Booklist Review Thirteen Days to Midnight

The author of the Land of Elyon series crafts a creepy fantasy-mystery for older readers. Grieving over the sudden death of his well-liked foster parent (and harboring a guilty secret about that), Jacob discovers that his inheritance includes the power of invulnerability. Bemused, he shares his imperviousness to pain or physical damage with his impulsive best friend, Milo, and a beautiful, intense new classmate named Ophelia—and discovers that he can temporarily pass the ability on to them. He quickly comes to regret the sharing, as Ophelia engages in an increasingly dangerous round of tests, stunts, and life-saving rescues. Ominously, the power also begins to feel darker and wilder as it fends off death after death. Carman cranks the suspense up smoothly on the way to a horrifying revelation, a (literally) shocking climax, and a not entirely happy, but at least not tragic, ending. A provocative take on the theme that every superpower comes with a price.

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