The Last Thirteen #12: 2 by James Phelan
Published by Scholastic Australia
This is the second last book in James Phelan’s action packed series, and the first one I have read. The story is all action adventure with plot twists and cliff-hanger chapter endings – literally! The narration is shared between several characters (3 boys and a girl) and is set internationally – England, Antarctica and Egypt. It’s a race for the 13 dreamers to find a gear (cog) each which will allow them to open the Dream Gate and save the world, before the forces of evil overcome them. For middle readers (girls and boys alike) who like their action turbo-charged, this imaginative series is hard to beat!
From the moment I saw the book, I was taken in by its slick and sophisticated presentation from the cover to the layout inside. Numbers feature prominently – on the glossy cover and inside with big bold chapter numbers and a countdown in the header; the chapters are not too long, divided into even shorter sections by logos of gears, and broken up into short paragraphs; the text is easy to read, interspersed with italics (character’s thoughts) and scattered with pictures. It is visually enticing and not at all dense - making the book easily accessible to its middle reader market and extending its reach to teenagers looking for a lighter read. There is also an invitation to become involved online.
Coming into this series at the end, I found the cast of characters a bit hard to follow, so I would recommend starting with the first book (#13) as presumably the characters are built up over the series and you get more of an idea as to who they are, where they fit and what, exactly, is at stake.
With the last book recently released at the end of 2014, it’s a perfect time to start this series with no agonising wait for the next instalment – they are all complete and lined up on the shelves of your bookshop or local library!
A glossy, turbo charged action adventure series that thrill seekers will find hard to put down.
CKT Book Reviewer
Title: Last Thirteen #12: 2
Author: James Phelan
Publisher: Scholastic Australia
Published: November 2014
ISBN: 9 781742 9 7817421954
Age: 9 +