Eight by James Phelan

July 11, 2014 Reviews 0 ★★★

Eight by James PhelanEight (The Last Thirteen #6) by James Phelan
Published: May 1st 2014 by Scholastic
Format: Paperback, 192 pages
Genres: Science Fiction
Source: Publisher
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3 Stars

Solaris stands facing us, his arm raised, his flame weapon pointed and ready.

Sam's nightmares become more unpredictable, and even more dangerous, as he seeks the next Dreamer. His search takes him to Cuba, where unknown pursuers, long-forgotten treasure and the perils of the ocean await. Meanwhile, Eva and Lora's safety hangs in the balance, and Alex makes a terrifying discovery of his own...

Enemies are closing in on all sides. Can Sam and his friends stay one step ahead and find the next Gear in time? Sam must find the last 13. They alone can save us.

Another quick read from James Phelan, Eight slips back into the formulaic writing of the earlier instalments of the series. Sam’s adventures are getting darker and the world is becoming more dangerous for Dreamers.

This book is mainly set in Cuba, with Sam tracking down and recruiting the next Dreamer, Maria. But it’s not only about Sam (who’s getting decidedly boring and tedious to read about)! We’re also following Eva and Lora, who are being held hostage by Mac, and Alex, who is on his first Dreamer related solo adventure. I found it tremendously more exciting to be with those characters than with Sam, especially the ladies!

One of my favourite things about Eight is that Sam makes conscious decisions to alter the dreams that he and Maria have seen about the discovery of the next Gear. Readers get to see the impact of changing things so that the dreams don’t play out exactly as they would otherwise, but are also introduced to the futility of the exercise: some things are obviously going to happen anyway.

This book was quite predictable and didn’t deviate from the other books: Sam narrowly escapes Solaris, has a dream, follows it to some other country, recruits a Dreamer, finds a Gear, gets stuck in a battle with his enemies in a cliffhanger ending. Although the books are written for younger audiences than myself, I’m finding it hard to believe that even young folk won’t find these books repetitive.

But there is a lot of action and adventure! It’s a heart-stopping ride from the very first page, and I’m sure most readers will be swept along!

Eight has expanded the world of the Dreamers considerably. With each new book there are more secrets to be exposed and the link between the Dreamers, how they were created, and Da Vinci’s machine are becoming clearer.

Although I enjoyed reading Eight, I keep waiting for this series to become something more. I like that the secondary cast are getting expanded roles, because the books are becoming boring with only Sam running around saving everybody.

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