Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Holiday Reading Part 2: The Last Thirteen Series (Books 13-10) by James Phelan

This is really the first time I've picked up a YA novel since being of the YA age and it was awesome! (Kinda because the font is so big and I feel boss being able to finish at whole book in 2 days.)

The Last Thirteen isn't super new in it's concept - a kid gets picked up, finds out he is the key to an ancient mystery, has to find other 13 kids, save the world. What I particularly love is it's grounding in the real world. I saw the author James Phelan speak at a writers festival and he was totally devoted to using real world elements in his stories. His background is in Thriller writing and man, can you tell. The first book ends on the most intense cliffhanger that you just HAVE to jump straight into the next book. (I talked to some writerly friends about this and they thought it was cheating and books need to tied up and whole entities - I was like, yeah I get that and maybe one day he will publish the whole thing as an anthology and that will be true, but really I don't mind giving this Aussie writer my money.)

The books vehicle is the dream world. There are two competing organisations that look after the "Dreamers" and that leads to some very interesting relationships. I really like that "the goodies" and "the baddies" are very fluid and you keep questioning whether the protagonist should trust them (yes, I did yell at my book at some parts like, "Noo Sam don't go with him, he's so dodgy, watch out!").

Anyway, "Dreamers" are able to predict the future in their dreams but it doesn't always happen the way it's supposed to. This works really well because the author builds the suspense at the beginning by revealing the dream, then the rest of the book is kinda finding out if it comes true or how events lead up to it. Da Vinci plays a huge role in this but you'll have to read it to find out why.

I'm now up to book 9 and waay ahead of my little brothers. I'm making them catch up before I get to the end. Will he save the world?!?!?!?!

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