Thirteen Days to Midnight

Patrick Carman, Author . Little, Brown $16.99 (296p) ISBN 978-0-316-00403-9

In this largely successful contemporary dark fantasy, Carman's first book for YA readers, 15-year-old Jacob Fielding has both a secret power and a guilty secret. He is literally indestructible—nothing can hurt him—but gaining this newfound ability cost the life of his kindly but mysterious foster father. When Jacob discovers that he can share his invulnerability with others, he, his friend Milo, and the school's new girl, Oh, test its limits (in cringe-inducing scenes involving a lighter, a 12-foot fall onto a lamp, and a batting cage) and begin using it to save lives. But they learn that playing God—even with the intent to help—has consequences, and as Oh becomes increasingly obsessed with borrowing Jacob's indestructibility, he realizes the power has a dark will of its own, with “unrelenting claws digging into my bones like a cancer.” The novel occasionally suffers from moments of incoherence and its attempts at moral complexity can seem forced, but it produces serious chills and should appeal to readers who have grown out of Carman's Atherton and Land of Elyon series. Ages 12–up. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 03/15/2010
Release date: 04/01/2010
Genre: Children's
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-0-316-08880-0
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-4561-1457-2
Paperback - 296 pages - 978-0-316-00404-6
Prebound-Glued - 296 pages - 978-0-606-17176-2
Open Ebook - 136 pages - 978-0-316-16761-1
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