Two nightmares. One memory.
“Chaos within destiny. It was the definition of our love.”
Eric has weeks before his final battle when he’s in an accident. Forced to face his human side, he knows he can’t survive if he fights alone. But he doesn’t want to surrender, even if he becomes the sacrifice for war.
Jessica’s memory isn’t the only thing she’s lost. Her desire to find her parents is gone and so is her confidence. But when fate leaves nightmares behind, she decides to find the boy she sees in them, even if it risks her sanity.
I was delighted when Shannon Thompson asked me to give an honest review of Seconds Before Sunrise (SBS), the second in her Timely Death Trilogy. I’ve been looking forward to reading it ever since finishing the first in the series, Minutes Before Sunset (MBS), which I reviewed last year.
I figured MBS was a book which my daughter – who’s into the whole vampires/supernatural/teen angst-like things – would enjoy and eventually I persuaded her to read it.
She didn’t just like it: she loved it!
When Shannon asked me for an ‘open and honest review’ for SBS I had to ask permission for my daughter to review it too. I knew I wouldn’t be allowed to read the second installment otherwise and my girl would make my life hell if I tried!
The second book picks up where the first left off. Jessica has no memory of Eric and who they both are. Eric is just weeks away before the prophesied battle with Darthon will take place. Yet, he can’t help but think more about Jessica than his training and Jessica’s memories refuse to remain buried. The pair of them are in danger of undoing everything and destroying the lives of everyone they love…
I managed to finish the book first so it was interesting to chat with my daughter about what she thought was going to happen next as she progressed through the novel. I was amazed how she guessed some things I never saw coming at all but also had wild theories about how the book would end which proved wrong. Overall, neither of us could tell what would happen next and I really have no idea what will happen in the third and final part of the trilogy. I was better at guessing stuff in the Harry Potter franchise if I’m honest!
I enjoyed MBS a great deal and expected to enjoy the second installment but I wasn’t prepared for just how much Shannon Thompson’s writing has improved. This was a book which could so easily have fallen flat. The middle part of trilogies often misses the mark as it just a join between exciting begin and climactic end. Thompson avoids this by having an underlying theme. If MBS is largely about the supernatural realm of the Lights and the Shades, then SBS is about the earthly realm of teenagers.
A great idea but one then that would deal with teenage things – parties, drinking, love, jealousy, rivalry and so on. All this would need good handling of dialogue or it would just be embarrassing to read. Over the last few years I’ve read too many books by older adult authors write cringe-worthy dialogue and I worried that young Thompson (who is only in her early twenties) wouldn’t be up to it.
I shouldn’t have worried.
Shannon Thompson handles the dialogue perfectly and combines pace with character development with skill beyond her years and experience. I desperately tried to find something to criticise throughout the story but simply couldn’t find it. I still have no answers for all the questions I have (like who is Darthon?) and have no idea what will come in the final novel – I didn’t expect this one to end the way it did. I can’t wait to read the next book!
As I wrote in my review for MBS, Seconds Before Sunrise is an ideal book for any teenager in your life who enjoys supernatural plots. It appeals to both male and female (of all ages it seems if my daughter and I are anything to go by) and parents will have little to worry them over appropriateness of content matter. I had no doubt about letting my thirteen-year-old read this book whereas I do worry about the dubious nature of some of the Young Adult books out there. Thompson has crafted a damned good yarn and a compelling series – and with this second book has hooked me for life as an avid fan of her fiction.
If you would like to try Seconds Before Sunrise for yourself, you can read a preview of the first three chapters by clicking this link (it will open a PDF file on another page):
You can buy a full copy on Amazon.com here.
or Amazon.co.uk here.
To buy Minutes Before Sunset, the first book of the series click on the links below:
You can follow Shannon Thompson’s progress on her blog http://shannonathompson.com/