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The Thirteen: A Novel by Susie Moloney
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The Thirteen: A Novel (original 2011; edition 2012)

by Susie Moloney

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Member:sithereandread
Title:The Thirteen: A Novel
Authors:Susie Moloney
Info:William Morrow Paperbacks (2012), Edition: Original, Paperback, 336 pages
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The Thirteen: A Novel by Susie Moloney (2011)

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Originally posted on my blog: The Bibliophile's Corner

Cover Talk: Look at those eyes! And those cheek bones. This woman is freaking beautiful. Seriously, I picked up the book because of the cover and then bought it because it was about witches. And it’s called The Thirteen. I am a wee obsessed with the number 13.

First Impressions: “A circle of friends can get you through anything. A circle of witches can drag you through hell.” ‘nough said.

First Few Chapters: The very first chapter is a suicide. It’s pretty gruesome actually and it sucked me in. I could not put this book down. In the first handful of chapters, we are introduced to just about every character and ever member of the circle. There are definitely some crazies in this book.

Characters: Paula is a young mother just trying to make ends meet for her and her daughter. She takes shit jobs, puts up with douchey bosses, and doesn’t get paid all that well. I found her character to be very interesting. She has so much emotional baggage that is directly tied to her childhood home. And unfortunately, she is forced to face it all when she gets a call about her sick mother.

Rowen is my favorite character. Just entering the first stages of puberty, she has the best personality. She is self-sufficient, sarcastic, and pretty mature for her age. She also has a wonderful bullshit radar and can spot a fake person in a second. I do wish that she would have spoke up more to her mom, especially when it came to not trusting her mom’s “friends.”

Audra, Paula’s mother, was one of the first to join the group with Izzy. Throughout the majority of this book, she is trapped in the hospital because of Izzy’s curse type thing. If anyone betrays the group, the turn into a Judas donkey. Yeah…

Izzy is the leader of the crazies, I mean witches. And I have to say, part of me felt really bad for her, but the other part of me thought that she got exactly what she deserved by the end.

As for the rest of the characters that make up the witchy group, they all creeped me out. I personally cannot fathom why these people did what they did to have their dreams and wants come true. While some had noble reasons, such as curing their kids, there were the vain reasons too: losing weight, getting lots of sex, and being beautiful. And as for

Plot: Like I mentioned earlier, this book starts off with a suicide. Throughout the rest of the book, there is a animal sacrifice, a curse, hundreds of cats with creepy stares, witchy get togethers, attempted kidnapping. This book has a lot of action going on.

The only frustrating part of this book was the numerous hospital scenes in which Paula and Rowen visit Audra. I was frustrated because surely Paula would have figured out something was wrong. Audra was the only patient and Tula was the only nurse. But, this is just me being picky. And if she would have figured out what was going on, there would have been no book.

The last handful of chapters went by achingly slow to draw out the suspense. And, I guess it wasn’t slow so much as the chapters kept switching to different characters so we could see where everyone was and how they all ended up in the same place. And oh my gosh, the end!!! I did not see that coming.

Final Thoughts: I really enjoyed this book and highly recommend it for people who want a good “witchy” read. And for those of you who want to read more stand alone novels, this is not a series! Yay!. ( )
  Ashley_McElyea | Dec 15, 2013 |
This review is based on an uncorrected proof from Bookmooch.

I really enjoyed this book.

The story grabbed me from the beginning. Even though I had read the synopsis on the back cover I still couldn't predict what would happen next. There was enough mystery in the unfolding of the story that I was enthralled and wondering exactly what was going on because the details were dribbled out gradually.

As I neared the end of the book, the story picked up its pace and the tension mounted until I found I didn't want to put it down because I just had to know what was going to happen.

The ending didn't disappoint.

The epilogue was a stroke of genius and gave just enough details to intrigue and whet the appetite. Who is the woman in the dog park and just how did Rowan learn magic? Can't wait for the next book to find out. ( )
  808anela | Nov 15, 2012 |
This book kept me guessing but i seemed lost in alot of the characters and how they all fit together.The vague descriptions of alot of the witches left me confused at times and the sacrifice was gory and a little to descriptive .I liked the book the story line seemed to jump around alot from love story to witches and gore but it fit together nice in the end.This book seemed like book two or three in a series but it isnt and it is not part of a series it could of easily been.I would recomend this book if the reader wasnt to young. ( )
  EffixiousSundown | Nov 8, 2012 |
When she was a teenager, Paula’s mother sent her away to live at a boarding school after she gets pregnant, and their relationship remains strained. But now her mother has suddenly become desperately ill, and Paula is returning to her hometown of Haven Woods for the first time in years. At first, it’s just as she remembered it – a perfect slice of suburbia where all the women are strong, the men are good-looking and the children are above average. (Apologies to Mr. Keillor.) But there’s something off about this quiet town and the women who live there. Paula’s mother is in the hospital, yet she can’t ever get in touch with a doctor. Her mother’s friends are as friendly as they’ve always been, but there’s an odd intensity to their interest that frightens Paula’s daughter, Rowan. Behind the scenes of this picture-perfect town, twelve women have made a covenant with a dark power that grants them beauty and prosperity, and they want Paula to join their coven. But when you make a deal with the Devil, there’s always Hell to pay…

The Thirteen is a very odd blend of chick lit tropes wrapped up in horror worthy of Stephen King. So in one chapter, you have the young single mother falling in love with a handsome, brave childhood friend, but a few pages later you have a grisly, gory animal sacrifice. The two styles never coalesce into something tangible and coherent.

The plot is initially intriguing. Rather than the more typical tale of a group of friends discovering witchcraft and growing into their powers, these women are well-established in their craft and have benefited from their powers for decades. Their immediate problem has been brought about through the death of a member of their coven; to keep their evil master happy, they must restore their ranks to thirteen as quickly as possible. These witches are aging, their control unraveling. They are in decline. It makes an already twisted tale even darker and crueler.

There is a large cast of characters, and the narration freely jumps from one to the next with no rhyme or reason. This necessitates shallow development, since we don’t really spend that much time with any individual. The story quickly slides into different basic character types: The Bitch, The Clinging Friend, The Glutton, and so on.

Unfortunately, the book is both confusing and boring. It starts out slow and plods through the crises of far too many women, and it’s really hard to care about any of them. When the tension should be rising, it’s muddling instead. I persisted to the end not because I was interested in the book, but only because I had nothing else on me to read. It’s dark and it’s gory, but The Thirteen just isn’t threatening or scary.

It’s just bad. ( )
1 vote makaiju | Sep 9, 2012 |
In my way of thinking, "The Thirteen" is a cross between fantasy and chick lit....

The fantasy -- it's about a town that is run by a coven of witches with some serious nastiness thrown in. *There are several scenes that are a bit disturbing with violence towards animals but I did not think them overdone.

The chick lit -- it's about a single mother who thinks her mom sent her away to boarding school when she became pregnant because she was ashamed of her. The main character is called back to town when her mother falls ill.

I really enjoyed the first part of the story. I liked how Moloney hinted at plot points throughout the narrative, which kept me guessing. I liked most of the characters in the book -- with the exception of a few of the witches that were very vaguely described. I felt like there was more of a story there that Moloney didn't explain.

What fell short for me was the ending. Besides the fact that I felt there was underdevelopment in the witch angle, the ending was sudden and rushed. I wanted much more explanation and details than Moloney penned. ( )
  TinaV95 | Jul 3, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)
With The Thirteen, Moloney has constructed a compellingly uncanny narrative, binding the tropes of small town paranoia and cliquishness with the chokehold of family obligations and religious fervour, and the very real claustrophobia of poverty and desperation. While the nasty, scary stuff really is nasty and scary, Moloney also excels at the non-supernatural horror: parents’ anxiety for their children, ordinary people’s terror in the face of crippling mortgage payments and the fears we all face just getting through our day-to-day lives. What’s worse – making a pact with a demon to have things go your way, or putting your morals aside to pay the bills?
 
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0062117661, Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:24:37 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"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"--

(summary from another edition)

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