SYNOPSIS: 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.
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. If Susie Maloney decided to cut his character out completely, I don't think the story would have missed him.
If you're looking for a paranormal page-turner, The Thirteen is devilishly fun, but slightly lacking.
Susie Maloney website, Twitter
About the Book:
About the Author:
Susie Moloney is the bestselling author of Bastion Falls, A Dry Spell, and The Dwelling. She has been published in numerous countries and assorted languages. She divides her time between the wilds of Canada and the wild world of New York City. She’s not a witch, except maybe a little in the morning.
*Disclosure: A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher