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The Thirteenth Hour Paperback – January 13, 2015
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The Amazon Book Review
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About the Author
A child of the 80s, Joshua Blum, like many other people, remembers wishing he had Marty McFly's hoverboard from "Back to the Future 2" to ride to and from school. For awhile, he wanted to be an American Indian hunter and spent many a misspent day making bows and arrows out of tree branches, ultimately leading to a love of archery which continues to this day. After entering that penal colony known as middle school, he decided that he ought to learn to defend himself, leading to the wide world of martial arts and lots and lots of push-ups, both of which he enjoys to this day. All of these elements were inspirations for aspects of "The Thirteenth Hour," which he wrote after finishing high school and edited little by little until the present day - in effect growing up with the characters. During this time, he was educated at Princeton and Penn State Universities. In total, he estimates having spent 23 years of his life in school (give or take). Despite that rap sheet, he still enjoys learning new things. He credits his mother for instilling in him a love of literature, music, and yard sales. He credits his father for teaching him to do, you know, manly things, like hit a baseball, ride a bike without falling over, and most importantly, never give up on the important things in life. He credits his younger brother for helping him stay young at heart. He currently enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter. Although not surprising given the decade in which he grew up, he still enjoys breakdancing, though he will admit the bruises take longer to go away now that he can no longer consider himself a young adult. He hopes to forever avoid corporate middle management and is currently at work on a graphic novel for adolescents as well as a sequel to "The Thirteenth Hour." He hopes it does not take sixteen years to finish.
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Top customer reviews
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Logan is an orphan who joins the army when he’s 18. The social commentary is perfect. “I don’t think I was ever quite able to reconcile how a city full of people and possibilities could leave me feeling so grimy, dejected, and alone at the end of the day.” He’s inept and a misfit, younger than the other soldiers in his group, which made me root for him to succeed. Finally he begins to find his place. “I began to dance with the wind, sword in hand. I leaped and turned, kicked and swung, lunged and dove. The wind was my partner, and I was following her lead.” Aurora, another orphan, is his best friend. The quest is filled with deadly dangers and magical beings; the ending is as satisfying as a good dream remembered. Definitely worth reading, for all ages.
The Thirteenth Hour by Joshua Blum can be described as nothing less than imaginative; the characters are all well developed and easily relatable, the poetry is well thought out and purposeful, and the well-placed illustrations helped to visualize scenes that were important to the characters.
That being said, I had a difficult time getting and staying engrossed in the book. I found the color-coding more distracting than helpful and often used the changes as an excuse to go do something else.
While there were many fun parts of the book (the song of the unsung hero, visiting the four corners, and all the adventures along the way), and many clever editions (the mention of the garden contents in the end), I struggled when it came to stories involving the current King. While I completely understand the importance of his part in the story it just didn't do it for me. In fact, I wasn't able to get into the book at all until the two stories merged. The day-dreaming boy served the purpose of bringing the reader into and out of the story in the same way the little boy did in "The Princess Bride," which I also struggled with.
If I were rating on my enjoyment of the book, as a whole, my rating would be much different than a rating purely on whether or not the mechanics of the book are sound and how well the story was told. As far as my enjoyment is concerned, it would be 2/5 based entirely on my own issues staying interested in the book. That's not to say that this isn't an incredibly well written and well thought out book because that couldn't be further from the truth. A rating based entirely on the story and mechanics would be a 5/5, no questions asked and I would have no problem recommending this to any reader who enjoys fantasy and adventure.
There are twists and turns, many surprising and comical. There is an interesting mix of modernity with traditional old fashioned story telling and settings. The tone of the book allows the reader to follow the story arcs to their most incredible moments. The wisdom the characters learn is applicable to our every day life, but its presented in a way that is accessible.
Overall, it is a fun, easy read that has a mix of moments that make you think, make you laugh, and make you wonder what else was in store for the characters.
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