Thirteen (Women of the Otherworld)
by Kelley Armstrong
Dutton Adult (Penguin USA)
Release date: July 24, 2012
Review copy received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Plot Description: 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
It’s always a sad thing when an author inevitably ends a popular and well-written series as Kelley Armstrong has done with Thirteen, the last book of the bestselling Women of the Otherworld series of books, but as the old saying goes, all good things must come to an end. Armstrong includes a touching note at the beginning of the book that discusses the series and how much it has come to mean to her before offering fans the prologue of the novel that started it all, Book One in the Women of the Otherworld series, Bitten, told from the point of view of werewolf Elena Michaels.
We’ve come a long way since then, and lived through the books with different protagonists and points of view to arrive at Savannah Levine, daughter of former witch and now ascended Angel Eve Levine. All hell is about to break loose in the world of supernaturals, those in Armstrong’s world who are otherworldly creatures including ghosts, werewolves, demons, witches, and everything in-between, because an immortal nutjob from the fifteenth century, Gilles de Reis, who fought alongside Joan of Arc, is threatening to blur the divide between humans and supernaturals, which will result in a lot of chaos and a no-win scenario for either side. Of course, Gilles is also planning on using the Dark Lord himself, Lucifer, to accomplish these plans, and he has some decidedly underhanded tactics to try to get what he wants, which unfolds in an interesting and exciting way as the novel unfolds.
Continuing from the events of the previous volume, Spellbound, Savannah’s demon grandfather, Balaam, wants her to help out with some more nefarious plans, and the demon father of her love interest and longtime partner, Adam Vasic, wants the same from his offspring, but things aren’t so easy when it comes to Hellish relations. Armstrong couldn’t have picked a better setting with New Orleans to amp up the action and give the novel bonus points for the coolness factor, although there isn’t exactly time for the characters to stroll down the French Quarter and get to immerse themselves in the tastes and sounds of the Crescent City, but they do some city-hopping and end up in Florida at one point, as well.
I remarked in my review of Spellbound that the novel contained shades of the X-Men comic novels and films, and this one has even more of that dynamic, with elements of X-Men: The Last Stand, which contributes to the overall tension and urgency of the book’s events, but the best part of the book had to be the re-appearance of Eve Levine in the flesh. In Haunted, she was my favourite character and although I loved Savannah as a narrator as well, seeing Eve again was a definite highlight. Other fan favourites make cameo appearances, both good guys and bad guys.
One of Armstrong’s strengths, apart from her amazing characterization and attention to detail, is her creativity when it comes to all the different subclasses of demons. As a demon-obsessed reader, I thought it was mighty cool that she gave each subclass a name, different abilities, and interesting points of physical signs.
Thirteen adds up to one heck of a creative, pulse-pounding, page-turning novel that’s the perfect way to cap off a beloved series that Armstrong acknowledges she hasn’t put away forever. There will be future Otherworld stories in upcoming anthologies, and she may decide to add a future installment one day, but for now, I couldn’t think of a better way to end things off. It’s been a bumpy albeit exciting ride, and it’s been one hell of a journey.
There’s also a bonus Elena and Clay story at the back of the book that you should be sure to read.
I’m also absolutely stoked to have the opportunity to meet Ms. Armstrong at next month’s KillerCon 4 Convention in Sin City, Las Vegas, which is going to be tons of fun! They’ve posted a wonderful interview with Kelley, who is a guest of honor at the con, which you can read here.