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Friday, May 3, 2013

Review: Forty Days

Title: Forty Days
Author: Stephanie Parent
Series: Neima's Ark (Book #1)
Pages: 128 (ebook)
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: February 10, 2013
Source: From author
Where to Buy: Barnes and Noble Amazon

The entire village knows Neima’s grandfather is a madman. For years the old man has prophesied that a great flood is coming, a flood disastrous enough to blot out the entire earth. He’s even built an enormous ark that he claims will allow his family to survive the deluge. But no one believes the ravings of a lunatic…

…until the rain starts. And doesn’t stop. Soon sixteen-year-old Neima finds her entire world transformed, her life and those of the people she loves in peril. Trapped on the ark with her grandfather Noah, the rest of her family, and a noisy, filthy, and hungry assortment of wild animals, will Neima find a way to survive?

With lions, tigers, and bears oh my, elephants and flamingos too, along with rivalries and betrayals, a mysterious stowaway, and perhaps even an unexpected romance, FORTY DAYS is not your grandfather’s Noah’s Ark story.

FORTY DAYS is approximately 45000 words, the length of a shorter novel, and is the first installment in a two-part epic story. It does contain a cliffhanger ending.

Readers looking for a traditional, religiously oriented version of the Noah’s Ark story should be warned that FORTY DAYS may not appeal to them. The novel will, however, appeal to lovers of apocalyptic fiction, historical fiction, and romance, as well as anyone who’s ever dreamed of having a baby elephant as a pet.

What I Thought:
Can I just say I LOVED this book. I saw the author ask for honest reviews on Twitter and I was intrigued by the novel's premise. To be honest, I was not sure I would enjoy the book. At one point, after having difficulty getting the book on my tablet (all my fault, nothing to do with the book or author), I entertained thoughts of giving up and not reading it. Boy am I glad I didn't do that. I actually ended up reading this entire novel in one sitting late one night even though I was bone tired and needed to get up the next morning.

Neima is the granddaughter of Noah, a firm believer in God in a world where there is no single god. Her and the rest of the family are shamed by Noah's crazy ideas of building an ark and filling it with animals in time for a great storm.

Stephanie Parent does a great job of pointing of things you may have never thought about before reading this book and weaving it interestingly into the story. Like how Noah is most likely going to only bring animals that he knows of from his part of the world. She also clearly did a lot of research into where the Noah's ark story likely happened and around what time period. That helped to make the story even more real to me.

The side characters are all unique and entertaining and I was sad when some of them, of course, died in the flood. There was one or two characters I hoped some how made it on the ark, though I knew how improbable that was.

This book if full of remarkable details and unforgettable characters. My only complaint is that I have to wait till later this summer for the next book in the duology. The book is short and, until I see the length of the next book, I am going to believe that they could have been combined. This is the only reason I am not giving the book a 5/5.

Rating: 4/5

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