Series: The Nightshade Saga #1
Published by Entangled: Teen on October 3rd 2017
Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Science Fiction
FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Today is my stop on the Chapter by Chapter Blog Tour for Tristina Wright’s exciting new novel, 27 Hours. Please check out my review and then be sure to scroll down and enter the giveaway for a 27 Hours Prize Pack. Thanks for stopping by and be sure to check out the other stops on the 27 Hours Blog Tour!
Tristina Wright’s YA science fiction debut, 27 Hours, is a diverse and imaginative, action-packed story that follows four teenagers who are trying to save life as they know it from certain destruction.
The story is set on a distant moon named Sahara, where nights last 27 hours and where three groups of individuals are not-so-peacefully coexisting. First, we have the humans from Earth who, over the course of the past 150 or so years, have traveled to and colonized Sahara. Second, we have the Chimera (or Gargoyles, as the humans refer to them). The Chimera are actually a species indigenous to Sahara, so the human colonists have encroached on their land by settling there. Not only have the colonists taken their land, but they have also deemed the Chimera dangerous monsters and have done everything in their power to eradicate as many as possible and force those that remain underground. Needless to say, tensions between these two groups run high and they battle often.
Lastly, we have another group of humans, the forest rebels, who believe that peaceful coexistence between humans and Chimera is entirely possible. Because they disagree with the colonists’ beliefs about the Chimera, this group chose to abandon the colonies and live on their own in the forest. The colonists consider the forest rebels to be traitors.
While relationships between these groups has never been good, things come to a head when a group of Chimera launch a lethal assault on HUB2, one of the major hubs where the colonists live, leaving behind only one survivor, Rumor Mora. Rumor, who has been fed stories about how monstrous the Chimera are and been trained to fight them all his life, flees to the nearby colony of Epsilon to warn them in case the Chimera expand their attacks out to other colonies.
While at Epsilon, reeling from what has happened, Rumor becomes acquainted with a diverse group of teenagers and together they learn there is more to this Chimera attack than what they have originally been led to believe. Realizing that someone is keeping secrets that could be getting people killed, they decide to strike out on their own to uncover the truth, and in doing so, to hopefully put a stop to the conflict once and for all.
Will they be successful or are they doomed to suffer the same fate as the first hub that was destroyed by the Chimera?
If you think 27 Hours sounds like an intense, action-packed story, you’d be right. I love a story that has lots of great action scenes and this one truly delivers in the action department. It quite literally starts off with a bang when the Chimera attack HUB2, and there is rarely a lull in the action from that moment on.
Wright skillfully weaves plenty of tension and suspense into the story by making it a race against the clock. The humans can only stop the Chimera while they are above ground, and the Chimera only come above ground at night. Once they go back underground, no one knows where the Chimera will next surface so Rumor and his friends must uncover the truth and stop the attacks before the night is over. Since a night on Sahara lasts for 27 hours, that’s their timeline and the clock is already ticking when the novel begins.
In addition to the action and the suspense, I also loved the diversity that is present in this cast of characters. It’s truly the most diverse cast I’ve ever come across. There’s Rumor, who is biracial as well as bisexual; Nyx, who is deaf, pansexual, and Latina; Dahlia, who is black, trans, and bisexual; Jude, who is gay; Braeden, who is asexual; and Yi-Min, who is gender neutral and prefers to go by “they” pronouns.
What was especially fantastic about all of this representation was that it was the norm rather than the exception in the colonies. Instead, being straight and white was the exception. This futuristic society has reached a point where racism and homophobia seem to have disappeared and everyone is accepted for who they are without question. As I was reading, I just really liked Wright’s vision for our society and hope that we’ll continue to strive to get there sooner than 150-200 years from now.
I also liked that 27 Hours explored some big themes as well: prejudice (against other species, in this case), loss and grieving, friendship, love, and, finally, humans vs. monsters and the question of which one of them really is monstrous.
I’m not going to call them dislikes, but I did have a few areas that caused some issues for me while I was reading. I wish these had been clearer or more fleshed out. If they had, this would have definitely been a solid 4 star read for me.
Lack of connection with the main characters. 27 Hours is presented from the perspective of four of the teens who are working together: Rumor, Nyx, Braeden, and Jude. I sympathized with each of these characters because of all they were going through – the confusion, the loss of loved ones, the fight for survival, etc. but I can’t say that I felt like I really connected with any of them. I’m hopeful that will change in future books in the series.
Missing points of view. While I liked seeing the story told from the perspective of each of these teens, I would have also liked getting some chapters from the point of view of one of the Chimera. I just think it would have taken the story to the next level to give them a voice, instead of just hearing their story relayed through Jude, the forest rebel teen.
I also would have liked the worldbuilding to be a little clearer up front. I think by the end of the book I had a clear picture of what life on Sahara was like, but it really did take most of the story for me to put all of the pieces together into a cohesive picture that made sense to me.
Lastly, and if you read my reviews, you probably know what I’m going to talk about next: yep, the romance. Okay, to be fair, I actually liked the pairings that Wright was trying to put forth in this story. Nyx and Dahlia were cute together, as were Rumor and Jude. My issue was the trying to squeeze all of these budding romances into this 27-hour window when they’re supposed to be trying to save human kind. How is there time for the grabbing of butts and the random “I’ll show you something hard” jokes? On more than one occasion, I found myself yelling at them: “Come on, kids! Save the world first, unleash your hormones second!”
While 27 Hours was not a perfect read for me, it was definitely a thrilling one. I loved how unique the story was, as well as the energy of the book, the nonstop action, and the important themes that Wright tackled. I also enjoyed watching these teens come into their own and am ready to get to know them even better in the next book in the series, especially after the ominous cliffhanger ending that Wright leaves her readers with!
Rumor Mora fears two things: hellhounds too strong for him to kill, and failure. Jude Welton has two dreams: for humans to stop killing monsters, and for his strange abilities to vanish.
But in no reality should a boy raised to love monsters fall for a boy raised to kill them.
Nyx Llorca keeps two secrets: the moon speaks to her, and she’s in love with Dahlia, her best friend. Braeden Tennant wants two things: to get out from his mother’s shadow, and to unlearn Epsilon’s darkest secret.
They’ll both have to commit treason to find the truth.
During one twenty-seven-hour night, if they can’t stop the war between the colonies and the monsters from becoming a war of extinction, the things they wish for will never come true, and the things they fear will be all that’s left.
27 Hours is a sweeping, thrilling story featuring a stellar cast of queer teenagers battling to save their homes and possibly every human on Sahara as the clock ticks down to zero.
A 27 Hours Prize Pack, including:
* A 27 Hours Candle
* A set of 27 Hours Character Cards
* AND a copy of an October release *
*Open internationally wherever The Book Depository ships