Review: Thirteen by Tom Hoyle

Posted February 26, 2014 by chooseyabooks in reviews / 0 Comments

I received this book for free from Macmillan Children's Books in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Thirteen by Tom HoyleThirteen by Tom Hoyle
Published by Pan Macmillan on February 13th 2014
Genres: Action & Adventure, General, Young Adult
Pages: 368
Format: Paperback
Source: Macmillan Children's Books

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 boys 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 spectacular bombing across London to celebrate the sacrifice of his final victim: Adam.
Thirteen is the first in an exciting action series from debut author Tom Hoyle.

Review:  One of the key things that drew me into Thirteen was the cult aspect. I’m a fan of the TV show The Following (don’t judge me!) and there’s something fascinating yet truly terrifying about the way some people can compel and persuade others to join them in committing wrongs. Thirteen involves a cult that believe boys born at midnight on the millennium will signal destruction unless they die before they are fourteen. Adam is one of the boys, one of the last boys still alive.

Thirteen is very plot-driven and filmic. I think younger YA readers and action fans will really enjoy the action filled plot. Adam is a likeable hero and a believable teenager. For me, I felt Thirteen had great potential as it’s fast-paced, has a good grasp of its target market and the action was compelling and very visual. However, at times I felt that it lacked emotional depth and sometimes moved so quickly it was hard to take in the ramifications of certain developments. In particular, I would have liked to see more of Adam’s reactions to certain plot points.  In addition to this, I would have personally liked to understand more about what drew Coron’s followers into his cult and why and some of the psychological underpinnings of the members and Coron. There were some great twists and mysteries within the novel and high stakes for Adam and overall it was an effective thriller.

Compelling and thrilling, Thirteen is ideal for YA readers who like fast-paced action on every page.  The concept is really strong and original with its cult aspect, one that as far as I am aware hasn’t been so explored within YA yet. There is clear series potential for Thirteen and I think it’s is a promising debut that somewhat reluctant readers and fans of action films and games will really enjoy.

On a more shallow note, I think it’s really worth commenting in this space about the cover design and execution. It has gorgeous spray edged pages and a really bright cover that stands out. I think Thirteen is presented particularly well.

 I received a free copy from Macmillan Children’s Books  for reviewing purposes. My review is honest and its tone and content unaffected by the means in which I received the book.


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