Bad luck wind been blowin’ at my back; I was born to bring trouble wherever I’m at. Got the number 13 tattooed on my neck; when the ink starts to itch, then the black will turn to red. Let’s test our luck with Thirteen, by Kelley Armstrong.
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.
What serendipity that I should read this immediately after finishing The Bloodhound Files, because the final entries to the two series stand in stark contrast to one another. Basically, everything Undead to the World did wrong, Thirteen does right. It reads as not just an epic culmination of the series, but a love letter to all that has come before. Nearly every character ever seen shows up to have any last loose ends tied up and to take a bow before exiting. Not only do all the past viewpoint characters get their own small POV section, but a vast number of secondary characters put in appearances as well. There’s even a short story after the end featuring Xavier! I’d forgotten he’d even existed right up to that point, and yet Kelley Armstrong put in the effort to give him one last curtain call so any fans of his would know what he was up to at the time of the finale and how things ended up working out for him. That, my friends, is someone pulling out all the stops to make the conclusion of her series as satisfying as possible.
(Naturally, when I say “nearly every” character shows up, the single character who doesn’t is Zoe Takano; because obviously. Did you think my rants about her in the past four or so reviews were going to culminate in a glorious payoff moment when she finally made a dramatic appearance in this book, thus giving all those non-sequitor portions of those reviews an actual point? Ha! Welcome to disappointment, my friend.)
The plot was good too, of course, delivering on the promise of the heroes having a final showdown against Gilles de Rais; but it was the character focus which really sold it. Sure, not every one of the numerous subplots was strictly necessary to the narrative; but it gave each of the heroines the chance to strut their stuff one final time, and that’s justification enough in my eyes. Stuff I might otherwise complain about as being a meandering diversion or a contrived coincidence, I’ll forgive in this case without a second thought. Did Cassandra need to be in this book? No. But was I happy to see Cassandra, even with the flimsiest of pretenses justifying her appearance? Hell yes.
And so ends or foray into the Otherworld… or does it? Thirteen is the final novel in the Women of the Otherworld series, but not the last book. There are three more short story collections left for me to read.
Final Rating: 4/5