Saturday, August 4, 2012

THIRTEEN by Kelley Armstrong

Kelley Armstrong

Rating: A+
Synopsis from
The #1 New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong delivers the novel her fans have been clamoring for: The epic finale of the Otherworld series.
It’s been more than ten years, a dozen installments, and hundreds of thousands of copies since Kelley Armstrong introduced readers to the all-too-real denizens of the Otherworld: witches, werewolves, necromancers, vampires, and half-demons, among others. And it’s all been leading to Thirteen, the final installment, the novel that brings all of these stories to a stunning conclusion.

A war is brewing—the first battle has been waged and Savannah Levine is left standing, albeit battered and bruised. She has rescued her half brother from supernatural medical testing, but he’s fighting to stay alive. The Supernatural Liberation Movement took him hostage, and they have a maniacal plan to expose the supernatural world to the unknowing.

Savannah has called upon her inner energy to summon spells with frightening strength, a strength she never knew she had, as she fights to keep her world from shattering. But it’s more than a matter of supernaturals against one another—both heaven and hell have entered the war; hellhounds, genetically modified werewolves, and all forces of good and evil have joined the fray.

Uniting Savannah with Adam, Paige, Lucas, Jaime, Hope, and other lost-but-notforgotten characters in one epic battle, Thirteen is a grand, crowd-pleasing closer for Armstrong’s legions of fans.

My thoughts on the book:
Thirteen was the best series finale I've ever read, I do believe. Armstrong brought back all of our favorites in this epic ending, and we got to see how each narrator's story ended. Everyone got a turn, and I really enjoyed that. While this book was all about Savannah's final journey, Armstrong included a very short epilogue of sorts letting us know how things wrapped up for Elena and Clay as well. She wanted things to come full circle, and I'm glad she handled things that way. I enjoyed the last story being about Savannah, but I liked the very, very end being about Elena and Clay. This ending was perfect, in my opinion, and while I was sad that the series was over, I ended the book feeling happy. Armstrong really couldn't have written a better ending to this series.

The narration was different from previous Otherworld books. Savannah told most of the story in first person narration, but randomly, one of the narrators of previous books got to tell their story. However, the other narrators were in third person limited POVs. Still, the narrators reflected on their lives so that we could also reflect on the character growth of all of the narrators over this series. Each narrator got a turn: Jamie, Elena, Paige, Hope, and Eve. The switch in narrators didn't bother me, and I enjoyed remembering each character's individual journey. I loved all of the narrators (other than Hope) in the series, and I was glad to see how they each came into their own. Savannah's character development was fantastic over the arc of the past three novels, and I am very happy with how she turned out. Cassandra really surprised me at the end, and I grew to respect her more as a character as well. I was left with good feelings about everyone in the series.

There was nonstop action and adventure, though there was really no mystery. By this point in the story, we knew who all of the bad guys were. People surprised the characters, betrayed them, etc., but I always saw it coming beforehand. Anytime something seemed to work out in a character's favor, I knew that it was too simple and things would fall apart shortly. That always happened. Armstrong really tested her characters up until the very end. There was no tranquil ending for the women of the Otherworld, and I'm sure they wouldn't want one. 

The pacing was spot on, and even though I purposefully dragged this book out, I was never bored. I just didn't want the series to end, so I read a little tiny bit at a time over a few days to ensure I made the series last as long as possible. I know, it's silly, but that's what I did anyway. The ending tied everything up nicely, and I truly feel that every question that's ever been raised in the series has been answered. I'm content with how everyone's story ended. The ending was open, however. There is the possibility of Armstrong writing another book if she wants because it's clear that the adventures are far from over, but I feel that the story arc itself has ended. Things were tied up nicely, and if there isn't another Otherworld book written ever, then I'd be perfectly happy with how things ended. 

I really do not want to spoil this book for anyone, so I am going to end this review here. The Otherworld series has been my favorite series for years, and will probably continue to be my favorite series for the rest of my life. Every single book grabbed me, and this last one was no different. I'd recommend this book to everyone who's ever read the series. If you haven't read the series, go buy Bitten right now! 

Well done, Kelley, well done. 

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