PUBLISHER: Orbit (UK) | Penguin (USA)
RELEASE DATE: July 2012
FORMAT: Hardback, 444 pages
GENRE: Urban Fantasy
War is coming to the Otherworld. A sinister cult known as The Supernatural Liberation Movement is hell-bent on exposing the truth about supernaturals to the rest of the world. Their violent, ruthless plan has put everyone at risk: from werewolves to vampires, from witches to half-demons. Savannah Levine – fiery and unpredictable – stands at the heart of the maelstrom. There is a new, dark magic inside her, granting her the power to summon spells of terrifying strength. But whether this magic is a gift or a curse, no one knows.
On the eve of battle, all the major players must come together in a last, desperate fight for survival – Elena and Clay; Adam and Savannah; Paige and Lucas; Jeremy and Jaime; Hope, Eve and more…They are fighting for lives. They are fighting for their loved ones. They are fighting for the Otherworld. (Goodreads)
It was with a hint of sadness that I turned the last page of Kelley Armstrong’s 13 as it brings to a close her Women of the Otherworld series. One I have read from the beginning buying each book almost as soon as it was released. 13 is the third book with Savannah as the narrator.
The story takes off where Spell Bound left us, with the supernatural world on the cusp of war. Savannah’s brother gravely injured and a deadly virus about to be unleashed on the world. This book reminded me why I love Armstrong’s writing and why I have loved this series so much. There have been some ups and downs, some books not as good as the others, but straight away I knew this was going to be a good one. It might have had something to do with the arrival of Eve. What can I say about Eve? That woman is wicked in more ways than one.
13 has enabled Savannah to go full circle from the child we met in Stolen to a full grown woman, her relationship with her mother Eve and her love for Adam finally reaching some much anticipated closure in this instalment. I think after so many books of building the romance it would have been nice to see this part of the story expanded a little more, it seemed to be over in the blink of an eye and a touch unsatisfactorily, although it still gave me a happy smile as I have so wanted them to get together.
What becomes apparent as the story unfolds is how many different plot-lines Armstrong has been building throughout the series. So many characters and threads all culminate into this grand finale. There were some characters when I had to give myself as moment as I thought..who? Before I connected the plot and book together rustily in my head.
It plays homage to all of the favourite (female) characters of the series, with each of them getting at least one chapter to narrate from their point of view. I always struggle when the narration switches between first and third person narration and I think it would have been easier if it was all first first, just switching narrator, but it was nice to touchbase with the characters again.
Talking of favourites, I can’t write a review of 13 without taking about Elena. I love the werewolves and the pack, and I love Elena even more. Bitten and Stolen are undoubtedly the best in the series. So I was a bit sad about how little we saw of Elena in this book. Armstrong does warn us in the foreword, but even still.
While some would say it would be fitting to return to Elena for this final story, I’ve always had another plan. Back in Stolen, I introduced a twelve-year-old Savannah, and I dreamed that the series might run long enough for her to become an adult narrator.
There is a short story From Russia With Love tagged on at the end of the book, but why couldn’t this short story be turned into book fourteen the end of the series? I think I may begin a petition! There was a thread with a surprising reintroduction of a character I never expected to see again in 13 that didn’t really get concluded that gives me hope.
This aside, I still did really enjoy this book, Savannah is a great narrator and has grown into a fab heroine, a different person even to the woman she was in Waking the Witch. Her character development something I’ve very much enjoyed witnessing. The plot was virtually non-stop action, with one threat and disaster after another. From bombs, drugs, viruses and rampaging werewolves to demons. A total urban fantasy thrill fest. It was not quite the end to a series I wanted, but it was still a really good one. The ending itself was not quite and ending, but actually more a new beginning which surprisingly I really liked.
13 gives an explosive (literally) end to one of my all time favourite urban fantasy series. I can’t help but be disappointed that a) it’s the end and b) we didn’t see more of Elena. BUT... It was still a really fantastic book. The most action packed so far. If you haven’t picked up this series yet, you really must, it really is one of my favourites.
BOOKS IN SERIES ORDER
3. Dime Store Magic
4. Industrial Magic
7. No Humans Involved
8. Personal Demon
9. Living with the Dead
10. Frostbitten (Carolyn’s Review | Laura’s Review)
11. Waking the Witch
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