with the knowledge? Do they accept this turn of fate? It was interesting seeing how the inhabitants of the sector took the news, each in their own way. There is tragedy and anger, new friendships and love.
While this story is about the here and now, and the reader is given a great idea about the sector and even a glimpse into the “New World”, I wish that we would have been given a little more history on why the sectors were created. And I really would have liked to have found out exactly who Damien Hoist was and how he came to be in power. He was the leader that hand-picked families from each sector to inhabit the New World. Those who were not chosen were killed by the cyborgs. Not that the story lacks without this information, I guess it would just satisfy my curiosity more than anything.
Sia is a great character. She’s a teenager, so yes, her reactions to some situations might come across as juvenile; but that’s exactly what she is. Her reactions were believable for the most part. Once she comes into her own and realizes that she might not have to accept her fate without a fight, she becomes pretty bad ass. I would have liked to have known a little more about Mace, but again, that is just to satisfy myself. Sia’s dad, while a major player in the later chapters of the book, is absent from the first half. But once we get to know him I like him. He’s willing to do whatever it takes to save Sia and his friends.
Overall, this was a quick, fun read. There were a few holes here and there that I felt that a little more information could have been given. A bit more history on the beginning of the sectors and how Damien Hoist came to be in power. And the ending was a little rushed. This isn’t part of a series (at least not that I know), so the whole story had to be told in this book. It started off strong and sucked me right in, but once I hit the last two chapters I felt like I was being rushed through it all and the awesome attention to detail that was given in the beginning was being left behind. It’s still a good story and if you like dystopian you will enjoy this book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
My only complaint with this book is I felt like the characters weren’t...Read more
A world divided according to sectors, but few are chosen to live in the New World. Sia Morgan got 15 days to live.Read more
Frightening cyborgs? Check.
Ticking clock? (Literally!) Check.
At least one amazing plot twist? Check.