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Thirteen

Review

Thirteen

THIRTEEN is author Tom Hoyle’s debut novel, and it’s sure to keep readers up late at night. Thirteen boys were born at midnight on the stroke of the new millennium, and twelve of them are dead. They were killed by a cult called “The People” that believes that an imagined “Master” commanded them to do so. However, 13-year-old Adam is the last one on the list. He has absolutely no idea of the dire danger he is in. Time is running out, for not only Adam, but also the lives of an entire city. Set in iconic London, this thriller will keep readers on their toes as they meet characters who may or may not be trustworthy.

This book certainly keeps the pages turning, but readers will have to suspend their disbelief in the plot. I thought that the plot seemed highly unbelievable in the modern world, with little to no police/adult involvement concerning the murders “The People” have committed. Personally, I simply couldn’t buy that such a big cult existed right under the noses of top-notch police officers and detectives.

Set in iconic London, this thriller will keep readers on their toes as they meet characters who may or may not be trustworthy.

However, when I reached the Appendix, which shared information on real-life cults, I was shocked that such things do exist --- hundreds have died at the hands of cults throughout history. This was perhaps the most haunting revelation I got from THIRTEEN; though “The People” is fiction, what happened to Adam may have been a variation of something that actually occurred in the past.

THIRTEEN is full of interesting characters, from our unpredictable, smart hero, Adam, to the sly, zealous Viper, a girl who works with “The People”. Though Hoyle’s dialogue falls short in its well-meaning attempt to emulate teen-speak, he certainly knows how to write visceral action with perfect word-choice. He paints pictures that can range from relatively bloodless to gruesomely gory, depending on the reader’s imaginations. The strongest aspects of THIRTEEN are its action-packed scenes and sense of mystery, which will propel readers through the book in no time.

Reviewed by Cassandra H., Teen Board Member on March 3, 2015

Thirteen
by Tom Hoyle