I felt like a young girl who finally received a doll to place in her dollhouse when I discovered the e-novella Twelve by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. The e-novella provided the sense of closure which I had so desperately needed after finishing The Naturals series. Many questions about how the impressionable teens moved forward with the FBI agency and with their personal relationships were answered, and Barnes portrayed great leaps of progress in her writing with this hidden gem. Both Amazon and Barnes & Noble sell this e-novella, so for everyone who owns a Kindle or a Nook—or for anyone who feels comfortable reading on their PC—and has read The Naturals series, I highly recommend Twelve for its sense of closure and the continued excellence in writing.
Twelve – The Summary
Five years have passed since Cassie was forced to kill her mother. While Michael, Sloane, and Dean enroll in the FBI academy, Cassie and Lia stay behind to keep watch over Cassie’s little sister Laurel and to continue to look for new Naturals to join the undercover FBI program. However, Cassie soon receives a call from Director Briggs with orders to help them with a survivor from a former case who plans to jump off the top of a lighthouse. The information from twelve-year-old Mackenzie reveals that the recent teenage suicides may actually be the work of a serial killer.
Cassie, Lia, and Special Agent Celine Delacroix have less than a few hours to solve the case and save Mackenzie. To help their friends in this time of crisis, Sloane and Deane look at the files and try to dive into the mind of the killer while Michael skips FBI training, borrows a jet, and flies over to serve as backup. Cassie soon discovers the last teen in the string of supposed suicides was pushed, and, with the help of Dean, they realize the killer thinks of his deeds as an act of mercy.
One mistake leads Cassie and her friends to corner the wrong individual while the murderer closes in on Mackenzie on top of the lighthouse. This one mistake leads Mackenzie to dance in the middle of a lightning and thunderstorm. And this one mistake finally convinces Cassie to receive the counseling she needs for her trauma from five years prior.
Twelve – The Analysis
Jennifer Lynn Barnes led me on another emotional roller coaster with this e-novella. I was excited to see some of my favorite teens five years into the future. Excitement turned to curiosity as the former survivor who had barely been mentioned before came to serve as a main character. Though I was embarrassed for Cassie’s mistake, and wish I hadn’t felt the embarrassment so strongly, I realize that this emotion came as a result of Barnes’ excellence in writing.
I wish my favorite troublemaker Michael and my favorite liar Lia would solidify their relationship like Cassie and Dean seem to have done, but we can’t all get what we want. I also wish Cassie’s little sister Laurel would learn to overcome the trauma from her first four years. But maybe Barnes knows something about how influential our childhoods can be. Despite all my wishing, I did finally receive the closure I needed in all the relationships, and I received information on what their futures look like in the FBI as well.
I give Twelve a superb rating for its excellence in grabbing and keeping my attention, causing me to feel for the characters, and giving me a happy ending.
I refuse to give this e-novella a perfect score based merely on Barnes’ insistence on adding political correctness to her writings. Otherwise, I have absolutely nothing to complain about. I can finally move on to other books without thinking about the teen prodigies who excel at finding serial killers.