ARC Review: Dark Days by Kate Ormand

ARC Review: Dark Days by Kate Ormand
Dark Days
by Kate Ormand

Genres: Dystopia, Young Adult
Publication date: June 3rd, 2014
by Sky Pony Press

Format: eARC


Amazon | Book Depository

The future world has been divided into sectors--each the same as the other. Surrounded by thick steel fences, there is no way in and no way out. Yet a cyborg army penetrates each sector, picking off its citizens one by one, until no one is left. Behind the sectors' thick walls, the citizens wait to die. Few will be chosen to survive what's coming; the rest will be left behind to suffer. A new world has been created, and its rulers are incredibly selective on who will become a citizen. They want only those with important roles in society to help create a more perfect future.

Sixteen-year-old Sia lives in one of the sectors as part of a family that is far too ordinary to be picked to live. According to the digital clock that towers high above her sector, she has only fifteen days to live. Sia has seen the reports and knows a horrific death is in store for her, but she is determined to make the most of her final days. Sia refuses to mourn her short life, instead promising herself that she'll stay strong, despite being suffocated by her depressed mother and her frightened best friend. Just when Sia feels more alone than ever, she meets Mace, a mysterious boy. There is something that draws Sia to him, despite his dangerousness, and together, they join a group of rebels and embark on an epic journey to destroy the new world and its machines, and to put an end to the slaughter of innocent people.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

You know what sucks? When you know the author of a book is a really nice person but you end up absolutely hating the book. I was looking forward to this one, the premise was intriguing and well the cover was amazeballs, so yes, when I dove in, my expectations were high, but when I read the book, they hit rock bottom. This book was awful. It pains me to say that but less than 10% in and I was counting down how much longer it would take me to finish it.

I think one of the biggest drawbacks of this book is its length. The final copy has around 250 pages and well that doesn’t do the book any favors. Everything is crammed into those pages. Events occur one after the other with no real emphasis put on any of them. For example, her mother dies and she cries but thats about all we see in relationship to her mother’s death. Also, I felt no connection with what was going on in the book and the characters did nothing for me.

Sia is one of the worst characters I’ve encountered. She is impulsive and never thinks things through. She never thinks about how her actions would affect people or if her plans would even work out. She is incredibly self-centered in that way and honestly, I think she had everything bad that happened to her coming. I really did not like her character. She was not brave, she was not smart. She was STUPID. She was IMPULSIVE and really, she was a clueless teenager given the situation she was in. She basically goes along with people she just met because she assumes they’ll be safe since they don’t look like they could do her much harm. Honey, did no one teach you that looks can be deceiving? Hell the cover of this pretty book was deceiving.

Mace is just as stupid. He ‘chooses’ Sia because he saw something special in her but is surprised when she doesn’t readily jump at the chance to join a revolution. Yeah, when you pick people of the street without actually getting to know them, you’re probably going to be in for a shit load of disappointment son.

Did I mention Mace’s stalkery habits that are waived off because ‘at least he was being honest’. Yeah no, if a guy is following you around and you aren’t even aware of it, something is absolutely wrong here.

None of the other characters are developed enough for me to even say anything about them. For the most part, they didn’t even register on my radar. I could say that I enjoyed the fact that Sia and her dad shared a good relationship but really I didn’t care. I was completely detached from the book and the characters and just everything.

There are 15 days to live. 15 days until she and everyone else in her sector will be dead and she has already embraced that. Now that isn’t a bad thing, what is a bad thing is how her will to live makes an entrance overnight and that to because of guy she JUST met. I get what the author is trying to do here but because of the length it becomes an issue and it almost seems like the character underwent a personality transplant, and honestly the end result wasn’t someone I could like. It didn’t make Sia a more enjoyable character, if anything, it made her a bigger pain in the ass.

The romance in this book was a nightmare. My insta-love alarms were set off and they were ringing really loudly (ouch). I mean seriously. She started having feelings for him without even having a decent conversation. The two times the conversed before she becomes aware of her feelings, he was basically trying to get her to join a rebellion and she ran/hid away from him EACH TIME. How does she suddenly care for him? At the rate they are going, they’ll probably be married in a couple of days (after the end of the book).

Both the villains and the rebels have no sort of logic to them. The villains are evil for the sake of being evil. When you find out their reasons for doing what they were doing, it just feels so fake. Oh, I am going to only pick the cool humans to hang out with me. Nobody else is worth it. Ugh. I am such a special snowflake. Stop. No seriously. If there was a legit reason as to why they were doing what they were doing, their actions would have been easier to swallow. The rebels were just wannabes. I can see why they feel the need to rebel. Obviously. But there are only 20 rebels in total. And they’re going to have to fight against cyborgs. Pray tell me, how they’re even going to survive. Yeah they mentioned recruiting more people later but uh. No. If they were talking about saving themselves they would have thought things through and would have been more organized but as it is, they’re just a rag tag group of wannabes.

The world building sucks. These citizens were closed inside the walls for some reason and are now going to be killed for another. I have no idea why any of this happened/is happening (well we do know the reason for the latter but as I mentioned earlier, it all felt very fake). This book was a very odd sort of dystopia where I didn’t even understand the basic mechanics of how the government worked. The world building had a lot of potential from what I saw but it needed so much more development.

The plot. No let’s not go there. Everything is so rushed that I can hardly discern the plot from the tangles of everything else. It’s not paced well enough and really, I just didn’t care about what the hell was going on. Hell I was practically rooting for everyone to die instead of getting the happy ending they all desperately yearned for.

The ending is probably the best part about the book, I liked how the author ended the book with an open ending giving us the choice to imagine what would happen afterwards. Not that I actually cared. I was just happy the book was over.

I am sorely disappointed by this book and really it sucks that I didn’t enjoy this more. I really wouldn’t recommend it to anybody unless you’re looking for a quick read to help you catch up on your reading challenge.

The following two tabs change content below.


Rashika is a mysterious creature who likes to hide in the shadows. It's impossible to get to know her but if you must know, she is a huge bookworm. She also happens to have a huge sweet tooth so you can always lure her over the dark side by offering her something sweet (or bribing her with books).


    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published.

    CommentLuv badge

  1. says

    “Yeah, when you pick people of the street without actually getting to know them, you probably going to be in for a shit load of disappointment son” THIS THIS THIS. Haha, you have no idea how loud I laughed when I read that!

    Wow, this book sounds…no words can express my emotions. Sorry you didn’t enjoy it Rashika, the blurb sounded so promising. Alarm bells went off at the mere mention of insta-love as well – Sia sounds like such an idiot. :(
    Joy @ Thoughts By J recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday (#3)My Profile

    • Rashika says

      YAY! I am glad I made you laugh :P

      She was :/ She really really was. Like she has no sense of self preservation and was kind of naive but some of the decisions she made later on.. *shudders*. Wow. I did not see how her plan was even supposed to work. She never even considered what she would do if things didn’t work out :/

  2. says

    Oh, no! This is the worst when you adore the author and dislike the book:( If you can’t connect with the characters, and the world isn’t beyond amazing if that happes, then it’s most likely a DNF or 2 stars max so I get your furstration. I’m sorry you had such tough time with the MC. OH MY GOD. Please don’t do insta love. Just don’t. I’m so tired of that, though since the target group is teens then perhaps that’s the kind of thing they crave? Idk. At the age of 21 I do not appreciate it. A good villain, in my eyes, is a person who has great motive to be evil–power, hurt of one’s family, abuse etc–but it has to be believable and character has to own this role. I’m sorry the villain fell flat for you. Seems like lately your reads have been full of disappointments so I hope you get your groove back soon! Great, thorough review and thanks for explaining your reasons.
    Siiri recently posted…February Wrap Up and GiveawayMy Profile

    • Rashika says

      I wanted to DNF but I decided to stick through because the book wasn’t that long. :/
      I AM TIRED OF INSTA-LOVE TOO! Perhaps it’s the target group but the majority of teenage readers are fed up of that shit too. NONE of us fall in love that quickly. Hell most of us don’t fall in love at that age. PERIOD.
      Personally, I feel like a good villain who feels evil and has good motives. Some might have the motive but they just feel fake and you cannot feel their ‘evil-ness’ rolling off the pages.
      YES! Almost all the books I’ve reviewed in the past two weeks week didn’t have a higher rating than 3.5 :/ (I just read another 3.5 one :P)It just sucks but hey at least I am reading good books that I am not reviewing :P
      Thanks Siiri! :)

    • Rashika says

      The problem with her is she doesn’t even realize she is making them. She just charges head on and is super impulsive. :P
      Thanks Jessica!! :)

  3. says

    Oh I’m so gutted you didn’t enjoy this more! I follow Kate as well as she is a lovely author, but I’m quite wary over this book now; I did intend to read it soon, but maybe I’ll delay it now, I don’t know, the whole Sia and Mace thing is really off putting, oh god. Hey, I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy this more, because you really wanted to, but here’s to the next book! :D
    Amanda @ Book Badger recently posted…2014 Challenges Wrap-Up: FebruaryMy Profile

    • Rashika says

      I KNOW RIGHT? She is such a nice person so it makes me feel really bad. :(

      Insta-love does have the tendency to be off-putting :P It almost always kills a book :P

      Thanks Amanda!! :)

    • Rashika says

      I KNOW! I absolutely hate it when characters don’t think twice before doing something. Perhaps it’s because I actually take a whole lot of time thinking but we’re talking about a life and death situation here, it would be nice if she put a LITTLE effort into thinking.

  4. says

    Its really hard to review a book negatively especially when you like the author personally so thank you for your honestly Rashika!

    I don’t think I will like this one either. I’d have to agree about the character personality transplants, I hate it when they all of a suddent change as a person without proper backing or explanation. And you would change your life choices over a guy?! That you just met?! Who was stalking you? WTF.

    This is one of those times when the book should’ve been longer to actually have proper development in everything.
    Amir recently posted…Amir’s Birthday Giveaway! Win any book you want! (INT)My Profile

    • Rashika says

      *nods head* and then she would suddenly fall in love with said guy under 15 days. That is like 2 weeks. 2 weeks. NO. No one falls in love that quickly and not certainly with a guy they know next to nothing about.
      At this point I wonder if I am ever going to come across a relationship where characters take the time to get to know each other’s quirks and all that jazz.

    • Rashika says

      YAY FOR FROZEN REFERENCE. Well we all know that Kristoff was the best :P

      But yeah. The plot definitely had potential but everything kind of just fell apart in my opinion.

    • Rashika says

      …. but stalkery guys are a good thing, no? Especially ones that just tell you the truth about the fact that they’ve been stalking you.

    • Rashika says

      LOL. Trilogies scare me these days because every stinkin book is being made into one and half of them don’t even have enough substance for a whole trilogy :/
      I just think that had the book been longer, it would have definitely worked in favor for the book.

      Thanks Kimba!

    • Rashika says

      Brainless characters are just hard to relate to you know?
      What with the fact we have brains and they don’t.. it becomes an issue :P

  5. says

    A book that’s so short there’s no time to explain anything? Poorly developed characters? “Romantic” stalking? Insta-love? No world-building?

    Nope…I think you just named all my pet-peeves right there. It’s a shame because this one sounds amazing otherwise! Anyway, thanks for sharing Rashika, and, as always, brilliant review! Hopefully your next review will be better!
    Zoe @ The Infinite To-Read Shelf recently posted…FangirlMy Profile

    • Rashika says

      It does doesn’t it? What with the whole 15 days to live and everything.. and that cover, it demands to be read.

      Thanks Zoe!! :)

  6. says

    “When you know the author of a book is a really nice person but you end up absolutely hating the book.” Yup. SO much suck. I always end up feeling so awful. The characters sound really frustrating, and I hate when books have stalker guys in them. Why do so many people think that’s attractive? Sigh. I’ll be avoiding this one!
    Alise recently posted…Why Do You Review Books?My Profile

    • Rashika says

      I knowww. It makes me feel so guilty because I want to help them but I also have to be honest so yeah :/

      Stalkery guys are attractive because they follow you around. Isn’t it romantic when a guy follows you around without your permission so he can keep an eye out for you?

    • Rashika says

      Well…. if you were into the stalkery types, I am sure he’d be right up your alley ;) :P

      Thanks Mel!! :)

  7. says

    Oh I’m so sorry to see that this book didn’t work out for you Rashika. I had seen a lot of hype surrounding this book early on, but when I saw this book for some reason it didn’t really appeal to me. And from your review it makes me feel a bit better that I wasn’t quick to download a copy. I don’t think I would be able to deal with Sia’s character at all and I can’t stand insta love in books. Thanks for taking one for the team, I don’t know how you slogged your way through! I hope your next read is a lot more enjoyable! :)
    Jasprit recently posted…Review: Fire (Graceling Realm #2) by Kristin CashoreMy Profile

    • Rashika says

      I know a couple of my friends didn’t like this either but yeah there was quite a bit of hype surrounding this earlier on and I really was hoping I would like it because the author is so nice!

      It’s because of my resolution to DNF less this year (completely different from what everyone else wants :P)

      Thanks Jasprit!! :)

  8. says

    Ahh I’m sorry this was so disappointing for you, Rashika! :( I think the author is a very lovely person too – and so I’m hesitant to pick this up now as we usually agree about a lot of things. I can see the romance putting me off, as as you know, I prefer the slow-burn variety, and I’m not sure that Sia’s personality will really work for me either. But I really do hope it’s a better read for me. Thanks for being honest!
    Sam @ Realm of Fiction recently posted…Signed Copy Giveaway: Half Bad by Sally GreenMy Profile

    • Rashika says

      I prefer slow-burn romances too…. and I miss reading them. I wish there were more out there :/

      Thanks Sam! :)

  9. says

    Man, this sounds quite bad. I haven’t heard of this book before, but I don’t think this is the book for me. The main character sounds like a piece of work and I’m not impressed by her love interest either, especially since he’s a bit stalkerish.
    It’s such a shame because the concept is kind of cool. Sorry this didn’t work for you, Rashika. :(
    Great honest review though!
    Nick @ Nick’s Book Blog recently posted…Review : White Hot Kiss by Jennifer L ArmentroutMy Profile

    • Rashika says

      It was quite bad.. I considered giving it a 0.5 but since I did finish it quickly, I figure 1 would be more appropriate.

      Thanks Nick!! :)

  10. says

    I’ve never heard of this book till now, and honestly I don’t think I want to get to know it better. It’s quite saddening that the best part of the book was the cover and the fact the author is an amazing person. I agree, disliking a book from an super nice author is awkward and it just sucks.

    What also sucks is when books try to cram every detail in, when the book is short. It makes things seem really unrealistic and doesn’t allow for you to absorb the emotional impacts an event may have. Sia seems to be the classic clueless teen, which definitely is giving an example of the “teenagers are dumb” stereotype. I’m reading a book currently that features a heroine like Sia, I honestly think I may DNF. Characters whether good or bad definitely affect how I feel about an book. Sia sounds like she’d drive me up the wall. I also dislike when the antagonist in a book have no reason to be evil. Or have some contrived cliche reason. Grrrr.

    Overall this book honestly doesn’t sound like I’d enjoy it in the least. I commend you for finishing the thing! Lovely review, it was very informative.
    Larissa recently posted…Review: Don’t Even Think About It by Sarah MlynowskiMy Profile

    • Rashika says

      Ha but the thing is, she isn’t supposed to be dumb, she is supposed to be a strong female lead… but instead reads more like a wannabe strong female lead. You don’t always need to be a fighter and make rash decisions to be strong, using your head will be enough :P

      Oh the reason was both cliched AND unreal… it was ridiculous :P

      Thanks, Larissa!! :)

  11. says

    Wow less than 10% in? I would have def. DNFed this one. And it completely sucks balls when you don’t love a book of an author you’ve chatted with or adore. It happened to me on a couple of occasions – and one of them they unfollowed me a few weeks after *shrugs*. Oh well. I do appreciate your honesty even if it sucks to write these reviews. I do think there’s a talent to writing shorter books like this. Take Jennifer Brown for instance all of her books are 250-280 pages and they’re incredibly profound, emotional, and with such well developed characters. But usually books in this genre don’t do so well they concentrate on the action and other things suffer. Sia sounds like quite the character, too. O_O Mace sounds like an idiot. And badly written villains make me angry!
    Giselle recently posted…DNF Round-up [2014: Part 1]My Profile

    • Rashika says

      AHHH I wanted to DNF Giselle. SO SO BAD. But I couldn’t. It’s my stupid resolution for the year and it’s KILLING MEEEEE.

      Awww that’s sucks :( That really does. I am sorry about that :/

      I am actually going to read my first Jennifer Brown book (Torn Away) soonish.. and have had my eye on another one (Perfect Escape) for a while now so I really do hope that I really do enjoy her books like you did :)

      It’s harder to write short books in this genre because there is so much going on and so it becomes a nightmare trying to cram that in….

      Mace is just a little shit. I kid you not. Like wow. The girl said no. She doesn’t want to be in your revolution. Back off, son..

      I KNOW. Villains always intrigue me and when they turn out to be pathetic wannabes.. it just pisses me off :/

  12. says

    Wow, it sounds completely awful and that you didn’t enjoy it Rashika! You must have been kicking yourself while you were reading it. I know what you mean about the author being a lovely person and when you read the book you’re sorely disappointed. Kind of makes me guilty for writing the review though, but alas, book reviewing needs to be honest.
    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence recently posted…Stacking the Shelves #22 – FANGIRL Showered in BooksMy Profile

    • Rashika says

      I WAS JEANN. I WAS. I was miserable.

      I don’t want the fact that I admire an author to be affect my review because after all, what I have to say is about the book and not about the author. How I feel about the author cannot (usually) be effected by how I felt about the book.

  13. says

    Yep, I sooooo agree with your review of the book! I gave it 2 stars because by the end of the book I felt more meh than irritated!
    But yeah, the lack of world building was the thing that irritated me the most… ugh!!
    Pili recently posted…Showcase Sunday #36!!My Profile