- Paperback: 336 pages
- Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Original edition (March 27, 2012)
- ISBN-10: 0062117661
- Source: Publisher
Paula Wittmore and her teen daughter, Rowan, are struggling to get by. To make matters worse, Paula’s recently lost her job as a waitress at a strip club. She receives a call from her hometown, Haven Woods, informing her that her mother is in the hospital. Paula hasn’t stepped foot in Haven Woods since she left over a decade ago. When Rowan is expelled for school, the decision is made for them.
Haven Woods is an ideal community, populated by highly successful families and a low crime rate. When she and Rowan arrive, they aren’t exactly welcomed by her mother, Audra, with open arms. She actually seems upset they are there, begging them to leave immediately. Suspicious things start happening, starting with Paula’s inability to speak to the doctor treating her mother, in a hospital devoid of other patients. She’s quickly reunited with her childhood best friend and introduced to a group of incredibly successful, seemingly happy women.
She isn’t aware of the secret bond that ties these women, including her mother, together. The perfect lives magically created for them start to crumble away when one of the women decides to rebel against the group, Paula and Rowan are the only things that can keep their facade from disappearing forever. All Paula has to do is agree to join them, to give herself to them, with the promise of nothing but happiness and bliss. A alumna to the original group, she would become the thirteenth required member.
Despite having a few minor issues (namely keeping track of all the women in the coven), I really appreciated Moloney’s take on witches. They were unique in that they weren’t your typical witches but instead ordinary women who had given the ultimate sacrifice in order to obtain happiness and security. In return, they were rewarded with success and beauty.
My only other complaint would be the occasional naivete of the main character, Paula. Several times throughout the book, I found myself yelling at her, begging her not to do something. This is a trait in many characters in horror novels/movies so it’s a complaint I can easily overlook.
The stream of conscious narrative might be confusing for some, but for me, it allowed me to get an honest look inside the minds of the main characters. Once the reader gets accustomed to this, it almost becomes natural, flowing seamlessly.
While The Thirteen is clearly a paranormal novel with touches of horror, it isn’t one that I found particularly frightening. This isn’t a fault, but a benefit, in my mind. For this reason, it is my belief that readers of all sorts would find entertainment in this book. There are a few graphic scenes of a sexual nature, but nothing that would deter me from recommending this book.
Thank you to TLC Book Tours for providing me the opportunity to review this book. Be sure to check out the official tour page for other stops along the way.
Tags: Horror, Paranormal Fiction, Review, William Morrow, witchcraft