Thirteen By James Phelan

I click my fingers and everybody dies.

Sam wakes from his nightmare to discover the terrifying reality. It will come true.

Kidnapped from school and finding out his parents aren't who he thinks they are, Sam is suddenly running from danger at every turn. Nothing will ever be the same again.

With his life and identity shattered, Sam's salvation is tied to an ancient prophecy. He is in the final battle to save the world, up against an enemy plotting to destroy us all.

He alone can find the last thirteen.

He stands before Sam in full body armor, the imposing figure that can end the world with a simple click of his fingers. Sam can sense what he wants, he's after the strange crystal in his pocket but Sam won't go down without a fight. As Sam grabs his companion, the world ignites and Sam is... Gone.

Fifteen year old Sam can't remember when he last slept without waking, bolted upright in bed and in a panic. His nightmares seem to have reached a breaking point, and the ominous dream journal he keeps beside his bed isn't helping matters, his parents still insisting he write the particulars down so he can explore them with his psychiatrist. As most of the details are already slipping away, Sam remembers The Last Thirteen. The last thirteen what? But as his parents exchange glances and ask questions about Sam's nightmare, Sam can't help but feel that something in fact is wrong, very wrong.

He doesn't need to wait too long, as military helicopters storm his high school while Sam is distracted during science class with Mister Cole. As the heavily armed soldiers head directly for Sam's classroom, blowing out the windows, Sam can barely hear the warning from Mister Cole to leave, before the teacher throws himself in front of the group of soldiers, clearly intending to escort Sam by Force. But as he's taken, struggling and kicking for freedom, the only hope Sam has is that Mister Cole had promised, We'll find you.

Sam isn't the only one taken, Eva and Alex are also along for the ride. But why? Ava seems to have the answers that neither of the boys have... She dreamed this and knows exactly what is coming next, warning them to brace for impact after being shot down via missile. Before the group of teens can catch their breath, they come into contact with The Academy and Lora, who Sam feels he already knows. The group who dragged each of them from school, is known as The Enterprise, a rival group that wants to exploit the Dreamers talents, but mean them no physical harm. Those that took down the helicopter?Not even The Academy knows who they are. But one things for certain, they clearly aren't big on life preservation.

As the group of teens move into The Academy, it seems that Sam is already somewhat of a celebrity. Their rooms outfitted with all the latest technology and game consoles, their headquarters deep within the Switzerland mountainside. Their families and now long forgotten and previous lives compromised. The Academy nurtures young Dreamers to control and manipulate their pending prophecies. From the moment Sam dreamed of the masked man now known as Solaris, the battle for the ultimate power begun. Sam has cemented his place among a group of thirteen true Dreamers, he represents their last hope for the future.

But for Sam, obtaining the missing piece from the prophecy tablet, finding the Star of Egypt and facing the wrath of Solaris, might just be something that he never saw coming.

Thirteen is a short, sharp read, but highly entertaining. It's a mix of fantasy and mythology that's entwined with a coming of age supernatural. The story surrounds a group of teens known as Dreamers, who can see the future through dreams. The main protagonist is Sam, who is thrust into a supernatural world that has left him wondering who to trust. Before he can find his feet, he's forced into a battle that will potentially end the world. I enjoyed James Phelan's style of writing, it's clean, crisp and to the point. The main characters he's created in Sam, Alex and Eva are what seem to be average teens, plucked from obscurity because their dreams are said to be an insight into the future, and what a frightening world that is.

A somewhat simple likeness to an technologically advanced Harry Potter, leaning towards supernatural science fiction and without the developed characters. Perfect for the ten to fourteen age bracket, who will love being thrust into Sam's dangerous world. A quick read for older young adult enthusiasts who want a break from the usual. The Last Thirteen is a thirteen book series, each culminating towards the one event. I'll be continuing the series.

(The Last Thirteen: Book One)
Written By James Phelan
Published 26 / 08 / 2013
207 Pages
Thank you to Scholastic Australia for the opportunity to read and review.


  1. I've heard about this novel but haven't seen much about it, your review sounds great :) Glad you'll be continuing with the series, Kelly.

    1. Hey Jeann. If you're looking for a quick and entertaining read, Thirteen is it. It's just what I needed before starting Allegiant (considering I've seen the spoilers and needed something light leading into it).

  2. This book sounds so cool, and different, and creepy and interesting. Thanks for putting it on my radar!

    1. It's a nice quick read Sam, and so far removed from the typical YA as well. No messy romance, no love triangles and no plot fillers. It's just direct and an easy read. I found it a breath of fresh air in amongst reading heavy fantasy and dystopian.

  3. This is new to me and yours is the first review I've read. I like the sound of the genre-mix up, so I might seek this out!

    1. Hey and thanks for stopping by. Big fan of the Vegan YA Nerds blog.
      It's great for an in between series, quick read. But it's perfect for it's intended young teen market. I love the idea of all Thirteen novels entwining.


© Diva Booknerd. Design by Fearne.