Book Review: Kelley Armstrong’s Thirteen

Posted August 21, 2012 by Kathy Davie in

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Kelley Armstrong’s Thirteen


on July 24, 2012 and has 444 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Thirteenth and almost last in the Women of the Otherworld paranormal romance series revolving around a wide circle of friends. The primary focus is on Savannah, but everyone from the series has a part to play.

This particular collector’s edition includes a short story, From Russia, With Love, which concludes Elena and Jeremiah’s business. In 2012, Thirteen was nominated for the Goodreads Choice for Paranormal Fantasy.

My Take

As much as I hate to see the series end, Armstrong ended this particular series beautifully with a promise of continuing life for most everyone. Armstrong says she has three anthologies planned with one scheduled for publication in 2014. She also says she may come back with a bigger story. When you finish, you’ll realize that Armstrong has left herself all sorts of possibilities.

Nice that Savannah gets to spend some time with her mom. Not quite the quality time she was envisioning, I’m sure. There’s also a bit of a face-to-face for both Sean and Savannah with their dad. It was very clever, really, how Armstrong managed to bring just everyone in to play a part without making it feel desperate or planned.

It’s a fairly powerless Savannah determined to exist without her powers. And we learn the truth of who, how, and why her powers are really gone.

As usual, Armstrong provides plenty of drama and tension in this tale. She’s certainly left us hanging as to the Nast Cabal’s fate! The whole tricked-up trial was simply a travesty! And my only regret is that Balaam didn’t take Josef as well! How very demonic of him!

I will miss these characters. Armstrong created such a lovely cast each with their own quirks and personalities. A series which grew along with its characters and readers. I’ve been reminiscing in my mind about Savannah’s first appearance. Armstrong certainly played the long game as Paige and Lucas and Elena and the Danvers Pack seemed more important at first. It’s been a family for her readers.

The Story

A prologue from Bitten which reminds us of Elena’s introduction to the supernatural life is followed by yet another prologue for Thirteen about Eve and Kristof which introduces us to the coming battles that will entangle Kristof’s sons and their daughter.

It’s battles on both sides of the pale: demons fighting among themselves and the supernaturals with all sorts of different agendas. SLAM is ramping up for their big reveal, but another organization is fighting to prevent it. Both with terrible ideas. A realization that Roni finally comes to in the middle of her operation for SLAM.

Those we love are all at risk, too valuable to all sides and the idiot ideas just bring all sorts of people back including Eve and Kristof who are granted time by the Fates. Even Lucifer’s appearance is demanded wreaking all sorts of havoc on Hope and Karl.

The demons are ignoring the Berithian Treaty. There are infiltrations, betrayals from foe and by family, escapes, and Savannah is on trial for treason against the Nasts even as Jeremy is struggling to help save Bryce’s life.

Hope’s visions are somewhat useful. If only they weren’t in extremely dead languages.

The Characters

Savannah Levine is the daughter of Eve Levine and Kristof Nast. She’s a powerful witch/sorcerer whom her father’s family, mostly, refuses to acknowledge. Adam Vasic is an Exustio half-demon (Asmondai is his father), a council delegate, and protected by the Cortez Cabal; an Adam Savannah grew up with and with whom she fell in love. The two of them work for her foster mother, Paige Winterbourne and her husband Lucas Cortez, in their detective firm. Lucas is also Benicio Cortez‘s heir to the Cortez Cabal. Troy and Griffin are still around playing bodyguard to Benicio; Troy gets assigned to protect Savannah.

Elena Michaels was bitten by Clay Danvers in order to bring her into his life; she’s now the Alpha-elect. Happily mated for a number of years, they have two children, twins: Kate and Logan. Jeremy Danvers is still the Alpha and has mated with Jaime Vegas, a gifted psychic. Malcolm Danvers, Jeremy’s father, is still alive. For now. A very-pregnant Hope (Lucifer is her father) and Karl Marsten are here, helping.

Eve Levine was a powerful dark witch/half Aspicio demon in life and the daughter of a major demon lord, Balaam, who is pro-reveal. Now, she’s a powerful Celestial bounty hunter; Trsiel is her full-blood angel partner in the smiting business. Aaron Darnell is, um, Cassandra‘s boyfriend. They’re both vampires with a valuable contribution to make.

Kristof Nast is also dead, but he still works as a lawyer on the other side. At least, he and Eve are able to be together, part of the time. Sean and Bryce are Savannah’s half-brothers; they both are the only members of her family who do acknowledge their relationship. Sean is the Nast heir and very pro-Savannah while Bryce was injected with something nasty in Spell Bound and is dying. Josef Nast is Kristof’s younger brother and would do anything to discredit Savannah and Sean. Thomas Nast is Kristof and Josef’s father.

Bo Stein is a member of the intra-Cabal security. An organization that’s turned. Aratron is a eudemon, a species of demon said to be impartial observers. He’s taken Savannah’s spells so she will stop relying upon them and learn to fight like a human. Raim is one of Lucifer’s earls and now a prisoner of war with some useful information about Lucifer’s location.

The Supernatural Liberation Movement (SLAM) intends to “reveal the existence of supernaturals to the human world”. It’s led by Giles Reyes, a.k.a., Gilles de Rais, who claims to be a fifteenth-century nobleman who has found the gift of immortality. Yeah, just don’t look too closely as to how he found that gift! Sierra and Severin are a sister-brother pair of Ice half-demons helping him on behalf of Balaam. They had kidnapped Savannah for Balaam, her grandfather, in Spell Bound. Veronica “Roni” Tucker, the witch hunter, has a sudden change of heart when she sees the truth. Gordon Scott is an officious, egotistical necromancer with a thing for young women whom Giles needs to capture Lucifer’s attention. Which is where Jasper Haig who killed two of Benicio’s sons and is currently imprisoned by the Cortezes will play a pivotal role in this tale. Anything for the love of his life.

Officer Jackie Medina is working two sides; Holland is her partner. Toby White is an Aduro half-demon with some unfinished business with Eve. Shawn Roberts was a sorcerer in competition with Toby. Amanda Griffin is a high-class hooker catering to the supernatural set. Naturally, she’s involved with a supernatural organization as well. Only this one is anti-SLAM and against coming out, but their idea for “explaining” this is god-awful stupid.

The Cover and Title

The cover is a brilliant green radiating out in a circle to
the black of the bare branches of a forest and the silhouettes of three people who almost blend in with the tree trunks that surround them. A brilliant, spell-inlaid silver ten-point star surrounds a faceted amethyst, itself encircled by a thin border of emeralds. The color used for the title picks up the purple.

The title is a bit spooky. Thirteen is generally viewed as an unlucky number. How very…superstitious…