Title: A Matter of Days
Author: Amber Kizer
Genre: Dystopian, Post-Apocalyptic, YA fiction, Adventure
Premise: The world has ended because of a disease called BluStar. Almost everyone has died. The two main characters Rabbit and Nadia are vaccinated because of their researcher uncle. This book is their story of survival to their grandfather’s mine. It is a simple premise.
Plot: The plot is slow at first. It starts with the siblings leaving home. Honestly, I could care less about that. In the beginning, the characters are a bit…distant. That fades as the story goes on. They trek about in a Jeep before finding a dog which is named Twawki. Or they name it Twawki. They go on more and more. They lose their car. They have to siphon gas from another cars. I actually don’t know how this works… It doesn’t make much sense to me really. They meet the odd guy, who is never given an age, Zack. He is mysterious and tattooed. And pretty street smart. They stay with Zack for a bit because Twawki is sick. And, then, they are plunged back into their quest to find Pappi’s place. And they have to go different places. They go to a mall and find a little girl named Patty. They lose their car. They lose their possessions. More than once really. They meet a whacky lady who seems to be in denial. And, to top it off, they lose Patty. Not that Patty was a great character. She was truly odd. And, of course, Zack the ‘hottie’ is shot. And, to my surprise, I started rooting for Zack and Nadia. Is that a bad thing? I feel like it’s not, but it’s different. Definitely different. We are strung along for a bit more before they end up finding the mine! Huzzah! And then the plot falls into ‘happily ever after’ with boom! Cliffhanger. Of course. Cliffhanger.
Nadia. She is an interesting character. She is not very strong in the strength department. She is no Penryn Young (Susan Ee, if you were wondering.) She is no Darla from ‘Ashfall’. She isn’t very ‘smart’ or ‘strong’. She has her own qualities. She has been vaccinated. She is a bit…sharp-witted at times. I don’t particularly like her. She has to be the ‘mother’ in a way. She has to act older than…fifteen or sixteen. Which is quite young, to me, for a protagonist. I mean…her uncle bought her and her little, eleven-year-old brother a shooting game. Gotta admire the adults of this book! Nadia seems to keep her own secrets. I feel like she’s hiding something. But. She has her good points. She loves her brother and truly cares for Zack. It’s interesting. I actually started rooting for Zack to get with her.
Rabbit. Rabbit is just the adorable little brother type. He is funny and cute. He is someone who is quite outdoors-y smart. He knows things that Nadia doesn’t. He has fond memories of his father. They got to go camping. Father and son bonding time. He acts a bit mature in the beginning, but he slowly thaws. He acts more…tween boy at the end. I don’t mind his character. He brings a bit of humor. Most of the humor is from Zack, though.
Zack. Twenty or maybe less. You actually don’t know his age. Which makes me pout and whine. I like knowing the ages of the characters. Zack is street smart. And has a lot of secrets. Did drugs. Drank. Maybe was a player. You don’t know. He might have had a little sibling. A kid sister maybe. He acts pretty responsible. He learns from his books. And he is a city boy. Which isn’t all bad. I don’t mind the suburban types, but the ones from cities are cool. Cities have secrets, and city characters have secrets. You keep wondering if Zack is hiding something. He seems to be introduced a bit…late on. I expected him earlier. I do like his character. What are his tattoos of? What did he do in ‘before’? Who was he in ‘before’? What does he feel for Nadia? Do they get together?
Problems: This book has a terrible cliffhanger. You are dangling off the edge. Who ends up with who? Does Pappi die? Does Bean die? What happens? Who survives? And I feel like this was intended to be a sequel. Or a trilogy. I feel…dissatisfied. This isn’t the ending I expected. Honestly, I feel a bit saddened by this abrupt ending.
This plot moves too slow in the beginning and too fast in the end. You feel as if it’s boring and dull. I would have put the book down, but I didn’t. It seems to jump into the world during the middle. There are so many things happening. One after another. It’s like everyone is lining up to throw their best at the main characters
Then…we get to the fast days. I don’t mind skips over years in a few pages. But…it doesn’t seem right. Forty or so days passing? I don’t think that’s very fast or slow. But…it just doesn’t seem right. And why day sixty-whatever? Seriously? Random date much?
Good points: This book is pretty interesting. You are kept on your toes after the boring beginning. You get to wonder about Zack once you meet him. You feel like you want the doggy to survive. And you feel for the characters. They all have had hell thrown at them. You feel something for them.
The plot isn’t bad. It’s just…choppy. There are some interesting things. I mean…random birthday. Meeting Zack. Finding Patty. I mean…the Patty parts just are thrown in at random. I feel like they just take up space. They aren’t really needed. Patty isn’t a favorite character. Just a bit on the wimpy side. But I get it. She’s a kid. I feel like the book had potential. The characters were good. This is a book that deserves a sequel. You want to know more. Maybe a prequel about Zack before everything happened. It is something you truly want to know. You don’t feed a reader a character and shove them off a cliff without another word!
The characters are good. The plot is interesting enough. There are rough points, but it’s not bad or anything. This isn’t a bad book. It just didn’t meet my standards.
Recommended: If you like a dystopian read with little romance. If you like books that have more adventure than action or rebellion.