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The Thirteen: A Novel Paperback – March 27, 2012

3.6 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“Like a gonzo, mirror-universe, occult version of The Stepford Wives, with a dash of Stephen King thrown in ... A compellingly uncanny narrative, binding the tropes of small town paranoia and cliquishness with the chokehold of family obligations and religious fervour, and the very real claustrophobia of poverty and desperation.” (The Globe and Mail)

“A creepy-fun read, with characters ready-made for a Hollywood casting call.” (Maclean's)

“Creepy . . . . Sure to evoke comparisons to Fritz Leiber’s Conjure Wife, this evocative story will also appeal to fans of Kelley Armstrong’s early works.” (Publishers Weekly)

“An eerie blend of The Stepford Wives, The Witches of Eastwick, and Desperate Housewives . . . features a cast of bewitching characters and a creepy story that will stick with the reader long afterward. (Library Journal)

From the Back Cover

Haven Woods is suburban heaven, a great place to raise a family. It's close to the city, quiet, with great schools and its own hospital right up the road. Property values are climbing, and the crime rate is practically nonexistent.

Paula Wittmore hasn't been back to Haven Woods since she left as a disgraced teenager. Now she's returning to care for her suddenly ailing mother, and she's bringing her daughter and a pile of emotional baggage. She's also bringing, unknowingly, the last chance for her mother's closest frenemies . . . twelve women bound together by a powerful secret that requires the sacrifice of a thirteenth.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Original edition (March 27, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062117661
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062117663
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,024,149 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Alison's VINE VOICE on May 7, 2012
Format: Paperback
Ultimately, this story was about the history, and the future, of a coven of thirteen women. Brought together by their willingness to make sacrifices to get what they desired most - successful business, syndicated television show, or to fit into a size 4 - The Thirteen needs numbers most of all. When one of them betrays the rest, another sacrifice needs to be made.

I have been on a run with witchy-themed books lately, and while THE THIRTEEN was quick and enjoyable, it was not my favorite.

First, what I liked: Give me a generous helping of creepy goodness in my witchy stories and I'm a happy girl. Susie Maloney has been compared to some of the greats in horror fiction, and I felt she stands out all on her own in this regard. I am both in awe of, and a bit afraid of, the way her mind works!

I enjoyed the relationship between Paula and Rowen, her daughter. Three generations of women dominated the pages of this book, and I wanted to know more about the bonds that tied them together - both natural and supernatural. My favorite character was Izzy, the leader of The Thirteen. She's beautiful, she's strong, and she's not afraid to do what needs to be done. She's also deliciously evil. The pages turned quickly, and was the perfect book for a long car ride home from our spring break vacation.

Now for what left me feeling flat: While the beginning of the book drew me in with intriguing female characters and subtle hints to entice the reader, the hints became a bit tiresome and obvious. I was extremely frustrated by Paula's convenient misunderstanding of her mother's warnings, not to mention her lack of regard for her mother's well-being. I also found the romance with the only man in Raven Woods predictable, if not unnecessary.
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Format: Paperback
After being fired from her waitress job at a strip club, Paula Wittmore is notified that her mother has taken ill. She packs up her bags along with her teenage daughter, Rowan, and returns to her home town, a suburban called Haven Woods. Everything may look normal there, but Haven Woods has dark secrets at every corner, including several strange deaths and apparent suicides.

Returning home is putting Paula on an emotional rollercoaster as she reunites with some of her childhood friends, not to mention her mother's strange frenemies - twelve women bound by terrible secrets that requires a thirteen to be sacrificed.

I have seen other bloggers post about the Thirteen, and when I saw it on at my local library I had to check it out. It's an incarnation of The Stepford Wives and the short lived ABC series The Gates. The main character, Paula, is your typical prodigal child coming back to her hometown, in this case she is returning, with her daughter that she had when she was in her teens, to her hometown to take care of her mother, Audra's - who is part of a coven. The narrative does have that satire feeling to it, and I felt that the book was boring midway through. All the characters are interesting and the dialogue was crafted well. The Thirteen wasn't the best read, but it was mostly entertaining.
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Format: Paperback
This book was so confusing to read that I only made it through the prologue and a couple chapters before blinking my eyes rapidly and tossing it to the side to start a different one.

The premise is a good one – witches in a small community doing witchy things. The follow-through leaves a lot to be desired, however – especially in the department of editing.

A confusing sentence from the prologue:

Not even when the flames swept up from the floor and began their climb over her
surrender your

The book is lacking in periods and grammatical punctuation in general. It's also overflowing in brackets with ridiculously useless information, stopping the flow of the story.

The editing was sub-par and many sentences had repeating words with no proper sentence structure. There were also a multitide of incomplete, short sentences. How anyone could make it through the entire book is beyond me. I cannot fathom how it ever got published in the first place, let alone got such a rave review from The Globe and Mail.

Moloney also takes the time out at the end of her book to thank her editor:

Most of all I want to thank the surely supernatural Anne Collins, who edits with elegance and respect, and whose patience and dedication really wrote this book.
I think a certain editor needs to find a new job.

The book could have had the most amazing plot ever written – but you would never know for the ridiculous way it's put together.
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Format: Paperback
Review Courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: A confusing mesh of witchery and deceit.

Opening Sentence: The drunk at table eight was shouting something at the dancer.

The Review:

When it comes to horror movies or books, I usually decline. I no longer like being scared to death by creepy serial killers that eat the bodies of their victims or demonic children taking over. I have seen too many bad things in real life to appreciate them for the entertainment they are meant to be. That being said, I love me some B-rated horror movies. The ones that are so beyond corny that they become funny. The Thirteen is like a horror movie that is too bad for traditional horror status but not "bad" enough to cross over into B-ratings. It tries to be a new blend of The Witches of Eastwick and Desperate Housewives, but falls tragically short.

Paula Wittmore is a struggling single mother of a teenage daughter. So when Paula's mother becomes ill, she and her daughter, Rowan, return home to help out. The carefree town of Haven Woods is everything that Paula had as a child and wanted for her daughter's life: clean, friendly, and a safe place to call home. Little do they know that the power that keeps up this façade is hungry for their blood. The ladies of Haven are witches in need of two things to continue their "good lives"; a thirteenth woman to join their coven, and a sacrifice to the god that gives them their power. Will Paula and Rowan survive the selfish and greedy women around them, or will they fall victim to their unholy pact with evil?

This is such a good idea for a book. Women sacrificing, their child or husband, in order to get their material "heart's desires" and an outsider that can either make them or break them.
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