Review: A Time to Die by Nadine Brandes

Exciting news! Nadine is offering a free sample of the first chapter of her debut novel, A Time to Die! Click here to access this special opportunity!

Don’t forget to pre-order A Time to Die before it’s release date on September 23!

A Time to DieAbout the Book

Parvin Blackwater believes she has wasted her life. At only seventeen, she has one year left according to the Clock by her bedside.

In a last-ditch effort to make a difference, she tries to rescue Radicals from the government’s crooked justice system. But when the authorities find out about her illegal activity, they cast her through the Wall — her people’s death sentence. What she finds on the other side about the world, about eternity, and about herself changes Parvin forever and might just save her people.But her Clock is running out.



Tick, tock. Tick, tock. Tick, tock. Clocks are innocuous—on cell phones, on computers, on televisions, on our wrists, in our cars, in our bedrooms and kitchens and offices. We are constantly surrounded by clocks but give little thought to the task these ticking objects perform. Clocks help people function; in fact, without clocks our world would cease to properly move forward. But in Parvin Blackwater’s life, clocks are not so harmless. She and her people live in fright of clocks because these objects that so seamlessly keep our time eventually stop the lives of Parvin’s fellow citizens. In a society that tells her she has only one year left to live, Parvin braves the world around her in her one last chance to make a difference. She has three-hundred sixty-five days left to save her people—her clock will run out unless she finds a way to master defeat.

Nadine Brandes brings a new world to life in A Time to Die. A debut novel from an author who writes anything but like a new writer, Brandes succeeds in creating a world that is so vivid and realistic readers will feel as if their clock, too, is running out of time. As Parvin fights to save the Radicals and understand her place in society and the world around her, readers are transported into the various systems and settings of A Time to Die. From glorious mountains, gray silent town squares, and gorgeous waters, to the economic systems and technological inventions that bring Parvin’s society to life, each placement of these literary tools contribute to A Time to Die’s lifelike story.

Brandes novel is written for the young adult market, but like many young adult novel deals with heavy subjects. In A Time to Die readers are asked to consider how they would spend their time if they had just one year left to live. Parvin Blackwater, the novel’s protagonist, yearns to have a life full of meaning—difficult enough for someone living a full life, let alone for someone with just one year left to live. Adults just as much as young adults and teenagers will appreciate Brandes’ story of life after death, bravery and sacrifice, terror and trust, and purpose and intention.

Brandes deftly weaves into her novel themes of Christian theology and living. A Time to Die focuses largely on these issues—readers who specifically want Christian-themed novels will love the author’s focus on the subject while those readers who shy away from Christian themes may want to consider how heavily the book delves into Christianity. Parvin, for example, begins in the novel as someone unsure of the Christian faith; as time goes on, however, she relies less on herself and more on God. The novel contains Bible verses, and God frequently speaks to Parvin through the Holy Spirit. Brandes gently teaches readers through Parvin’s journey to trust God with her future that He has a plan for all of us as Parvin begins to understand that while His plan may be different from ours, His intention is always is our best interest.

A Time to Die is recommended for teens and young adults who enjoy dystopian literature; adults who enjoy young adult novels with mature themes; and all readers of Christian fiction.

Rating: 4.5/5

Nadine Brandes - Head ShotAbout the Author

Nadine is a stay-at-home mother and author who writes stories about authentic faith, bold living, and worlds soaked in imagination. She has a Bachelor’s degree in communications disorders and a Master’s degree in speech language pathology and audiology. When she is not writing, she is a freelance editor.  Nadine is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers association, The Christian PEN Network, the Bestseller’s Society, and is the sole reviewer for a Christian book review site geared for teens and young adults. She lives with her husband and children in Idaho.

A Time to Die is her first novel. Visit Nadine at

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