Published 2012 416 pages
Summary (from the book jacket)
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.
Thirteen is the thirteenth book in Kelley Armstrong’s Otherworld series. It is also the final book in this bestselling urban fantasy series.
As a reader it’s always a sad day when you get to the end of a much loved series, after all the seemingly endless exciting adventures it always comes as something of a shock to turn the last page and to be, finally, at the end – without the promise of a future instalment that just needs to be impatiently waited for over the next year. Wanting to hold off the end moment for as long as possible I put off reading Thirteen for several months, even though I purchased the book on release day. However, once I cracked open the covers I wished I hadn’t waited so long – Kelley Armstrong gives her long-running series the perfect send off, an explosive finale that involves just about all of the characters from previous instalments – giving every reader the chance to connect with their favourite characters in this story.
I hate to be master of the obvious but if you haven’t read any of the previous books in this series then this really isn’t the place to start. Whilst the series doesn’t have to be strictly read in order, you’ll want to start somewhere nearer the beginning and you’ll definitely want to have read book 11 (Waking the Witch) and 12 (Spell Bound) since the final 3 books are actually a trilogy within the series.
Events in Thirteen kick-off from the exact moment where Spell Bound finished. Savannah is still the story narrator and is still on the trail of a group of militant supernaturals who want to expose the existence of the Otherworld to humanity (which has been blissfully ignorant of the existence of witches, werewolves, vampires and demons up to this point in time). The Liberation movement’s methods are cruel and bloody, involving experimentation on kidnapped supernaturals with the aim of producing a virus that would turn regular humans into some kind of semi-immortal werewolf/vampire hybrid. They have a plan to infect selected humans in positions of power with the hybrid virus in order to get supernaturals accepted into the human world.
Their plans go awry on several fronts, but the biggest impediment to their success is Savannah – investigating on behalf of the supernatural council. Closing down the liberation movement is no easy task but with the aid of her family and friends Savannah takes a leading role in what has to be the most deadly Otherworld adventure yet.
For the most part Savannah narrates the tale. One of my criticisms of the previous book (Spell Bound) was that Savannah’s youth makes her an angsty narrator, the “will he/won’t he kiss me” internal dialogue getting tedious on occasion. In Thirteen Savannah’s has much less youthful angst, whether this comes from the consummation of her relationship with Adam, or whether this is the result of excessive danger and a near-constant fight for her life leaving her with less time to worry about boys, I’m not sure. But either way it works. In Thirteen Savannah is finally the character that I always suspected she could grow up to be.
Thirteen is a great ending to the Otherworld series. The author handles ending in series the best possible way – there are no prolonged epilogues of happy-ever-after retirements or ecstatic romance – just a feeling that life will go on in the Otherworld, even though we may not be reading about it. A successful fantasy series is a double-edged sword for an author; there are many external pressures to keep it going long after the spark that originally made it great is gone. I’m personally glad that the author decided to end the series on a high, allowing me to say with hand on heart that this is still one of the best urban fantasy series that you can read today – 100% killer, not filler.
Editor’s note: Kelley Armstrong has “Omens” the first part in her new “Cainsville” series scheduled for release in summer 2013. There is also an anthology of Otherworld short stories for 2014.
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As well as excerpts from her published novels Kelley Armstrong has many original short stories and a novella about the characters and creatures from her published books on her website (just follow the Extras link to ‘Online Fiction’.) Visit Kelley’s website.