13 is the thirteenth and final book in Kelley Armstrong’s Women of the Otherworld series and therefore this review may contain spoilers for the earlier books. This is one of my favourite series, so I highly recommend going out and getting your paws on Bitten if you haven’t been bitten yet…
Anything you thought you knew about our world? Forget it. Someone has tossed out the rulebook. Ghosts can cross the divide. Hell-hounds can manifest. Demi-demons can possess living children… It’s not going to get any better until it’s over.
Having just escaped an exploding building, Savannah is on the run with Jaime at her side. Her magic is still on the blink but she knows it’s there if she can just conserve it. So it’s not very helpful when they both get arrested on suspicion of terrorism. It doesn’t take long for them to realise all is not what it seems? Is it the Supernatural Liberation Movement (which Savannah has nick-named SLAM) or could it be another cabal? With Savannah’s half-brother Bryce at death’s door, time is against them to find a cure. The supernatural community is taking sides but which will win? Reveal supernaturals to the greater world or stay hidden forever?
It’s certainly a grand finale for the Women of the Otherworld series. You know in the last episodes of Angel where it all starts hitting the fan and everyone gets involved a bit? Well 13 is a bit like that, but with all your favourite Otherworldly characters; each major player making an appearance. Really, I’m not sure if it will make any sense if you haven’t read the series and it is certainly not the place to start (go read Bitten, please) but it’s a fond farewell for existing fans. Narrated mostly by Savannah, it makes the last three books (Waking the Witch, Spell Bound, 13) a trilogy within the series.
There’s plenty of closure and redemption, although no one character really gets to steal the show. Savannah is a little distracted by the developments between her and Adam, and I found them a little awkward at times, especially her doubt and worrying about what others will think. She comes across a little younger than she did in Waking the Witch and Spell Bound. I loved the demon lords, who developed some personality just in time for the end. There are a few moments when my heart was in my mouth and I doubt very much the ups and downs will be a disappointment to fans.
If you buy the hardback edition, there is a bonus Elena short story. I enjoyed having this as an epilogue as I have always been a fan of The Pack and would have felt a little bit lost without their final say.
Now you may be sobbing over the end of your favourite series but Kelley has promised a brand new adult series starting next year, a third Nadia book, the final book in her second YA Otherworld trilogy and further Otherworld short fiction… and she hasn’t even ruled out returning to the Otherworld in the future. She just needs a break and I’m sure we can all understand that. I’m really looking forward to the Nadia book and seeing where her talents take her in the next few years. Plus, I’ve stored up a pile of short fiction to keep me going in the mean time!