Wednesday, 19 March 2014

THIRTEEN

Thirteen by Tom Hoyle

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 bombing spectacular across London to celebrate the sacrifice of his final victim: Adam.

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Eh. That pretty much says it all really, doesn't it? I didn't have particularly high expectations of this book. In fact, I didn't really have any expectations of it at all. I was walking through a shop, that vivid cover caught my eye and made me go ooooh, so I bought it. I finished the book I was currently reading later that day and so I got stuck in straightaway, without reading anything about it online. I think, perhaps, if I had, I wouldn't have bought it. I'm not saying it was a bad book, it just wasn't really for me. I have this deep love of cults and books about cults, but this was different. It wasn't sinister, it was just crazy. I think the most accurate way for me to describe this book is melodramatic. Because it's insane and over the top and I didn't like that.

It's also set in the UK. Now, I know it sounds stupid, but right now I have a real thing against books set in the UK. It's probably because I live there and for me books have always been about escapism, to a certain extent. I don't have to read a full-on fantasy or sci-fi to get there, but there needs to be something that takes me away from my small life. Right now, books set in the UK just make me sigh. This one was no exception to that rule.

Then there's the characters. It's been a little while since I was a teenager, sure, but I work with a lot of them and I'm actually not that old. The kids here don't sound like real teenagers, they barely sound human. I've compared teens in books to the foreign surfer guys in Family Guy before, and it's true once again here. I wanted to curl up into a ball and die at numerous points because the way they talk is just so cringeworthy.


So, overall, not a great read for me. Not even an okay read. It reminded me of Gone by Michael Grant, another book that I didn't particularly like, but which features a similar protagonist. If you liked that one, which a huge number of people did, then you might enjoy this one. If you thought Gone was a bit bleh, maybe give this one a miss. 



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