13 (Women of the Otherworld) by Kelley Armstrong

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13 (Women of the Otherworld) by Kelley Armstrong

Category: Fantasy
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Jill Murphy
Reviewed by Jill Murphy
Summary: Enjoyable and satisfying - if a bit too busy - conclusion to the stunningly successful Women of the Otherworld series. Fans will love it but it's a book for them, not for the plot or the character development.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 480 Date: July 2012
Publisher: Orbit
ISBN: 1841498033

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13 picks up where Spell Bound left off. A terrorist group is still trying to expose the supernaturals and create a new world order. Our heroes, from among the ranks of the werewolves, the witches, the half-demons, the vampires, the necromancers and the sorcerer cabals, are trying to stop them. Savannah takes centre stage and the majority of the narration. Her spells are still on the fritz but she thinks she knows why and she survived the explosion.

There's no time to lose. Gilles de Rais, or whatever he's calling himself in the twenty first century, is moving fast. It's going to take all our favourite characters to stop him. If they fail, the world will fall to chaos. It's a huge task and the cabals and the Council will chase the terrorists right across North America before the final confrontation. So much so, that it's often hard to keep up with the action, let alone the dozens of plot threads Armstrong is trying to weave into this, the final Otherworld novel.

All in all, 13 is a bit of a mishmash and I'm struggling to give it an accurate star rating. In terms of a finale for fans, there is something for everyone. Favourites aren't forgotten and their stories get some closure. The overall climactic arc is resolved. Although Savannah narrates most of the book, the other women get a chapter. That's got to be worth four stars in a series sense, right?

On the other hand, the plot is so busy as to feel rushed and the overall effect is that of a continuation of Spell Bound rather than a novel in its own right. The structure is messy, with a repeat of the opening chapters of Bitten, followed by the novel itself, followed by a note from Kelley dropping a heavy hint that she'll return to the Otherworld at some point, followed by a short story about the werewolves - and the short story reads as though it was supposed to get fitted in to 13 but even Armstrong didn't have the chutzpah to muddy its plot even more. Hmm. In terms of being a "good book", 13 is not that great. Three stars at best.

I doubt anyone who reads it will worry too much about my carping - by the time they've made it to the thirteenth instalment of this stonking urban fantasy series, they'll just be happy that Armstrong wrote it.

See you soon, Otherworld. Don't leave it too long, Kelley!

It's finished. Over. Well, almost. As we noted, Kelley is more than hinting that there will be more Otherworld stories to come. If you really can't wait, though, you could always look at her YA series, set in the same universe. It begins with The Summoning.

Buy 13 (Women of the Otherworld) by Kelley Armstrong at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy 13 (Women of the Otherworld) by Kelley Armstrong at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy 13 (Women of the Otherworld) by Kelley Armstrong at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy 13 (Women of the Otherworld) by Kelley Armstrong at Amazon.com.


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