by Jonas Lee
Carter Gabel had to overcome a lot in the last year, and time travel as a side effect of his “genetic disease” was only the beginning. He’s lost his mother, reunited with his estranged father, crippled a city and destroyed his school. If he thought he could fade into the sunset, Carter has another thing coming.
A terrorist group known as Pirates has infiltrated his hometown to overthrow the Program designed to monitor those with potentially harmful abilities. Carter is a teenager, but he’s forced back into the mix as his grandson, David, has been put into a coma. He will have to try and stay out of sight as much as possible and work with new Eventuals along the way in order to stop the Pirates from turning Lincoln Square into a ghost town.
First I have to let y’all know that Jonas Lee is one awesome dude! He writes fun, action packed young adult novels and is a co-host for the web series, Cross-country Nerds. Plus he’s an amazingly patient friend who has waited far too long for this review!
A Time to Live is the second novel in The Legend of Carter Gabel series. Be sure to check out my review of the first novel, A Time to Reap, before continuing. Gifted teens Carter and Mo are listed as dead and are in hiding while they wait for the effects of the Pemberton explosion to die down. But, they receive news that their grandson, David, is under a mysterious illness and learn of the destruction caused by a terrorist group known as The Pirates. The dynamic duo are back for a fight!
Jonas Lee is a master of snarky characters! Carter and I could definitely be friends with his sharp whit and love for pop culture. It’s the characters that keep me coming back to these novels. The core characters are well developed and have plenty of flaws melded in with their good points. They are characters you find yourself rooting for and I love the team Carter develops.
The plot is twisted and intricate. We learn more about the Carter’s world and I was happy to finally learn what caused the genetic mutation we see throughout the story. I like that we are introduced to a larger ‘playing field’ in A Time to Live. We went from Carter destroying the Academy to learning about the various resistant movements against the Program. I’m excited to learn even more in the next book!
First person POV is one of my favorite and least favorite aspects of A Time to Live. I love hearing Carter’s inner monologue. He’s hilarious and his observations push the story along. But, first person makes it difficult to provide setting. I wish there was more world building. More descriptions of the technology and environment. More history lessons on Carter’s world. I keep forgetting that A Time to Live is set in the future. Small details, such as the phone watches, are a quick reminder but I’d like to see more. But, Jonas’ writing just keeps getting better and better, so I’m excited to read the next installment!
There is only one thing that irks me about A Time to Live. I am not a fan of how Mo channels important info to Carter while the rest of the group has to stand around and wait. I get their connection but I would be so pissed if I was in the group watching them silently plan. I like their quiet personal convos but not when it deals with big plot points. That’s if for complaints.
I definitely recommend this series! It’s fun, snarky, and different…all good points in my opinion! Plus, take some time to check out all of Jonas’ other activities!