Let me just start off by saying that whatever I say won't do this book justice. So please just go read it yourself!
In the spirit of Harry Potter, Michelle Harrison takes us on a wild ride full of mystery with her unlikely main character Tanya. See, Tanya has a bit of a uncommon condition. She can see fairies. Not cute Tinker Bell fairies but vengeful devious fairies. When the fairies play a trick on Tanya it's the last straw for Tanya's Mom. She sends her away to live with her grandmother. This is a terrible turn of events in Tanya's world but when clues start popping up in a 50 year old mystery Tanya may just get some of her question answered.
I had heard some really great things about this book so when the chance came to read it of course I took it. I was not disappointed! 13 Treasures is full of mystery. There was never a dull moment! When I wasn't reading this, I wanted to be reading this.
All of the characters were very very well written! I loved Tanya. She was mature and confident when other 13 year olds would have run screaming. All the secondary characters were great too. I loved Fabian and his Dad. I Loved the fairies also!
There are tons of books out there about girls who see fairies. This one was no different but somehow it stood out! I really loved it. It read like a movie. I actually see this being made into a movie in the near future. I had a lot of fun reading this and I plan on buying the sequel from Book Depository because there's no way I'm waiting until the American release date!!
on January 7, 2013
A very good book. It's nice to see a different take on fairies or fey :) This is one of those books that keeps you turning the pages to find out what is happening. Very engaging and a must read for those who love fantastical stories of fairies. It has a nice dark edge to it with many secrets to uncover.
on August 11, 2011
I loved 13 Treasures by Michelle Harrison! So much so, that I read it in one day even though it was nearly 400 pages long. If you take nothing else away from this review, please take away that this story is amazing. I loved it, and I can't wait for Sis to venture out of Judy Moody and Junie B Jones so that she can love this one too. Because I know that she will, love it I mean. It's just THAT good.
I've been staring at this page for days. Trying to decide what to say and not say in this review. I want to tell you enough that you WILL pick up this book. Without telling you so much that there is no need to. It's a fine line reviewers walk, and I hate it. Spoilers. To tell or not to tell? As a reader, I hate reading them, so as a book blogger - I hate including them. So here I sit, staring at a blank page, wondering what I can type here to make you pick up this series.
Lets start with the world Michelle Harrison has created. I loved it. So descriptive, and real. I could smell the dusty musk and old cat inside Elvesden Manor. I could feel the damp sticky thickness of the air in Hangman Wood. I didn't even have to close my eyes and try. It just felt that real. I loved, no - I absolutely loved, that the fairies in this story are not the sweet little Tinkerbell fairies. Brian Froud is one of my favorite illustrators, and his faeries are just amazing. Scary, and tricksie, and spiteful, and sarcastic, and... those are the faeries we find in this story. The world was amazing.
I said on Goodreads that I felt like I was reading Spiderwick, but with girls. I loved Spiderwick! Everything was magical and felt real.
For the characters, omgosh.
Tanya, the main character, a little girl who nobody "gets" (because she could see faeries) and because of it keeps getting shuffled around to give her mum a break. I so connected with her, right from page one. Heck, I was HER. No, I don't see faeries. But I was that kid that got shuffled around. That was me. So from page one, I got Tanya, and I cared for her.
Fabian, guh. He totally brought out the 13 year old girl in me. He got on my nerves, made me roll my eyes, and in the end made me cry. Stupid boys. =D
I loved Warwick. A) Warwick is the actor of one of my favorite movie characters of all time! WILLOW anyone?! B) He totally reminded me of my Pepaw. Understated, grunting and growling instead of speaking sentences... LoL. I really liked him, even though I wasn't supposed to. In my head, I totally saw Joaquin Phoenix as Warwick. I know, I know, just hear me out. Not hot sexy, I'd leave my husband for, SIGNS and THE VILLAGE, Joaquin. No, no. Scary, dirty, sad, but underneath we know there is something amazing, I'M A RAPPER, Joaquin. *sigh* yes, even through his nasty phase, I probably would have still left my husband for him. shhhhh... thats just between us though. haha.
Red, omgosh, Red. I loved her. LOVED her. She made me think of the little girl they saved in Aliens. All crazy looking and in the end the smartest one in the bunch and steps up to the plate to save the day. She was just awesome.
And as for the story...
Faeries are tricksie! Bottom line, and I don't want to say much more than that.
Well, that and I loved this book
A fabulous read for middle graders interested in faery tales and fantasy. Not too heavy on either, the mystical history created by Harrison was both realistic and understated. Often times, in my experience, and author gets so drawn into the creation of the other-worldly aspects of this type of story that it can tend to overwhelm. Not so in the case of 13 Treasures. The back story here is light on the faery-land and heavy on the character building. This is not to say that we don't see the world they live in because to some degree we do, just not at the expense of the events of the world that Tanya and her family are a part of.
The story itself was equally interesting. At three-hundred and fifty pages it wasn't short (particularly, I imagine, for some middle grade readers) but at no time did the story lag or become so repetitive in nature that I found myself thinking "man she could have cut out those two chapters". It had a bevy of fantastic characters including the main heroine Tanya. Spunky, defiant and true to herself she was the picture of endurance and patience as she did her best to solve the mystery presented as it unfurled. Furthermore, her foe Morewenna was just the right combination of maniacally evil and manipulative. Using creatures from another realm in consort with magic she plotted against Tanya and her family in a way that wasn't remotely over the top given the subject matter of the story.
To delve deeper into the story and characters would only serve to ruin the fun twists and turns of the story for the reader so I will leave you with this....
This book is bound to keep your middle grader's attention, moreover it's great fun for the young adult reader as well. If you are looking for a good book to segue into the realm of fantasy 13 Treasures would certainly be well worth your attention.
A strong heroine, good supporting characters, a satisfying plot, well crafted atmosphere - this is a fine introduction to fairy fiction. It avoids the cutesy conventions and introduces a fairy world that is harsh and challenging.
Sure, the plot is a bit over the top, and driven by coincidence and conveniently timed discoveries, but that's pretty much to be expected at this reading level. What matters is that the reader can make a connection with Tanya, and then follow along with her adventures, which are surprising and cleverly presented.
So, if you are looking for a well-written younger reader's fairy adventure, this book is well worth considering.
on April 12, 2016
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I was surprised at how well the story was crafted and how easy it was to sympathize with the characters. I will certainly be going on to read the next one in the series.
on July 23, 2012
I really liked the book. fantastic world to delve into! really makes you think you're the main character! lifts you out of your own world. Never want to give too much away, but the 3rd book wraps it up very well. some books leave you wanting for more...this gives just the right amount. A great story. great for pre-teens all the way to adults. I like a good imagination w/in the plot. something you can aspire to..that you'd want to do! A must read for the summer or anytime!! A+
on September 15, 2015
13 Treasures has left me intrigued, more and more so at the end of every chapter! The fairies interest me - why are they evil? why do they pick on Tanya? - and make you question, wonder, and speculate. Tanya's mother was fascinating, too. The writing flows nicely and has a mystical effect. I'm very fascinated with this story and Tanya's world.
Update (finished the book, rated it 2 1/2 stars):
My Thoughts: I'm really disappointed that I didn't enjoy this book more. I wanted to, and I tried really hard to get into the story, but it felt awfully slow. Nothing really happens, minus a few potential outings and small mystery breakthroughs, for the bulk of the story. The writing, overall, was okay, but I found myself skipping over parts. The mystery didn't interest me much, however, I really liked Red and the intrigue surrounding her and her story, but I felt you could have gone farther with her as a character. Morwenna Bloom didn't seem like a mystery that had anything to do with the story and therefore, didn't interest me very much. I might've liked this book a lot more if the synopsis advertised the possible murder of a girl and the mystery behind her. HOWEVER, I still enjoyed some aspects of this book. I liked the idea of changelings, and that only a few people had the second-sight. Raven kept me on the edge of my seat and the mystery surrounding the missing baby was fascinating, too. I really enjoyed seeing Tanya's character developement throughout the story, too (forgive any spelling mistakes). Overall, I think a lot of people could definitely really like this book, but it wasn't for me.
on November 8, 2010
I adore this cover as it's what drew me to the book before I knew what it was about. 13 Treasures isn't about the Tinkerbell type faeries, these are the traditional faeries who can't be trusted, can be ruthless and continue their relentless torment on young Tanya. It's the first time the faeries have threatened Tanya from telling anyone she can see them. What Tanya soon finds out, is she's not the only one in her family with second sight.
Tanya's adventure begins when she mother sends her to spend a few weeks with her Grandmother. Fearing it's going to be a rather boring experience to stay with a Grandmother she's not close to, in her dreary manor in the middle of the woods, Tanya is in for a big surprise. 13 Treasures has a lot of adventure, faery lore, and mystery that kept me turing the pages. At times I felt some of the story lines ended a little abruptly, especially with Red's story. I'm hoping there will be more to Red's story in the feature. Other times I felt it was a little dragged out, but in the end, the story wrapped up nicely answering some the questions I had, had through the book.
I loved the English setting and enjoyed the characters. Fabian, who lives at her Grandmother's manor, as his father Warwick is the grounds keeper, and Tanya find themselves in quite a few adventures as the faeries, goblins and gnomes cause more than a little trouble for Tanya. There's a something sinister in the woods and no matter how many times they're warned to stay away, something keeps Tanya and Fabian going back to the woods. Tanya's Grandmother, Florence and Fabian's Father Warwick are cold, stern and have many secrets between them, and while I felt the kid's distaste for them through out the story, at the end of 13 Treasures, I came to like these two characters a lot more, as I understood their actions more.
If you enjoy true faery lore, fantasy, and mystery, than I would recommend picking up 13 Treasures! It's not a light and airy read, but one that captures the readers attention and takes them on an adventure they won't soon forget. I think this is a fitting read for both middle grader readers & young adults readers. If there's a sequel, I am really looking forward to reading it.
on July 29, 2010
Tanya can't believe her eyes. Fairies, evil ones at that, are making her life a misery. In fact, it looks like she's going to be a victim of teenage insomnia, thanks to these little nasty creatures. Thirteen-year-olds need their sleep, but the fairies won't leave her alone. No one, especially her mother, would believe her, but she knows that they're there. And they're not going to quit driving her nuts, even when she's sent off to live with her grandmother in the serene countryside.
Michelle Harrison's 13 TREASURES brings together the fairy world and the real world in a way that most Tinkerbell fantasies don't. These fairies are malevolent more than mischievous, and Tanya is going to have to draw on all of the powers she possesses to keep her cool in the face of their constant aggravation. She moves in with her grandmother and explores the nearby forest, only to find out that she's involved in a mystery that will be difficult to unravel. If she doesn't figure it out soon, she will be trapped in the fairy realm forever. Like ALICE IN WONDERLAND or the children who discover Narnia, Tanya must take all her courage and smarts from the real world and apply it to surviving and overcoming an alternate world that threatens to hold her prisoner in it forever.
A gloomy forest is always a good place for a story to be set, and this one is no exception. Tickey End is a typical British forest, dark enough to be scary, but big and interesting enough to provide a full mythology all its own. Tanya is a typically bright and adventurous spirit, although her reticence at being thrust into this mysterious world (as well as being forced to live with her grandmother) keeps her from being a boring protagonist. She has spunk and thoughtfulness, two characteristics that help widen her appeal.
Harrison is well versed in the many fable-type stories that have come before, as well as Thomas Hardy, Charles Dickens and THE SECRET GARDEN. 13 TREASURES is exciting and filled with the types of things that kids will love, such as scary and unexpected events, but it falls just below the high level of classic children's literature that she is clearly trying to become a member of with this work. Still, most young readers will find a truthful guide in Tanya --- and more than 13 treasures by the end of the book.