Review: James Phelan – The Last Thirteen #1

The Last Thirteen #1
James Phelan
Sam has had horrific nightmares almost every night since his best friend was killed. When odd things happen to his school day and he is whisked away two different warring groups (with a third trying to kill him) he doesn’t know which way to turn. With dreams getting more confusing, it’s hard to know who to trust.
13568345I’ll start off by saying that this is an action packed novel, story-focussed and story-driven. Although you might feel a little sympathy for Sam, who is the focalising character, other times you will feel like there is no depth of character and instead will be caught up in the whirlwind of exciting action.
I found it difficult to put the novel down, and devoured it in very short order. It feels like there is a lot of back story which should be in the others of this series – particularly regarding Alex. Action, action, action. With a bit more action thrown in.
I only wish there was more about the actual abilities of the current Dreamers. Eva in particular intrigued me, and I would have liked to see a bit of things through her eyes. Who knows, I might get that in the next novel!
Unbelievably enough, this book is the first in a series of 13! From the set of release dates in the back of my novel, they look like they will be released every 1-2 months for the next 2 years. Considering how much I think teens would enjoy this novel, and the suspense of the end of the first novel, it looks like a fine marketing technique that is going to keep readers engaged.
It’s fortunate that there are going to be a lot of books, because this one took me less than 2 hours to read. I’m not exactly it’s target audience though, so I’m not disappointed in that. It’s a bite-sized spy/genius/warfare novel that’s going to get your non-reader interested in reading again. If you’re not sure, to me it seemed similar to Robert Muchamore’s Cherub series.
I received this novel directly from Scholastic as an Advance Reader copy. This has in no way influenced my review – I genuinely enjoyed this book, and think it will be a hit with teenagers.
This novel will be released in September 2013 – get on it in time for Christmas! As yet, I can’t see a link on Amazon for it, although you will find it on Dymock’s website at least.

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