Author: Tom Hoyle.
Publication Date: February 13th, 2014.
Format: Paperback, 336 pages.
Source: Provided By Publisher.
Born at midnight in London, on the stroke of the new millennium, Adam is the target of a cult that believes boys born on this date must die before the end of their thirteenth year. Twelve have been killed so far. Coron, the crazy cult leader, will stop at nothing to bring in his new kingdom. And now he is planning a bombing spectacular across London to celebrate the sacrifice of his final victim: Adam.
I have to say that Thirteen is one of the most unusual and strangest books I’ve read in quite a while! Although it took me quite a while to get through this book, about 9 days in total, it was nothing to do with the book itself. After finishing my last read, I found myself in a reading slump, and only managed to read a few pages at a time. However, I persevered and I’m so glad I did! To be perfectly honest, I’ve never read a cult related book before, and was a little reluctant to start Thirteen, as it’s usually not my style. But there was just something so enticing and interesting about the book that I just couldn’t resist (not to mention the cover design and yellow edged pages!). Thirteen is a fast-paced and action-packed book that’ll keep you on the edge of your seat and cringing at some of the dark and diverse scenes.
Adam is our main protagonist, and I have slightly mixed feelings about his character. I loved being able to read in a males prospective, and I thought he was really kind, sweet and innocent. He had this really adorable outlook on life and was fiercely protective of his friends, even standing up to bullies for them! However, I also thought he was really naive for his age of thirteen, nearly fourteen. I think this is mostly because of the fact that he’s a boy – as everyone seems to think they mature slower than girls (not that I’m judging!). Mostly though, I really liked his character, and although he’s probably not going to make it into my top 10 protagonists list, I thought he was a strong and likeable character that I enjoyed reading about and following his story.
Thirteen is split into two perspectives, Adam’s, and Coron’s – the psychotic and murdering cult leader that is trying to sacrifice Adam to cleanse the world of evil for a better world where he and his master shall reign. I loved reading both of their point of views and the whole aspect of this novel was unexpected and pretty brilliant and original! Reading Coron’s perspective was pretty bizarre and I had to laugh at some of the things that he came out with – he’s gone off his rockers and really delusional. I believe that Thirteen shows a really fascinating perspective into the whole theme of Cults. Especially about how easily people are coerced or drawn into these sorts of things. Something that irked me however, was the how abruptly the ending cut off – things seemed to be over in less than a page and there isn’t a whole lot of closure. Everything was building up to this final confrontation and I thought it just fell flat. I have so many questions milling around in my head; how does Adam convince the police of his innocence? What happened to the remaining characters, and what exactly happens to Adam now that the ordeal is over? Apparently there is a sequel in the works, and I’m eager to find out if my questions are answered and to see what might happen next!
Overall, I really enjoyed reading Thirteen – it was a really awesome and intriguing book that surprised me at every turn. Although Thirteen is classed as a YA novel, on one hand I’d say that it’s honestly more of a middle-grade novel. I think this mostly due to the characters, even though they’re teenagers. But on the other hand there’s a darker and more sinister side which makes me think it does fit into the YA genre - maybe it’s somewhere between the two? Tom Hoyle’s writing is funny, upbeat and quirky, but he also has the ability to create an air of seriousness to the whole situation. Thirteen is definitely not a perfect novel, but then again, I think they’re few and far between. It has its flaws; with confusing scenes and slightly jerky and robotic writing at times, but I’m very glad I read it. I’d recommend this book to anyone with an open mind, even if you’re not a young adult – I believe you’ll enjoy this book for what it is – an imaginative, thrilling novel with strong characters and a brilliant plot.
'By the time he is fourteen, the boy has become a man... Thirteen is the last year of childhood... The boy must be killed before he is a man.' - Page 01.
Keenan spoke. ‘Before you die, I’ll tell you what you are. You are filth, but you are dangerous. Born at midnight at the millennium, two thousand years after the previous Imposter, you-‘
‘I wasn’t. I wasn’t,’ Adam tried to say. But he was.
‘You would stop Lord Coron, who will cleanse this world, from taking his real place, perhaps with me at his side.’
Coron? Cleanse the world? What was Keenan on about? This was mad!
Adam realized that these people where completely crazy. - Page 94.
Words ran around the top of the room: I will deliver you into the hands of brutal men who are skilful to destroy. You shall be the fuel for the fire; your blood shall be in the midst of the land. - Page 150.