A Time to Speak – A Review

So you know, I received a free copy of A Time to Speak from the wonderful Nadine Brandes in exchange for my honest review. My review of this book has not been effected in anyway by receiving this copy, nor the numerous plates of cookies offered to me by the author. 

(Nadine, if you’re reading this, a batch of snickerdoodles would make my week go sooo much more smoothly. Just saying.)

“I’ve been robbed of my death. A date was set, a coffin prepared, a grave dug in the earth…”

Parvin Blackwater, A Time to Speak

Parvin Blackwater was dying. Her government issued clock said so. And she was ready.

It was her time to die…but she didn’t.


Nadine Brandes’s new novel, A Time To Speak, delivers an exciting and powerful story, continuing Parvin Blackwater’s harrowing journey which began in A Time To Die, as she fights the tyrannical grip of the USE (United State of the East) and wrestles with God to discover what the rest of her life is supposed to mean.

Much like another “hungry” dystopian heroine (whose name might rhyme with Batniss Beverdean), Parvin Blackwater returns home saddled with a strange mix of unwanted celebrity, PTSD, and new found responsibility. She barely has time to recover from the life shattering events at the end of A Time to Die before she is forced to defy the USE in order to help the ones she loves. And the adventure doesn’t let up until the last page of the book.

A Time to Speak pulls off a rare trick among sequels by holding on to the flavor of the original story while taking the characters in exciting new (and at times very very cold) directions and continual raising the stakes. And it does all this without getting convoluted or bogged down in endless plot lines.

1Where book one saw Parvin accept exile to protect her the life of her brother, book two forces her to accept a Moses-like role of leading her people as the heavy fist of the USE comes down on the citizens of her village.

Book one sent our heroine beyond the protective walls of society into the “wild West”, but this second installment drags her to the High Cities of the East where she comes face to face with the twisted ruling council of the USE.

Where Parvin’s appeals to God in book one where mostly “complaint” prayers as she slogs through the more unpleasant stretches of her journey, book two shows Parvin mature in her faith and grow better at listening for and hearing God’s voice. This is an especially excellent feat because even as a Christian, I tend check out when stories get preachy. But Parvin’s prayers feel real, as does God’s voice when He speaks. Even the timing of when He chooses to speak (or not to) feels very much like my own interactions with the almighty.

And while romance is not a selling point for me, some readers will enjoy seeing Parvin navigate her feelings for a certain tall, dark, and handsome young man. Guys, you needn’t worry. The romance never gets too sappy and it never distracts from any of the action.

In short, if you enjoyed A Time To Die, then you will not be disappointed in the least by the further adventures of Parvin Blackwater and company.

You can learn more about Nadine and her Out of Time series here:

And if you’re looking for great Scifi/Fantasy stories, you need to check out Enclave Publishing. They’ve published Nadine’s books and a bunch of other great series that you’re sure to love.


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