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Saturday, October 26, 2013

Book Review: Forty Nights (Neima's Ark #2)

Release Date: October 9, 2013
Author: Stephanie Parent
Publisher: Self-Published
Length: 94 pages

Neima, her family, and her grandfather Noah have found themselves trapped aboard an ark as a great flood destroys all life in the world. As their time aboard the ark lengthens, food begins to run out, wild animals grow restless, and family tensions become as much of a threat as the flood outside. In the second and final installment of Neima’s Ark, the stakes are higher, the conflicts are greater, and Neima finds herself facing a choice as impossible as the destruction all around her.

Forty Nights is a continuation of the story begun in Forty Days, and it’s recommended that you read Forty Days first for the best experience. Forty Nights does, however, contain a character guide to refresh readers’ memories. The Neima’s Ark series is a historical, feminist reimagining of the story of Noah’s Ark rather than a religiously oriented one, and the novels are best suited for readers who are comfortable with new interpretations of biblical stories.

Forty Days, the first half of Neima's story, is free on all major ebook retailers including Amazon.


Review:

Protagonist: In the last book Neima didn't have much character development, and while there isn't too much in this book either, there's more than the previous installment. In this book Neima begins to stick up for herself and what she believes in, although there was one moment that I wished she would have gathered enough courage to tell off a certain individual close to the end of the book. Like the last installment, the writing was just so good that, when she didn't stand her ground in that moment, I didn't really care all that much. Overall, I really enjoyed Neima in this installment and I could really see development and improvement from the beginning of the series.

Romance: Unlike the previous installment, the romance isn't all pushed to the end of this book, in fact it's there throughout the entire book. While the love triangle between Neima, Jorin, and Kenaan is still there, Kenaan never really stands a chance and so all the romance I talk about is referring to Neima and Jorin's budding romance. I was really impressed with this romance, since we didn't get much of the romance between Jorin and Neima until the end of Forty Days, and with the short length of this installment, I thought the love between these two would grow fast and seem unrealistic or even forced, but I couldn't have been more wrong. The romance is slow and imperfect, but it's realistic and believable. I can honestly say that this love story is one of if not the best one I've read so far.

World-Building: When I began Forty Days, I was unprepared for the twist added the this reinterpretation of Noah's Ark, and to be honest I was fairly turned off in the beginning, but after reading the author's note I started accepting it. So when I began this installment I was completely prepared for what I was in for and it made reading this final chapter a lot more enjoyable. Now as to the actual world-building there isn't much of a world to build when the cast of characters are stuck on an ark in the middle of a flood. That being said there is still a lot that is revealed in this exciting finale.

Predictability: Despite what I said about Forty Days, that due to its size it was hard to bring up foreshadowing that isn't easily figured out in a few pages, Forty Nights, which is ironically shorter, gave some great twists and shocked me a few times. I think this is because the author gave some foreshadowing that had a variety of possible and plausible endings, and due to that there were many times when I thought things might go one way and so when I was so focused on that one thing happening it skewed my perception of how the other foreshadowing may go, leading to a very thrilling read full of some great twists.

Ending: I could just hug this author for ending with an epilogue. I have said many times before that I think a story is only truly complete with an epilogue, a little something that hints at what happens after the end to settle my curiosity, and this epilogue doesn't disappoint. It wraps everything up in a nice little bow and ends on a very happy note. It was everything I could have asked for and more, it was a perfect ending to an imperfectly perfect story.

Rating:


Yeah, this rating truly shocked me as well, I had rather high expectations going into this, despite my rating for the first book, and it just went above and beyond. With an imperfect and realistic love story, some great action sequences, an interesting twist to a classic biblical tale, and not to mention the writing which is so addictive it was very hard to stop reading. I may still think that this story should be sold as one (though it kind of is with Forty Nights FREE on all major ebook retailers including Amazon), it's an amazing story that has captured my heart.

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