Ashling Campbell seems like your average fifteen year old girl, except that she is a dreamwalker. Every night, she dreams about witnessing the public execution of her future self, where black eyed monsters have taken over the town. After breaking her dream catcher, Ash is no longer just a spectator in her dreams, and is able to astral project into the body of her thirty year old self. With the help of her future friends, Ash must find out as much information about the future as possible, and do everything she can in the present day to prevent this future from happening. Every action she takes in the present can have a huge impact on the future, and it's up to Ash to make the right decision and save her future self.
The idea of dream walking was interesting to me. I terrified myself as a child by watching Nightmare on Elm Street, but the idea of dreams having consequences in the real world has always interested me, so I was excited to start reading this book. I find lucid dreaming interesting, so combining this with the Nightmare on Elm Street idea made for an interesting story.
I felt that the characters were somewhat cliché, and could have come straight out of any cheesy teen movie. It was obvious who was meant to be the do no wrong protagonist, the nerdy best friend and the beautiful spoilt girl who we're all meant to hate. I was hoping that the characters would go outside of their comfort zones and break their stereotype, but sadly each character stuck to it for the entire novel. I initially felt that there had to be more to Nadette than being a rich, spoilt brat, but I disliked her more and more as the novel went on, and was surprised by the big reveal of who she was in the future. Although I didn't find the characters from fifteen year old Ash's life very original, I did enjoy the characters from her future, especially her future boyfriend Coop, who continuously risks his life to keep Ash safe. I loved the friendship between Ash and Tate, and was extremely disappointed when Ash started to develop romantic feelings for him. I would love to one day find a YA book where a strong friendship like theirs could remain strictly platonic on both sides.
Although I was initially able to keep up with the plot, I found it got a little confusing when it turned all out inception, and Ash started to have dreams within dreams. The use of italics was a clever way to show the reader when Ash was awake and when she dreamwalking, but I felt that going back to the normal font when she was still inside a dream was confusing, and I found myself wondering if she was awake or dreamwalking.
Figuring something out before the character does always tends to annoy me, and I had figured out who the Jumlin was way in advance of Ash's realization, so having to keep reading until she figured things out was quite tedious. I did enjoy the Jumlin story line however. I'm a huge fan of mythological supernatural creatures, so taking a legend and making it reality is always interesting to me. However, although the majority of the plot didn't surprise me, I was shocked to find out the true identity of Dr Dietz at the end of the novel. Although it was obvious he was not meant to be at the lab, as no one else who worked there knew him, I did not expect.
I overall enjoyed this book and loved the story line. I would love to read the sequel to find out if Ash is able to fix both her present and her future. I recommend it to fans of Supernatural and Doctor Who.
You can purchase 'Fifteen' HERE