Thirteen – Kelley Armstrong
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 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, for a grand series finale.
Back in 2001 author Kelley Armstrong wrote a story, Bitten, about a tenacious young woman, Elena, who fell in love with the wrong man, Clay, a man who took the whole mysterious and brooding stereotype to an entirely new level. To make matters worse not only was he a brilliant older man with a past, but he was also one of her college professors. A heated forbidden romance ensued, submerging Elena into a world where not everyone was who they seemed, most of all Clay. You see, it turned out that werewolves, those fantastical creatures of books and movie fame, were real. Quite real. And now, thanks to her lover, Elena was one of them.
In the second book of the series, Stolen, Elena discovered that werewolves weren’t the only so-called mythical creatures that actually exist. It seemed that witches, sorcerers, demons and more were real as well and someone out there not only knew about their existence but was collecting them as well, Elena included. Not knowing who to trust but determined to break out of her prison, Elena befriended a dark witch and her 12 year old daughter, Savannah, whom Elena took with her to freedom after the death of her mother during the escape.
Over the course of ten more novels we were introduced to several other characters who also inhabit the “Otherworld”, a world which is every bit as real as our own. In fact, Otherworld creatures are just like us and they are all around us – in coffee shops, at the gas station, in classrooms, the apartment across the hall – interwoven in our lives and we just don’t know it. And that is exactly how the Otherworlders like it. Or is it?
By the time that we get to Thirteen, the final installment of Armstrong’s Otherworld series, it is painfully obvious that not all supernaturals are happy with the age old practice of blending-in. In fact, some are so very far from happy with the status quo that they decide to take matters into their own hands and force a change that impacts not only the Otherworld here on earth, (as well as life as the majority of mankind knows it), but also the very heavens and hell dimensions themselves. And this brings us back to Elena and Savannah, now a grown woman, sworn to fight to protect other supernatural beings from their common enemies and themselves.
The Otherworld series may have begun with Elena but the final three books of the series – Waking the Witch, Spell Bound, and Thirteen – are essentially a mini-series within the main series, and it takes the three of them to really tie all of the characters and plot lines together to wrap up the series as a whole. The trio is really Savannah’s coming-of-age story, allowing fans to see the strong, confident, capable woman that she has become. That being said, I must warn readers that while most books within the series can be enjoyed independently as they employ a variety of narrators and character points of view, Thirteen is not really a title that will be enjoyed to the fullest without at least having read Waking the Witch and Spell Bound first. In fact, Spell Bound and Thirteen are so connected that one seems to be very much an extension of the other.
Fans of the series are really going to enjoy having all of their favourite characters – past and present – come together to fight what will be their most important fight yet. All of our favourite couples are together and old friendships are renewed as Savannah reunites with Elena, Clay, Adam, Jeremy, Jaime, Lucas, Paige, Hope, Karl and more, and yes, there are a few surprises where characters are concerned. Long established rules among the supernatural world are broken or proven false, notorious villains are shown to have another side, relationships evolve, key players are killed, and a very special baby is born. The supernatural shit may be hitting the fan, but life goes on and that just may be the lesson here if there is one – life is what you make it. You can let others control your destiny and call it fate, or you can fight for what you believe in and make life worth living, in spite of what gets tossed your way.
Thirteen is such a fast paced, action packed story that the ending seems almost anti-climactic as Savannah takes stock of where she is now and where her life is heading, but it fits. Life is a series of moments, of events, some more poignant or explosive than others, but it really is a journey, an adventure and Savannah is looking forward to the next chapter and whatever it may bring.
As a bonus for fans of the series Armstrong includes a short story at the end of the book, “From Russia, With Love”, focusing on Elena and Clay, bringing us full circle. She also includes a note ensuring readers that she has a few more stories featuring our favourite characters to share. A series of anthologies is in the works, with the first due to hit shelves in 2014.
August 6, 2012 at 2:44 am