Happy Sunday everyone!
Hope you’re all doing well! It’s raining here, but I’m not letting it dampen my spirits. Inspiration has been striking in many ways — more to come in tomorrow’s post.
For now, here’s a review. Warning… it’s not a happy one…
The Thirteen Hallows by Michael Scott & Colette Freedman
The Hallows. Ancient artifacts imbued with a primal and deadly power. But are they protectors of this world, or the keys to its destruction?
A gruesome murder in London reveals a sinister plot to uncover a two-thousand-year-old secret.
For decades, the Keepers guarded these Hallows, keeping them safe and hidden and apart from each other. But now the Keepers are being brutally murdered, their prizes stolen, the ancient objects bathed in their blood.
Now, only a few remain.
The premise of the novel caught my attention as did the cover and I had the highest expectations for it. Unfortunately, it has proven to be my first disappointing read of the year.
Sarah Miller is a young woman who is dragged into the centuries old legend of the Hallows when she encounters one of the Keepers. She then meets Owen, nephew to one of the Guardians, and the two become embroiled in the thicket of the mystery and danger. On the run from the police and the evil of the Dark Man and his mistress, Vyvienne, they must rely on each other and learn to trust on faith to survive.
Like I said, the idea behind the story is wonderful, and the mythology itself, drawn from many Welsh sources, added a flare to the novel, granting moments when the narrative showed glimmers of its potential. But these were too few and far-between to save an otherwise meandering story.
The first problem: far too many perspectives. I can’t even count the number of them that told the story and won’t try to here. The point is, the constant changing of perspectives even within one scene was off-putting and distracting. It slowed the pace, not quickened it!
The other problem: too much gratuitous sex and violence. I understand that the novel is a NA urban fantasy and so written for a mature audience. I’ve read the first three novels of Outlander and all of Game Thrones, plus I watch the show — all that to say that I’m not being prudish when I say that the overly descriptive details regarding any sex scene or action scene came across as superfluous.
The last problem I want to focus on are the characters. Because of the number of perspectives, protagonists Sarah and Owen tended to get lost in the narrative, the development of their relationship and overall character arcs never amounting to anything more than contrived epiphanies. Neither were remarkably likable or interesting. In all truth, the character I connected most with was Vyvienne (aka the nymphomaniac), only because her origins were unique and her perspective resonated the most with me (still could have done with less sex, but…)
The Thirteen Hallows promised a fascinating tale, but failed to deliver. A sequel is in the works, but I won’t be picking it up. I don’t recommend trying your hand on this one. If you’re looking for a good urban fantasy, one rooted in mythology, you’d be better off with Good Omens by Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett, American Gods by Neil Gaiman…in fact, anything by Neil Gaiman should do the trick 😉
May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,