Book Review: The Thirteen

The Thirteen: A Novel
The Thirteen
By: Susie Moloney
Published by William Morrow
Release Date: March 27, 2012
Genre: adult paranormal/horror
328 pages
Buy it on Amazon, IndieBound
 or Barnes and Noble
Source: kindly provided by publisher

My thoughts: 
Paula Wittmore, the central character in this novel, puts a whole new spin on the phrase, "you can't go home." In Paula's case, she did- but she really, really shouldn't have.

Paula's home town, Haven Woods, is home to some unusual citizens: a coven of witches. At first glance, they seem to be like all the other women of the community: hauling kids to soccer games, getting together for gossip and advice, using magic to stay young and beautiful. The problem is that their lives are built on spells, half-truths, and an undercurrent of evil.

I really enjoyed the structure of this novel, which reminds me of an onion. The author introduces us to the outside picture at first, and peels down the onion layer by layer. It makes the book a real page turner, because with each horrific revelation, the reader is lead right into wondering what comes next.

I did have a bit of an issue with characterization, which I found rather spotty. Some characters were obviously given a lot of time and attention, and read beautifully- like Izzy and Rowan. Some, however, are less well-rounded- like Aggie, Glory, and many of the Thirteen. Obviously some of these characters are supposed to have lost much of their humanity; that's part of the storyline. Maybe it's really about the sheer number of characters, because there were several who were similarly lacking development and backstory. There is no way, of course, that the author could completely tell all their stories in just over 328 pages. I do know that I don't feel that I was ever able to distinguish between several of the background characters, nor was I clear on who the Thirteen were. The number is key to the whole plot, so this seems to me to be an intrinsic problem.

Despite my complaints, I do believe that Moloney can tell a whale of a story. This one is a tasty little bit of creeptastic- nothing gorry, just a fun spook, with a twist ending that will leave you with a smile on your face.

Summary from GoodReads:
"Desperate Housewives" meets "The Witches of Eastwick" in this novel about a woman who returns with her teenage daughter to her childhood home, not knowing that she's stepped back into a community run by a group of witches.


  1. Ooh..your review has me totally itching to buy this...eep! Awesome the onion !

  2. Wow! This sounds really good. I am going to have to give it a read.

    Great review!

  3. Thank you for the awesome review, Paula! I love your site, and was so pleased to see my book here!

  4. Susie, thanks for stopping by! I'm so glad you liked the review. It was a pleasure to read your work. :)

    Kimba and Ashley- be sure to make time for this one. It's definitely worthy of a good spot in your to-be-read list.


Post a Comment

We love your comments!