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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

[Review] Thirteen by Kelley Armstrong


Title: Thirteen (13)
Series: Women of the Otherworld (Book 13)
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Genre: Adult, fantasy, angels, demons, werewolves, vampires, etc.
Format: Hardcover, 444 pages
Publication Date: July 24, 2012
Published By: Random House Canada
Source: Received from publisher

Synopsis from Goodreads

The exciting, page-turning LAST episode of Kelley Armstrong's acclaimed, bestselling Women of the Otherworld series!

Savannah Levine, a young witch of remarkable power and a dangerous pedigree, staggers away from a bomb blast in New Orleans, glad that she's managed to rescue her half-brother Bryce from the supernatural revolutionaries who'd held him captive. But everyone and everything she holds dear is still at risk. The reveal movement has shaken the Otherworld to its core and the resulting chaos has thinned the boundaries between dimensions, allowing creatures of the deeper realms to break through and wreak havoc on supernaturals but also on innocent humans.

Although she's been temporarily stripped her of her powers, Savannah knows she has a crucial part to play in this war of survival. In fact the fate of her loved ones--of Adam, the friend she hopes will become a lover; of Paige and Lucas, her guardians; of the werewolf Pack and Jaime Vegas; of a pregnant Hope; of her brothers Sean and Bryce--and of the human world rests on her shoulders. If she can find the way and the will to defend them.

Only in the final battle will Savannah find out her true capacities, and what love will drive her to do. In 13, Kelley Armstrong brings her powerful and unique saga to a deeply satisfying end: thrilling, surprising and harrowing.


My Thoughts

This is going to be a tough review for me to write. I have been reading this series since the first book, Bitten, was published in 2001. I was immediately drawn in by Kelley Armstrong's strong writing and unique voice, specifically how it related to shifters and the whole shifting process. I have always been very fond of strong female writers in the horror industry, and specifically it they are Canadian. Kelley Armstrong not only fit this bill, but she also lived in Toronto, which was almost like being my neighbor at that time (I lived in Hamilton). I felt an immediate kindred with her before even reading her books, but her writing hooked me from the first page.
My skin stretches. The sensation deepens and I try to block the pain. Pain. What a trivial word - agony is better. One doesn't call the sensation of being flayed alive "painful".
...and that's just a taste of her descriptive and engaging writing style.

The physical appeal of this new release is amazing! The cover is a stunning black and red artistic offering with a vellum type dust jacket overlay that I couldn't keep myself from stoking continuously once it was finally in my eager hands.

I have to be honest, when I first started reading 13 I was highly disappointed...it was clear very early on (from comments direct from the author) that 13 would not be told from Elena's point of view. I was really hoping the story would return to Elena, obviously so were many others. I thought for sure I was going to hate this final book and that the whole series was going to be ruined for me. I am one of "those fans" who was annoyed early on by the swapping of character viewpoints in books 3 and 4 and so on. It took me a long time to get to know these new characters and enjoy their stories, but eventually I got used to the way it was going and I think in the future a re-read of the series will help me enjoy everything in a more fulfilling way.

But I digress...

Upon seeing Savannah was going to be the star narrator I almost didn't read the book. Of all the characters I have had a hard time getting to know Savannah. To be fair...I haven't read the last 2 books in the series because they were Savannah books. I am going to have to rectify that soon.

13 is a FABULOUS ending to this wonderful series that has been such a big part of my life for just over a decade. Even though Savannah was the main narrator in the book, almost every important character (in my opinion) made some kind of appearance, and it was more than enough to keep me happy. And I actually enjoyed reading from Savannah's perspective. It is abundantly clear that she has grown and matured and takes things much more seriously than she did when she first appeared on the scene. And in usual Kelley Armstrong fashion, this book is a complete treat to read as her writing style is just as descriptive (maybe too descriptive) and witty as ever.

It was a little overwhelming in spots, so much going on, so many characters, I sometimes felt a little lost...but i guess that is to be expected when you are trying to tie all things together.

It's been a while since I read some of Kelley's adult fiction, so I forgot how brutal and gory her scenes came sometimes be. It was shocking at first, but then I started to remember how it often goes, and as is common in final installments, blood has to be spilled, and people need to die. It's just how it goes.

If you haven't read Kelley's Women of the Otherworld books yet your are truly missing out. I suggest you dig in now, and if you do, let me know. I would love a re-reading buddy! 

Check out this informative link on reading order.

My rating?

4 comments:

  1. I agree - so much going on, but I love that she keeps the roller-coaster action pace and energy going so strongly. Loved the ending of this, but like you, I was sad to see it end.

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    1. So so sad...I wonder what is next in store for Kelley Armstrong. I hope there will be another more adult themed series. I haven't tried her Nadia series yet...just didn't grab me. Thanks for stopping by and reading my review Jenn!

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  2. Sorry you were disappointed with narrator, but that you ended up being happy with ending of series.
    Thanks for review,
    Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog

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    Replies
    1. I was only disappointed briefly. Savannah quickly grew on me. Of course having Adam along for the ride helped quite a bit, and the interaction with Eve. Thanks for stopping by to read my review and hope you get a chance to enjoy it as well!

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