Book Review- A Time to Speak by Nadine Brandes

What happens when you live longer than you wanted to? 

Parvin Blackwater wanted to die, but now she’s being called to be a leader. The only problem is, no one wants to follow. 

The Council uses Jude’s Clock-matching invention to force “new-and-improved” Clocks on the public. Those who can’t afford one are packed into boxcars like cattle and used for the Council’s purposes. 

Parvin and Hawke find themselves on a cargo ship of Radicals headed out to sea. What will the Council do to them? And why are people suddenly dying before their Clocks have zeroed-out?


A Time to Speak is the second book in the Out of Time Series by Nadine Brandes. I was extremely honored to receive an advanced copy!

It picks up immediately where book one leaves off. Now Parvin Blackwater is left to lead her people against the Council after what she had thought would be her death day. 

True to her form in book one, Mrs. Brandes kept me guessing in book two, as well. When I thought she would duck, she juked. When I thought she would zig... well, you know. Each page held a reason to turn to the next page, and I found myself breezing through chapter after chapter as I followed Parvin through her latest journey.

Before I began reading book one, A Time to Die, I wondered if I would be able to root for a hero like Parvin Blackwater. I go for the Harrison Ford or Bruce Willis type of heroes. The tough guys who end up beating up the villain and getting the girl. Parvin is weak and quite unsure of herself. I mean, her pastime was sewing! But, after two books, I must say that I'm a Parvin Blackwater fan! Her weakness is what makes the story so gripping. It's what makes me wonder how she will get out of the next predicament. It is real in that we're all just as weak as she is when we face our own version of the Council. Her weakness makes her believable. Her weakness makes God's strength... perfect.


I root for Parvin because I'd be just as lost as she is when she realizes that she's called to lead her people against the USE. Like her, I feel God calling me to do something, but I put up a fight. Like Parvin, I hear Him speaking to me, but I make up excuses for why I'm not ready. Like me, when it's time, she doesn't have a choice. She has faith.

She also has a cast of characters around her that I've really grown to love and it was good to see their development. I feel somewhat connected to Solomon, like maybe he's a future relative. Seriously, he's an Enforcer, I'm a Soldier. He braids hair, I braid hair. He's probably taller than me, but that stuff skips a generation.

As I had hoped, we get to know Parvin's mother a little more. Just a little. She seems to be a tough woman to crack, so I'm sure it will take all of the three-book series to get her figured out. 

We're also introduced to several new characters. With them, Parvin travels to some pretty awesome places that I hope to see more of in book three. Oh, and my new favorite name is "Rufus McTavish"! 

I really enjoyed A Time to Speak. It is hard to compare it to A Time to Die, because they are both so well written and infused with Truth-based messages that I would have a hard time choosing a favorite. I will say that there is no letdown in book two. Mrs. Brandes delivers a powerful follow-up to her award-winning debut novel. One that will leave you with many questions, as she has quite a knack for ending her books in a way that will keep you watching for the sequel. 

A Time to Speak is full of many powerful quotes. I thought I would share the two that impacted me the most:

  • I became someone someone new--someone weak, but wrapped in God's strength.
  • (On God's voice) t's a whisper inside my soul, not an audible voice in my ear.

There are really too many to quote. I found myself rereading several lines throughout the book that really spoke to me. These are just two great examples.

I highly recommend this book for those who like Dystopian fiction or really any Christian fiction fans. It does have a tad bit of violence and blood, but it isn't gruesome and the author doesn't go into detail in these scenes.

About The Author

Nadine Brandes is an adventurer, fusing authentic faith with bold imagination. She never received her Hogwarts letter, but rest assured she’s no Muggle (and would have been in Ravenclaw House, thank you very much.) This Harry Potter super-nerd has been known to eat an entire package of Oreos (family size) by herself, and watches Fiddler on the Roof at least once a year. She writes about brave living, finding purpose, and other worlds soaked in imagination. Her dystopian trilogy (The Out of Time Series) challenged her to pursue shalom, which is now her favorite word (followed closely by bumbershoot.) When Nadine’s not taste-testing a new chai or editing fantasy novels, she and her knight-in-shining armor (nickname: “hubby”) are out pursuing adventures.

You can connect with Nadine on her websiteFacebookTwitterGoodreads, and Pinterest.