by Dakota Umlauf

"The return of the 13th month. Why'd it have to happen in my lifetime?"

It was New Year’s Eve in Manhattan, New York. Although the year should have been ending as the clock struck midnight, a twisted, despairing adventure was just about to begin. As the calendar flipped to the thirteenth month, set in motion was a peculiar chain of events that would change the perception of the world for 12-year-old Tyrone and his best friend and long-time crush, Red.

Tyrone, full of teenage angst, hormones, and a confounding hero complex, saved Red's life not too long before this day in a seemingly unrelated incident, so the pair were no strangers to danger. Today, however, would be unlike anything they or any other human had seen or experienced before. On the thirteenth day of the thirteenth month of the thirteenth year, they would have to battle a population that was increasingly mutating, maneuver a daring escape from a building that was both collapsing and growing simultaneously, and face a discovery that would alter their lives forever.

Filled with mystery, outlandish antics, and a painstakingly hidden family secret, this adventure has it all. Sprinkled on each step of the journey is a colorful cast of characters. Some have an understanding of what the thirteenth day truly means for the world as we know it, and many others are just simply trying to make it through the day alive. With each page loaded with more drama than the last, Umlauf pushes towards the close of this ominous day with wit and playful charm while causing readers to question if society would ever be able to handle this version of reality’s happily ever after.

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