The Thirteen Hallows by Michael Scott


I have long been a fan of Michael Scott's Young Adult series The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel so I was pleased when I was offered a chance to read and review his new book The Thirteen Hallows which he co-wrote with Colette Freedman.

I want to start by saying that this book is NOT for children. There are many scenes of violent torture and murder, mostly toward elderly men and women. Put this together with an evil sorcerer and his “nubile” accomplice who both find it difficult to wear any clothes, and seem only able to access their magic through sex and this is definitely an adult read.

I picked this book up to read in bed for half hour or so before going to sleep and read ten chapters almost without realising. I did the same the next night. The chapters are short, at never more than two or three pages, but I was still surprised by how easy it was to read this book.

All the time I was reading it, though, a tiny part of my brain was going “Hang on this doesn't make any sense. Why doesn't she (Sarah, the main character on the run for several murders, some of which she didn't commit!) just stop and talk to the police? Why do the police just assume she's the killer without looking for any sort of evidence? Or even entertain the possibility that someone else might be responsible? And why do our two villains spend most of the time wandering around naked? They live in Wales, they must be freezing!”

But still I kept reading.

I do not like books filled with gore and torture scenes Okay, sometimes I do but only if the violence is used to move the plot along and is a necessary (and hopefully short) part of the story... With this book it felt as if the plot was there simply to move us onto the next bout of gory violence and/or murder or possibly sex.

But still I kept reading.

As a Children's/YA Sci-Fi and Fantasy fan, I was more interested in the origins story of the thirteen evacuees who were given the Hallows to keep and guard. That's a story I would have loved to have read, those are the people I would have like to get to know. Instead I got the end of their story. Instead I saw, smelt and heard them being tortured and then brutally murdered one bye one.

But still I kept reading.

In the end, what can I say? This book is incredibly readable, it picks you up and drags you through the events that happen in it even though your brain is desperately trying to find a plot to cling to. I thought the ending was rather rushed and could have been expanded on a bit more after all that build up but this is the first book in the series so, I suppose, the end is not really the end.

If you like your books to have a deep, involving plot with characters you can grow to love and whose actions and reactions are understandable and believable, then, perhaps, this is not the book for you. If you like your books to be so readable that whole chapters go past in the blink of an eye then add this to your wish-list.

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2 positive reader review(s) for The Thirteen Hallows

Our interview with Michael Scott

An authority on mythology and folklore, Michael Scott is one of Ireland's most successful authors. A master of fantasy, science fiction, horror and folklore, he has been hailed by the Irish Times as 'the King of Fanta [...]

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The Thirteen Hallows reader reviews

from Michigan

Loved this book. Sure, had to suspend disbelief... but I also did that for The DaVinci Code. A smart, fast faced thriller.

from Austin, Texas

This is the best review I've read. Spot on. I loved this book but was also a little put off by all of the gore. Still, I couldn't stop reading and will definitely read the sequel.

7.8/10 from 3 reviews

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