About the book
The Hallows. Ancient artifacts imbued with a primaland deadly power. But are they protectors of this world, or the keys to itsdestruction?
A gruesome murder in London reveals a sinisterplot to uncover a two-thousand-year-old secret.
For decades, the Keepers guarded these Hallows,keeping them safe and hidden and apart from each other. But now theKeepers are being brutally murdered, their prizes stolen, the ancient objectsbathed in their blood. Now, only a few remain.
With her dying breath, one ofthe Keepers convinces Sarah Miller, a practical stranger, to deliverher Hallow—a broken sword with devastating powers—to her American nephew, Owen. The duo quickly become suspects in a series of murders as they are chasedby both the police and the sadistic Dark Man and his nubile mistress.
As Sarah and Owen search for the survivingKeepers, they unravel the deadly secret the Keepers were charged toprotect. The mystery leads Sarah and Owen on a cat-and-mouse chase throughEngland and Wales, and history itself, as they discover that the sword may bethe only thing standing between the world… and a horror beyond imagining.
Publishedon: December 6, 2011
Thanks to Tor for sending me a copy of this book to review.
Idon’t generally read urban fantasy, but this one looked too good to ignore. Thirteen Hallows is an incredibly dark,urban, mystery/suspense novel based on the legend of the thirteen hallows,which I had never heard about before I read this book. The hallows themselvesfill the book with an interesting and appealing history which could causereaders to do research on various points of history and legend this booktouches on.
Thirteen Hallows is told with multiplepoints of view and while some of these perspectives are done better thanothers, switching perspectives helps keep this fast paced book fresh withoutmaking the reader overly exhausted with the nearly constant action. That beingsaid, Thirteen Hallows is almostoverflowing with bad guys, who are so purely evil that their chapters arealmost unbelievable. Furthermore, this overflow of evil gives the book anoverall hopeless feel that good could ever triumph as the evil has limitlessresources to further their goals.
Thirteen Hallows doesn’t focus intenselyon characterization. Instead, it seems to focus more on plot and action. Thecharacters always seem to be running and rarely are there any confrontations.The nearly constant chases made it hard for me to feel rooted in time andplace. While the English setting could have been very interesting andrevitalizing to the book, it whirled by so quickly I rarely had time to enjoyor absorb it.
Characterization,as I mentioned above, does seem to be lacking. While the two main protagonists,Owen and Sarah are enjoyable to follow, they spend so much time focused onrunning that the readers really don’t get a feel of who they are without allthe drama surrounding them. Thus, they seem to have no history, just theirpresent situation. Furthermore, as I mentioned above, the evil characters seemto be so incredibly evil they are almost completely unbelievable.
Onecommon complaint in reviews on this book is regarding how inept the police are.This is a complaint I feel I should point out, as well. There were numeroussituations where the police could have lifted fingerprints or taken otherevidence and discredited their suspicions, but they almost never did. Insteadthey assumed almost everything and acted on those assumptions. It got to beexhausting to read about their inept police procedures when simplefingerprinting or more research into the situation would have cleared up nearlyeverything and could have cut the overall drama which filled the book in half.
Theplot is relentless, almost exhausting because it is so breakneck andsuspenseful. Thirteen Hallows isfilled with plenty of blood and torture as well as sex. While the sex isn’tgraphic, the violence often times is and readers should be aware of that. Thebook builds into a quick, yet satisfying end which clearly sets up the readerfor the second book in the series.
Thirteen Hallows is the start of a newdark urban fantasy series. While it did have problems, there is plenty here forreaders to enjoy. Thirteen Hallows isfilled with plenty of history, a unique English setting, two protagonists whoare easy to follow through their adventures. The plot is breakneck andabsolutely relentless and will probably leave readers on the edge of their seatgasping for breath. For readers who are more plot focused and not afraid of incrediblydark books, Thirteen Hallows could bequite a hit.
— GIVEAWAY —
I amgiving away the book Tor sent me to review. Normally I keep review books, butwith a baby I just don’t have the room anymore so I’m sharing the wealth. Ihave read this book once, and I am VERY easy on books. I doubt you’d be able totell it was read. It’s also hard cover. The giveaway is open until Thursday, December 15 at midnightmountain standard time and is open worldwide.
Toenter, send me an email at bookwormblues(at) live (dot) com with “THIRTEEN HALLOWS” in the subject. I will emailthe winner and announce who won on my blog on Friday, December 16.
Goodluck to all who enter!
I was contacted recently to be part of a book tour for this one, and I'm really looking forward to it after seeing the reviews that are starting to pop up online. For all its flaws, I think I'm going to end up enjoying it.
I adore some good research rooted mythology in a fantasy, especially urban, which are actually my favs. That's weird what you say about the running. My characters run away a lot. They have further goals, but avoid conflict in all but a few of my novels. In my line, this allows a lot more time for character development as they end up stuffed into cars together or laying low together.
Which is the break in why I may not read this novel. I'm a character girl. I don't care so much if the plot is simple or occasionally even faulty–world the same. If the characters are dull, I tend to come to a dead halt. All else springs from character for me. The plot turns on each decision the characters make and where it takes them. The world must be built around the characters.