Thursday, January 1, 2015

Special Report: 'Fifteen'

Special Report

Fifteen, by Jen Estes

Genre: Contemporary Fantasy, Paranormal, Science Fiction, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult

Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press

Date of Release: January 15, 2015

Cover Artist: Conzpiracy Digital Arts

Legend has it if you die in your dreams, you die in real life. Fifteen-year-old Ashling Campbell knows that’s not true because when she closes her eyes each night, she doesn’t dream about public nudity or Prom dates. Instead, she’s catapulted to the front row of her future self’s execution - fifteen years from now - where monsters have taken control of her hometown and she, or rather, her 30-year-old counterpart, is their public enemy number one.

For three months and counting, it’s been the same dream… until an encounter with an antique dreamcatcher. Ash falls asleep to discover she’s no longer a mere spectator in these dreams - now she’s astral-projecting into the body of her future self. Each night, she goes on the run with a ragtag group of rebels - who have no idea she’s really a high school sophomore and not their noble warrior. She has to make it through each night so that she can wake up and find a way to change the future. For every action she does in the present day, she falls asleep to discover it had an equal impact fifteen years later. It’s up to her to manage her two worlds and make sure she’s still got a place in both.

This book was surprisingly okay. I looked at the first chapter or so and got simply annoyed. 
I like the action. Wow. There were a bunch of chase scenes. I liked those. They were fun to read. Fast paced without being too fast. Your heart would race. It seemed odd to have so many chase scenes. The characters didn't really fight back. They typically ran away. With guns. I don't think that counts for action. But still. The scenes when they did were pretty good. I liked those.
And the supernatural thing. The Lakota legend. The dream walking. They were intriguing. Wow. I liked this. I haven't read stories like this before. Real-life legends becoming true? No. I don't think I've read something like that before. Gods and goddesses reincarnated. Demigods. But not this. I think this is interesting. How the fantastical elements are weaved into the realistic ones. Man. That's amazing. It was seamless. I like the dreams. The future and the present that are limited by how long you're in REM sleep. The physical world breaking through the supernatural one. 
The cliffhanger! I think the cliffhanger makes you really want to continue the series. I want to know more. Who dream walked? Why? When? Where? The questions buzz through my head. The cliffhanger made me excited. Not feel like this was a bad thing. I want more. That is good for the author. Sure. It's a great cliffhanger. But it also makes me hate for the next book. I really can't wait. 
The changes when the characters change the future are amazing. You don't expect them. They seem surprising. Living instead of dying. Being in a normal world compared to running from the jums. The changes seemed drastic. You wouldn't expect what would happen next. Her mom dying. Her aunt dying. These things happen because of what Ash knows. Because of what she learns and does. Ash's choices change the world in the future. And she sees what happens when she changes the future. I like that. Seeing the results of what you did. 
I don't like the romance. We have almost two couples. Old Ash and Coop. And Tate and Young Ash. I honestly like Tate better than Coop. Coop seemed...too cocky. Too annoying. He acted too childish. Even though he's older than Tate. Tate seemed reasonable in the future. Why did he chose Nadette? Nadette is only alluring. And beautiful. That's it. Why did either form? Why? What does Coop see in Future Ash? What? Her looks? Her smarts? We don't see Future Ash. No peek at who she is. We don't get her personality. Is she the same? We know she is still suspicious. But we don't get really anything else. That's another thing. I would like more on Future Ash. That would be good. See how Ash grows and all. 
Or Ash. She annoys me. I really didn't like her. At all. She acts all stereotypical teenage girl-y. I'm not a bit fan of stereotypical teenage girls. I don't need that. I have enough of stereotypical teenage girls already. They obsess over themselves. Groom themselves like dog owners groom dogs. I don't want to read that. It's annoying. At least be tougher. She grows a bit. Not that I really enjoy who she grows into...
Mostly this book impressed me. Ash, though, disappointed me. I do think this is a good book. But it could have been better.

Sunny with a 50% chance of rain

About the Author
Jen Estes is the author of the Cat McDaniel Mystery Series and the forthcoming FIFTEEN (The 

Born and raised in the Midwest, Jen had to choose between staring at corn or reading books. 

Corn husks just didn’t have the appeal of the Baby-Sitters Club, and so a bookworm was born. 

Reading later turned into writing and in 2011, Jen published her first novel. After releasing four 

books in the mystery genre, Jen finally gave in to the literary demands of her inner teenager 

with her YA debut, FIFTEEN (The Dreamwalker Diaries) with Curiosity Quills. Jen lives in 

Illinois with her husband Nathan under the tyranny of their three cats: Wrigley, Ivy and Captain Moo.

She is an active member of the National Writers Union. When she isn’t writing, Jen enjoys sci-fi 

in all its mediums, attempting yoga, using her passport, watching baseball, and reading a good 

book. You can find Jen on the web at, on Tumblr

tweeting under @jenestesdotcom

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