Thursday, October 27, 2011

Review: "The Death Clock" by J. Rock

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"The Death Clock: a Short Story"
by J. Rock

Genre: Urban Fantasy
Reading Grade: Adult (short story)
Publishing Type: self-published
Publication Date: December 23, 2010
Source: Kindle store (freebie)
Age Rating: 15+

Andie didn’t know what to make of the numbers.
She started seeing them when she got on the bus that morning. She didn't know what they meant...until she saw them run out... 

My Review

This is a good really, really short story. It's around 4,000 words long, but despite that, it's still highly entertaining. The concept of a “death clock,” or the ability to see a countdown of numbers displayed over someone's head that indicates their remaining lifespan, is nothing new. I recognized this used in Death Note, one of my favorite manga series, to name one of many other stories in which it can be found.

But, that's not what impresses me about the story. It's more about the amazing plot twist that you will never see coming, and it is a doozy! This is a free ebook, so you'll lose nothing but a few minutes of your time to read it and freak out at the end, trying to wrap your brain around the incredibly ironic ending.

What I don't like is the main character for most of the story. Andie is one of the most non-proactive characters you'll ever read about, but she arguably goes through a little character growth by the end. If you find yourself disliking her, don't worry—that really won't be a problem for you. Trust me on that… Just read it for the fun plot twist at the end.

My score: 4 out of 5 stars.


  1. That is such a scary premise! Glad you enjoyed it. Great review!

  2. @Andrea: Thank you. It sounds much scarier than it really is. It's a good read, though!

  3. I'm a little scared of the non-likeable main character...but this twist you speak of intrigues me. Hmm...

  4. @BJ: It really is not going to be a problem disliking the MC. You'll just have to believe me, and the twist at the end is totally unsuspecting. Really good!

  5. I guess it would be difficult to make a character grow much in as little as 4,000 words. There's been plenty of times where it's taken been half a book to warm up to a character. This one sounds a lot like Deathnote, although I've only seen about 2 episodes :)

  6. @Lan: Yeah, that is hard to do, and I don't think she grows in a very obvious way. She probably doesn't grow at all. It's just arguable based on her actions at the end.

    It's not at all like Death Note, actually. The MC can see when people are going to die, so she tries to come to terms with how to get rid of that ability. That's the gist of it, but it goes in an interesting direction with it.


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