The Starving Bibliophile

Books before food (and any sort of comfortable life).

Seconds Before Sunrise: YA Book Review

Seconds Before SunriseName: Seconds Before Sunrise
Series: The Timely Death Trilogy #2
Author: Shannon A. Thompson
Pages: 277
Published:March 22nd, 2014
Publisher: AEC Stellar Publishing
Format: Paperback, eBook, and Kindle
Rating: 4/5 stars

Summary: Two nightmares. One memory. Eric has weeks before his final battle when he’s in an accident. Forced to face his human side, he knows he can’t survive if he fights alone. But he doesn’t want to surrender, even if he becomes the sacrifice for war. Jessica’s memory isn’t the only thing she’s lost. Her desire to find her parents is gone and so is her confidence. But when fate leaves nightmares behind, she decides to find the boy she sees in them, even if it risks her sanity.

I received a review copy from the author to provide my honest opinion. You can find the review for this book on Goodreads here, and you can find my review on the first novel in The Timely Death Trilogy, Minutes Before Sunset, here. Like my last review, I’ll be breaking down the book into pros, cons, and then my final opinion.

Pros:
1. Pacing- Like the last book, MBS, SBS also has a nice pace to it. Not too fast, not too slow. The beginning started off showing how the characters were dealing with the loss of Jessica’s memory, and then it gradually melted into the turning point of the novel, Eric’s car accident. The beginning caused the turning point, which caused Jessica to develop feelings for Eric again, and so on and so forth. Every part of the novel was purposeful, causing a cause and effect chain reaction. The events happened at a nice speed, and there wasn’t a lot of “filler” pages where the characters were biding their time waiting for something to happen. Although there was a bit more filler in SBS than in MBS, I didn’t find that it was too much.

2. Characters- The characters in this second novel get a lot more well-rounded in their personalities. The reader sees a different side to each one of them, some being positive, some being negative. There’s a lot of tension between everyone, and when that tension explodes it’s written differently for each character. None of them speak, act, or get angry in the same way. Even though the pov switches between Jessica and Eric inconsistently, you always know who’s speaking, which wasn’t always the case in MBS.

3. Plot- I really enjoyed the plot to this novel. The concept behind The Timely Death Trilogy is still something I really love, having never read a book like it before. The plot was exciting, with twists here and there, most of which you couldn’t see coming. The prophetic battle near the end of the book was my favorite part. **Slight spoiler ahead** The fact that the Dark didn’t win immediately was something that I liked. In most books it’s a clear cut winner, but to know that the war isn’t even close to being over means there’ll probably be an even bigger battle in the last book, which I’m really looking forward to. **End of spoiler**

Cons:
Characters- Jessica is only character that I had a problem with, and even though I didn’t grow to hate her, it did make me kind of indifferent towards her because of how she acted in SBS. In MBS, Jessica was confident, if not scared because of her abilities that she knew nothing about, but she showed many times that she could hold her own and stand up for herself. After having her memories taken away, she became the typical YA heroine: whiney, angsty, and in constant need of protection and comfort. Needless to say I liked the old Jessica much, much better. She became very unlikable, and having her as the narrator 60% of the time got old after about halfway through. In MBS I was wanting to hear from her more, and in SBS I was wishing she’d go away. Funny how that happens.

2. Other- I’m not sure that this is technically a con, but it bothered me so I didn’t want to omit it. I admire the author for being able to kill off characters after she took the time to create them, develop them, and then improve on them. I do not, however, think a character’s death should be taken as lightly as it did. After the battle (no spoilers ahead), many characters were killed, as was expected. Not soon after, though, all of the characters who had lived were joking, laughing, and going on as if it had never happened. The death of a very important character was barely even mentioned, even though that character’s death was detrimental in insuring that the Dark didn’t lose the prophetic battle. They were not mourned, there were no tears or sadness, not even in the internal dialogue. It felt very cold for a character that supposedly meant so much to everyone.

Overall Impression: I really did love this book. It was original and fun, yet action packed at the right times. The plot was great, and the characters were believable—I liked them a lot more than most characters in YA books. I think that Shannon A. Thompson still has room for improvement, but she really is doing an excellent job already. If this series is any indication of her writing career as a whole, I’m sure she will have much success. Bring on the next book!

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