Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Review: Thirteen by Kelley Armstrong

Author:  Kelley Armstrong
Series:  Women of the Otherworld 13
Publisher:  Plume, August 6, 2013
     First published in Hardcover July 2012
Format:  Mass Market Paperback (Premium), 480 pages
Price:  $9.99 (print)
ISBN: 9780142196748 (print)
Review copy:  Provided by the Publisher

The gripping, epic finale to the bestselling Otherworld series

A war is brewing and the first battle has already been waged. After rescuing her half brother from supernatural medical testing, Savannah Levine—a young witch of remarkable power and a dangerous pedigree—is battered, but still standing. The Supernatural Liberation Movement took him hostage, and they have a maniacal plan to expose the supernatural world to the unknowing.

Savannah is fighting to save her world as witches, werewolves, necromancers, vampires, half-demons, and all the forces of good and evil—including the genetically modified werewolves known as hell hounds—enter the fray. Uniting Savannah with Adam, Elena, Clay, Paige, Lucas, Jaime, Hope, and other denizens of the Otherworld, Thirteen is a thrilling conclusion to this blockbuster series.

Melanie's Thoughts:

I was a late comer to the Otherworld series so I got to enjoy about the first 7-8 books back to back and then had to wait eagerly for each new release. I have to admit that I let the big release of Thirteen pass me by because I refused to pay as much for the e-book as I would for the paperback. The release came and went...as did a whole year before Thirteen came back on my radar. I am glad that I waited to read it. I am sure for most of you that reading reviews about this book are bit old hat by now. I will endeavour to be clever and say something you might not have heard before. Fingers crossed at least.

I am tempted to say that Thirteen starts immediately where Spellbound leaves off but it doesn't. Armstrong decides to takes us back to the beginning....in fact before Bitten with a prologue from Elena's POV. We get another snippet of Elena's life back in Toronto and before the start of the series where she struggles to hide her supernatural side. I thought this was a unique and daring way for Armstrong to remind us where her journey as a writer and our journey as a reader all began. We then slide almost seamlessly back into the action that leaves Savannah and her brother Bryce having just escaped a bomb blast. The story progresses with our favourite band of supernatural heroes fighting to save themselves and all the magically inclined from the nefarious activities of the Supernatural Liberation Movement who want to expose their kind to the public.

Armstrong allows each of her female characters to tell part of the story and we get to hear from Elena, Eve, Jaime, Hope, Page, and Savannah. The majority of the story is told by Savannah and there is a great rounding of her character as she accepts what her powers, friends and family really mean to her. There are some quite touching scenes early on in the story between Eve, Jaime and Savannah that could almost get you reaching for a tissue if there wasn't so much death and mayhem blended in. By allowing for multiple POVs Armstrong demonstrates that she isn't playing favourites and that each of these characters have developed and grown throughout the course of the series. She even mentions in the author's note that some of her die-hard fans complained when she wrote Dime Store Magic because the focus moved away from Elena and Clay towards Paige, the witch. This book was, however, the turning stone for the series as it brought in fans who like other types of supernaturals.  Throughout the series and through Thirteen we get to see what life is like for the whole supernatural community and the threat that the Supernatural Liberation Movement really means to them as a collective.

I am trying very hard not to give anything away by telling what happens. What I can say there are some fantastic surprises in store for Savannah as she battles to save the day. While there is quite a bit of gore and mayhem I still finished the book with a sigh as I waved my favourite characters good-bye feeling satisfied with Armstrong's conclusion to their story. I think this is a series you can quite easily dip in and out of during the early books (before book 9) although you won't have the same satisfied result at the end.  Kudos to Armstrong for finishing the series and not being tempted to keep the spells going.  A great series, a great read and a great author.


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