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{June 3, 2014}   {ARC Review} Dark Days by Kate Ormand

Dark DaysFrom Goodreads: 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.

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Imagine knowing the exact day you’re going to die—as if you could forget, the clock tower is counting down the days for you. Imagine knowing a cyborg army is coming to kill you and everyone you love; knowing there is no chance of survival. Welcome to the future, where the select are creating a new world, and you’re not invited. In 15 days, the cyborgs will come, and everyone knows it’ll be a painful death—the 24 hour TV footage of other sectors’ demolishen proves that. You can’t hide; there’s nowhere to go. No one in any sector has survived the cyborgs. No. One.

This is Sia’s reality; thankfully it’s not ours, but Ormand does a great job putting readers right in the thick of the action as Sia lives out her last 15 days, first in fear, then in resignation, and then in determination to fight back. Who has the right to say you’re not worthy to live? According to Sia, nobody.

While the novel starts out believable enough, with Sia’s revelations and resignations, I have to admit that as the action begins to quicken, the believability became a bit disjointed for me. Infiltrating a high security site with little to no incident just didn’t seem real, especially as Sia flys by the seat of her pants, has had no infiltration training, and doesn’t know anything about the people she needs to know about in order to survive in this new world. Her ill-thought-out plan does backfire, but the ease of escape was just too perfect in my mind—not that I’m looking for terrible things to happen to the characters, but it just seemed to me that every time an obstacle came up, it was easily overcome by the characters in one way or another. Of course, this is just a small segment of the overall novel; much more is to come for Sia and the characters after her antics, and the final events and showdowns were, in my opinion, much more up to snuff in terms of believability. So while the novel seems to take a small dive in the midst of it all, by the end I found it to be back on track and intense, and I certainly do not want to switch places with Sia. Three and a half stars.

3.5 stars

Sky Pony Press was extremely gracious in allowing me to read an ARC of this novel, via Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review.

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