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Everyone in Dahlia’s world knows when they’re going to die. Except her.
Her father has never shown her the pocket watch counting down the days she has left to live. When he sacrifices himself to save her from her scheduled death, Dahlia abandons her comfortable home and sets off after his murderer to uncover the secrets her father died to protect…and the time research that could bring him back to life.
Then she meets Farren Reed. She should hate him. He’s an enemy soldier, a cowardly deserter, and the most insufferable man Dahlia’s ever met. Still, she needs all the help she can get, and Farren is the only chance she has to find the man who murdered her father. But Farren has only twenty-seven days left on his watch.
In that time, Dahlia must recover her father’s time research, foil a psychotic general’s plot, and learn to survive in a world that will never be the same. But the research holds secrets more dangerous than she had ever imagined. She will have to choose what is most important: revenge, Farren’s life, or her own. And time is running out.
This was the first steampunk novel that I have ever read, and I have to say that I really enjoyed it quite a bit. I found the integration of mechanical objects into people’s lives to be a very interesting concept.
At first, this novel reminded me of the movie In Time, where people have a certain amount of time left to live, imprinted on their arm, and time is used as currency. The idea that you are given a watch with the amount of time that you have left to live is absolutely terrifying to me. I mean who wants to live their lives with that information just dangling over their heads? Kind of makes living not really worth it, if you know when exactly you will die.
Dahlia, our protagonist, is a very determined girl. On her 18th birthday, her father gives her access to her watch, only he knows that she will soon die, as the time on her watch is almost out. He sacrifices himself for her by transferring time from his watch to hers through an experimental process, and dies in the process. Dahlia is devastated, and once she learns of her father’s research into resurrection of people whose time has run out, she is determined to bring her father back to life.
It was interesting to see how some of the main characters acted in regards to their watches and knowing just how much time they have left. Farren knows that he has less that a month to live, and isn’t coping well with that information, so he turns to alcohol to numb himself. He is obsessed with the short amount of time he has left, and is constantly checking his with even though he knows exactly what it says. Then you have the bounty hunter couple, Tiberius and Keet, whose attitudes about the time on their watches is completely the opposite. They don’t want to know how much time is left because they want to enjoy every moment they have in the now.
This book was really enjoyable because it made me think about how people—and especially young people—are constantly living their lives waiting for the next big thing to happen. Waiting to go to high school, waiting to turn 18, waiting to graduate high school, waiting to become an adult. As someone who has lived most of my life in constant anticipation of things in the future, I have realized just how important to appreciate the now. Life is too short to just wish it away.
I give 27 Days to Midnight 4/5 stars. You can purchase it from Amazon by clicking on the book’s cover image below: