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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It Was A Really Good Book... But
I gave it five stars but...

Okay. It gets five stars because as a stand-alone book it deserves five stars. The action alone entitles it to the full five stars. But, if you aren't grounded in the former twelve books (maybe not all of them- at least a few important ones), then you'll really miss the impact of the book.

See, here is where a review gets...
Published on July 25, 2012 by Lola Jane

versus
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Neat and Tidy Ending - Fell Flat
I really really wanted to love this book. I had been waiting for it and I guess I expected it to be epic. It wrapped up everything very nicely and made sure to include every character and loose end. It was just all so very neat and tidy that it felt like the story outline with zero emotion and intensity that I found in the previous books.

I felt absolutely...
Published on August 15, 2012 by Ravenly


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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It Was A Really Good Book... But, July 25, 2012
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This review is from: Thirteen: An Otherworld Novel (Women of the Otherworld) (Hardcover)
I gave it five stars but...

Okay. It gets five stars because as a stand-alone book it deserves five stars. The action alone entitles it to the full five stars. But, if you aren't grounded in the former twelve books (maybe not all of them- at least a few important ones), then you'll really miss the impact of the book.

See, here is where a review gets tricky. I can only talk about my tiny, limited opinion about this single book that finalizes a series that has had 13 books, quite a few novellas and short-stories, a graphic novel, and so many characters. Heck, Kelley Armstrong even has a hopping web-site. I'm going to try and mostly separate this one book from the series.

The positives: a favorite universe, beloved characters doing their thing, the return of old enemies, and basically good vs. evil battle to control the end of the world. Not too shabby. And, Kelley Armstrong has a real talent for action sequences and plotting. Which helps because the majority of this book is on the run. They fly from one danger to the next in a matter of sentences. She is a great writer. She seamlessly narrates this massive, multi-state and multi-dimension battle through solid narrative, excellent first-person points of view, and dialogue. And, she hangs onto the emotional intimacy among her characters despite the heavy action sequences. This is an author who LOVES her characters and they have very tight relationships. And she bounces from character to character amazingly well. It is never clunky. It really is a solid thriller.

The negatives. Okay, this is where we get into matters of preference- I'm not a huge Savannah fan. Out of all the Women of the Otherworld, Savannah is my least favorite. Which makes sense, to me. I still see her as mostly immature, cocky, and irritating. I love Elena, Eve, and Paige. So, while Elena and Paige and Jaime and Hope and Eve made appearances, the weight of the story was all on Savannah. And, I've never been a huge fan of the Savannah with weak powers story-line (especially with the revelation and non-resolution about that story-line in this book). So, for my personal preferences (which matter only to me, I fully realize that) that is a negative for me. I just wish I had more Elena and Paige. More Lucas. More Karl. More Jeremy and Jaime. More from the other dimensions. More Cabals. More Jaz. More of the characters that put Kelley Armstrong on my must-buy list 10 years ago rather than Savannah, the upstart.

I know, I'm insanely greedy. I can't even say how much more I would like. This didn't detract from the quality of the book- just from my own selfish pleasure at the epic conclusion of the series.

The neutral. So many loose ends! I'll say up-front that Kelley Armstrong was candid in her final notes in the book. There is no nice and tidy bow at the end of this book. Ron and Hermione and Harry and Ginny are not waving their kids off onto the Hogwart's Express for a blissful and static Happily Ever After. The problem as I see it is that Kelley Armstrong's Otherworld is freaking huge. Readers may love the vamps, the werewolves, the witches, the sorcerers, the half-demons, the humans, the angels, the demons, and on and on and on. Whichever most caught your fancy may not be strongly represented in this finale. You may not get closure on your particular burning question. A lot of little threads went into making this final battle happen between all these characters, and not every thread is followed up. And, I'm ambivalent on that point. It's gotta be rough on an author having such rabid fans demanding to know every unwritten action of a eudodemon and the how's and why's of angel politics. But, eudodemon motivations and angel politics come up- so the lack of closure can disappoint some readers who really groove on those plot points. And, I have some love for the open-ended ending.

So, if you buy this book expecting a full reveal on your favorite character, you probably will be disappointed. If you buy this book expecting the same solid work and talent Kelley Armstrong has shown throughout this series, you'll be very happy. It is a really good book.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Stellar Conclusion, July 25, 2012
This review is from: Thirteen: An Otherworld Novel (Women of the Otherworld) (Hardcover)
Over the last twelve installments the Women of the Otherworld have been telling their tales of danger keeping readers enthralled. But everything prior to this point has been leading to one final showdown that will bring all of the beloved characters characters back together one last time. The stakes have never been higher as the lives of every supernatural are hanging in the balance. Told from Savannah's perspective, the reader will be enthralled as they watch her scramble with her other allies to stop the war from destroying them all. But it won't be easy as the fight isn't only on earth, but heaven and hell have joined the fray. No matter the outcome, in the end nothing will ever be the same.

There are so many elements in Thirteen that I would love to talk about, but in all honesty the entire book is one big spoiler and I completely understand why the publisher opted to put such a strict release date and no early review copies. This is a book that truly deserves to be savored not spoiled, and for that reason, I won't be going into many details or specifics in this review. I apologize in advance if things seem overly vague or I end up sounding like a squealing fan girl as a result. It just wouldn't do this fantastic book any justice to give anything away in advance.

From the very start, Thirteen took off with a bang. It was so jammed pack with action that the even when the characters would score a small victory, both they and myself barely had a chance to breathe before it was off to the next crisis. Seriously, I don't think my heart rate lowered once while reading Thirteen as the stakes were that high. However, even though that action was incredibly exciting, what really kept me enthralled were the emotional aspects of the book. Again, keeping from spoiling things I won't go into specifics, but suffice it to say the emotion took the book from really good to absolutely stellar. I especially loved the added in chapters from the different characters' perspectives periodically throughout the book. Don't get me wrong, Savannah's perspective was great, but it was nice to see into the heads of some of my favorite characters from the rest of the series.

I am always torn by my emotions whenever the final book in a series comes out. On one hand I am very excited for the anticipation and wait to finally be over, so I can dive into the story and see how everything plays out in the end. However, on the other hand, finding out that resolution also means saying goodbye to characters that I have grown to love. In Thirteen's case this inner conflict was even worse due to the long build up over so many books. With each installment, my anticipation of the final showdown and resolution only grew, but so did my love for the characters, making saying goodbye even harder. Even though I knew the blow would be softened somewhat by the short story collections set to be released in the future, I still was still rather nervous as I started this book. However, after finishing it, I am happy to say that Thirteen not only delivered on but exceeded my expectations. Granted the ending wasn't exactly what I was expecting, with nothing tied up in pretty bows, but in not doing so, it served these characters so much better. Their personalities and circumstance wouldn't allow for anything less and I'm very happy Kelley stayed true to them. She really is a fantastic writer, and will always be one of my favorite authors. Thirteen is an absolute must read for fans of the series!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Neat and Tidy Ending - Fell Flat, August 15, 2012
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I really really wanted to love this book. I had been waiting for it and I guess I expected it to be epic. It wrapped up everything very nicely and made sure to include every character and loose end. It was just all so very neat and tidy that it felt like the story outline with zero emotion and intensity that I found in the previous books.

I felt absolutely nothing for Savannah and Adam - that had to have been the most ho hum romance in the series. It could have easily been left out.

As for the unfolding and conclusion of the main plot - I wasn't really worried. In fact, I struggled to finish this book. I must have read about 10 books in between chapters and only finished this out of duty and a sense of needing to hurry up and get it off my kindle. Really too bad as there have been many books in this series that I thoroughly enjoyed reading.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Unlucky Thirteen, August 5, 2012
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Normally, I really enjoy Kelley Armstrong's writing. However, as with many authors in the modern mashup genre of urban/fantasy/horror/romance/supernatural (Laurell K. Hamilton, I'm looking at YOU), the farther her series progresses, the less enjoyable it is.

I know that this was the final book of the Otherworld Series, and therefore I suppose Ms. Armstrong felt that she needed to include EVERY heroine and hero she'd used before, as well as several minor but recurring characters. Sadly, the six or seven points of view (maybe more; I got confused) only weakened the story, and what should have been a tense and climactic final triumph was transformed into a telling, rather than a showing, in order to fit everyone in. It was below her usual standards, which made it a disappointment.

I'm not sorry I bought it, but I seriously doubt I'll re-read it, unlike the other books in the series. Most of those, I re-read every now and then because they were so much fun.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Big, grand, sweeping finale plot ... but where were the character connections?, September 18, 2012
This review is from: Thirteen: An Otherworld Novel (Women of the Otherworld) (Hardcover)
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Contains spoilers for all previous 'Otherworld' books
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`13' is the thirteenth and final book in Kelley Armstrong's epic urban fantasy `Women of the Otherworld' series.

This is the all-star final showdown, slow-clap finale to Armstrong's much loved series. This is the book fans have been waiting for, but I've got to say ... I was not impressed. Much as it pains me to admit.

Savannah Levine is again narrating, rounding out her POV books to a nice trilogy - `Waking the Witch', `Spell Bound' and now bringing it all together with `13'. But even though this is, again, Savannah's book, every previous female protagonist gets one chapter devoted to them, so throughout the book we're switched to Elena, Hope and Paige's point of views.

Armstrong certainly has made `13' an epic finale (maybe a little too epic?) with supernatural in-fighting between all supernaturals. The Supernatural Liberation Movement want to `out' supernaturals (and presumably take over the world?) but they have a fight on their hands, against those who would prefer to keep their secrets. So all species are drawn into this one - vampires, werewolves, witches, psychics, necormancers, angels and most especially demons (many of whom are watching over their human offspring, and hedging bets on which side will come out victorious). Savannah Levine seems to be in the middle of it all - a powerful witch with a demon grandfather, deceased witch mother and warlock father who now have ties to the otherworld.

If it sounds like there's a lot going on, that's because there is. And that was actually a real problem for me - the helter-skelter plot really detracted from the characters and turned this into a rather cold, impersonal `sayonara'.

This feeling of detachment was particularly prevalent with the `romance' aspect of this final book, between Savannah and Adam Vasic. It's partly the fact that the groundwork for them really hasn't been there in previous instalments. In Savannah's other two narrated books, Adam was a bit player, and it was Savannah's feelings for him (even in his absence) that were the focus. They literally came together in the last few pages of `Spell Bound', and now we jump into the very chaotic events of `13', when they really don't have time to reconcile their newfound feelings and it just generally makes for a jumble. But, like I said, that's partly due to the groundwork not being there for these characters in previous books . . . and you realize that maybe Savannah's previous narration turns were a little too plot-heavy and not focused enough on her relationships. Really, the two books Savannah narrated followed similar storylines of Savannah going solo on an investigation into a small country town. We've really only got to know her on her own, and what we know of her in relation to other characters (Paige, in particular) we've only garnered when she was a secondary character in their books or short stories.

It's actually reiterated a few times that Savannah and Adam are kind of testing the waters - this will be the first major relationship for both of them, and they're wary about losing a friendship if the romance doesn't work out. Then there's the age-gap (Lucas, creepily, points out that Adam is only one year younger than him). But Savannah maintains that if it's a mistake, she'll have to make it on her own terms. Now, I completely understand that fast-tracking Adam and Savannah's relationship from `childhood crush' to `soul mates' would have been disingenuous and would have had readers scoffing. But at the same time, this is the last book, and for that reason I would have liked more fireworks and epic love, as opposed to the rather ho-hum `let's just see how it goes' and `we're taking things slow' route. All in all, Adam and Savannah were a fizzle, not a sizzle. I was actually more invested in the small snippet scenes between werewolf, Karl, and his pregnant psychic wife, Hope because they had that deep, connected love story between them - and it just added more weight and meaning to all of their scenes. Karl and Hope actually ended up highlighting the hollowness of Savannah and Adam.

I did spend a bit of `13' thinking this felt more like the book *before* the last book. Like Armstrong was still laying a lot of breadcrumbs and setting up her long-game ending ... maybe because the many character reappearances, near-deaths and open-ended relationships felt more like build-up than finale.

There's `a word from Kelley Armstrong' at the beginning of the book, where she acknowledges the fact that many fans would have preferred that this final book finish with Elena narrating (and coming full-circle in the series that she started, with `Bitten'). Armstrong acknowledges that, but says she's had the idea for Savannah to be the final narrator for a while now - since she's the character we've seen grow from teenager, into young adulthood. Nevertheless, it just so happens that some of the most interesting exchanges and moments in `13' are concerned with the Pack, and involve Clay and Elena anyway. It was those moments that far outshined the rest of the goings on with Savannah, demons, angels and Adam.

But I think Armstrong must have been more swayed by readers clamouring for Elena's POV than she let on, because there's another note from her at the end, followed by an Elena short story called `From Russia, With Love.' In this `final note from Kelley' she admits that `13' didn't wrap with the `Otherworld' characters going quietly into the night, their stories neatly tied up. If readers feel like this universe is still expanding, that'd be because it is - with Armstrong planning three short story anthologies (the first of which is slated for 2014) and she's also not saying `no' to a possible revisit to the `Otherworld.' I certainly hope she does, particularly because a certain basement discovery in `13' has great impact on the Pack, and the short `From Russia, With Love' reminds readers that there are still some interesting, untapped werewolf secondary characters to be explored - like suave Nick Sorrentino and Australian wolf, Reese.

All in all, I was really disappointed with this book. It felt like Armstrong was so laser-focused on the big, grand, sweeping finale plot that all those characters we've come to know and love fell by the wayside. Clay and Elena, as always, were the most interesting aspect of the book - and their short story at the end was perhaps the major highlight of the whole thing. The romances of Lucas and Paige, Karl and Hope, heck, even Cassandra and Aaron all really highlighted what was missing from the `we're testing the waters' fledgling romance with Savannah and Adam - and made me realize that if you're going to write about the end of the world, maybe don't focus on a first-date couple, rather go for the epic love story of soul mates? Just a suggestion.

I certainly hope Armstrong continues to write `Otherworld' short stories, and revisit a few characters, because `13' was not how I envisioned this thing ending. Not at all.

2.5/5
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LITERAL ADDICTION's Review of Thirteen, July 30, 2013
Our Review, by LITERAL ADDICTION's Pack Alpha - Michelle L. Olson:
*Copy received from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review

I loved, loved, LOVED this book! As an Otherworld fan and groupie, it is my personal opinion that Kelley could not have ended the series any better...

All the leading characters that we've fallen in love with throughout the series were there, the action was insane, the revelations incredible, the 'closure' on some issues exactly what I would have wished for, and yet she left little tendrils to give us a few extra stories that she stated in the 'Note From the Author' would come in a few anthologies staring in 2014.

In short, it was a fabulous conclusion novel and I would highly recommend it and the entire WOMEN OF THE OTHERWORLD/OTHERWORLD STORIES series. If you're looking for a high-octane thrill-ride, then Thirteen is for you. And if you like your Urban Fantasy with lots of diversity, then most definitely check out THE WOMEN OF THE OTHERWORLD and the OTHERWORLD STORIES!

I am desperately going to miss this series, but am definitely looking forward to Kelley's tie up novellas next year!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Both Pleasing and Disappointing, November 26, 2012
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SUMMARY:
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Like many others, I've read every book in the series. I generally enjoyed this book, but I kind of expected more from the last book in the series. If you're a series fan, go ahead and read this, there's a lot you'll like about it. There may also be some things you don't like, but certainly not so many that you regret reading it.

DETAILS:
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I heard from others that this book was cool because it really tied together so many elements that Armstrong included in other books since the beginning of the series. I think that claim set expectations for me that were inaccurate for the book. It's true that there are characters who come back who were in previous books, and it's true that a few things that happened in previous books come up again in this book. However, it doesn't *really* feel like some grand end to some overarching plot that Armstrong has been orchestrating over 13 novels. It's more a kind of "greatest hits book".

I read a review on this book that lamented how little Paige was in the book. I agree with this. She's pretty much the only female main character who has absolutely nothing to do with the plot. Kind of odd.

And finally, one of the reasons *I* like Armstrong is for her well written sex scenes. The best sex scenes are built on the most robustly developed relationships. In previous romantic relationships in this series, Armstrong has done a really good job of carefully crafting the growing relationship between the lead characters in a way which creates a really satisfying experience when they finally come together.

Savannah and Adam just don't feel as well developed to me. I know their romance has been developing over the last several novels, but there is a lot of their history that is off-screen for the reader. So we're told they have a lifelong close friendship, but we don't really feel it. When Adam finally shows that his interests in Savannah have changed, we only see it coming because we're not idiots and we know they're supposed to get together. I think this is because Adam and Savannah both hide their feelings until Adam is suddenly "Hey, I want you after all!" Then, because they already have this friendship built from their off-screen history, the characters are immediately intimate, but the reader doesn't really get there with them. Ultimately, after all these books of waiting, we don't get any sex scene. We get a few paragraphs of clothing removal and then a fade to black. Anti-climactic if the sexy tone is one of the things that brings you back to Armstrong over and over again. :/
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but not Great, August 7, 2012
By 
Sheila (LEEDS, AL, United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Thirteen: An Otherworld Novel (Women of the Otherworld) (Hardcover)
I have followed this series from the beginning and have enjoyed all of the books. This was a good (not great) end to the series. The story changes POVs throughout but is primarily from Savannah's POV. I really like Savannah so this was not a problem for me. My only real disappointment was that I kept expecting Savannah to come into her power and be extraordinary, but it just didn't happen. She struggled throughout the book and never wowed me with anything. Her biggest accomplishment came at the end and it really wasn't that impressive.

Overall I really enjoyed the story and would recommend it to anyone who has followed the series.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed, September 7, 2012
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I have enjoyed Kelley Armsrtong's previous novels. However, I felt let down with the last two about Savannah. From the buildup, I had expected a thrilling story about Savannah. Instead I felt I was reading a "young adult" book and not in a good way. Paige and Elena were more interesting women. Savannah is young, but I expected a more complex character. Thirteen is said to be the last of a series so there really is no chance for Savannah to grow. I felt let down in going from stories about adults to a teenager.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The end is nigh (it makes me cry) but this ending didn't leave it all wrapped up for me, August 1, 2012
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This review is from: Thirteen: An Otherworld Novel (Women of the Otherworld) (Hardcover)
When I found out "Thirteen" was to be the very last novel in the women of the otherworld series I was devastated. Especially since we never got a novel narrated by Cassandra! And it's such an odd way to end a series of multiple narrators-by having the last three books narrated by the same person.

"Thirteen" starts off with Savannah finally escaping from the supernaturals who want to reveal themselves to the world and at long last sharing a kiss with the love of her life- Adam Vasic a half fire demon.

But more is up then just with Savannah. Both Earth and the afterlife have erupted with all beings (ghosts, demons, angels and the living sups) divided into two camps-those believe a reveal to the world could work in their favor and those who believe it would bring about the end of the world. Because of that chaos is erupting in the mortal world and our friends try desperately to contain it as ever weirder events start to happen-including the reappearance of a long lost supernatural. Saying any more would be giving away the giant spoiler that this book is.

In the end "Thirteen" is divided between several different narrators-including Savannah, Eve and Jamie Vegas. I have to say I didn't see nearly as much of some characters as I would have liked to considering this is likely the last time I'll see them.

I'm going to be honest- this book contains a lot of running around solving different crises. It gets to be a little much after a while. And once again (and very surprisingly for what actually happens in this book) there is no sex scene. I have to wonder if the author was uncomfortable writing one about someone as young as Savannah, especially considering the age difference between her at Adam.

Overall this wasn't as good a wrap up as I would have liked-there were a lot of loose ends left over. Like what happened to the mysteriously appearing should be dead werewolf? How did the ringleader for SLAM obtain his immortality? Not to mention the many mysterious issues brought up in the Darkest Power series that were never addressed.

Is this was a normal novel in the series I would have been happy with it but as the end of the series-I am not pleased overall though I mostly enjoyed reading this. Mostly though I'm just really sad it's over-and desperately hoping Kelley Armstrong will change her mind.

Four stars.
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Thirteen: An Otherworld Novel (Women of the Otherworld)
Thirteen: An Otherworld Novel (Women of the Otherworld) by Kelley Armstrong (Hardcover - July 24, 2012)
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