Saturday, 7 May 2011

Book Review - The 13 Secrets by Michelle Harrison

The 13 Secrets by Michelle Harrison
Release Date: 3rd February 2011
 Summary (Amazon):
Red is now living at Elvesden Manor under her real name, Rowan, and trying to put her past behind her. But staying on the straight and narrow isn't as easy as she had hoped...Hounded by fairy messengers who are trying to convince her to participate once more in the changeling trade, Rowan is haunted by dreams of the Hedgewitch's cottage and the chained-up Eldritch, who threatens revenge against her. Her past is about to catch up with her - can Tanya and Fabian prevent it consuming her altogether?

 This is one of those series that I wish desperately had been around when I was in the age range it’s aimed at. I remember seeing the first one, The 13 Treasures, coming out and unsure if I wanted to read it. I love fairies, but I’m all about the good ones. In the end, the cover (so predictable of me) won me over. When I read the first chapter, just to check it out as I was reading something else at the time, that was it, I hunkered down and read- scratch that- devoured the book. Naturally I stalked the second book, The 13 Curses, and read that in one sitting too. I even started buying the books for any young people who liked reading because they needed to have this series in their reading lives.

 When I finally got my mitts on this book, I did my usual and threw all partially read books to one side and got down and dirty with this one. And I wasn’t disappointed. This is definitely my favourite book in the series. It’s darker, edgier and has a whole bunch of new characters to meet and keep things fresh. It had a whole new plotline from the other two, yet answered all my questions from the other two books and tied everything up neatly.

 We get to find out more about Rowan’s past and how she came to be part of a gang that helped get human children back. It was interesting meeting the people she worked with and what each one brought to their group, yet there was something dangerous about it all. Every time I learnt something new about one of them, I had my back up. I was part of the dangerous world of fairies and trusted no one.

The small subplots that went on in the background were a nice touch too. I love things like that because I always wonder what’s going on in the smaller characters’ lives, and it was answered for me from time to time.  I also have to say that the African Grey got a lot of hate from me, as well as the characters. I have to live with one (hates her with a passion) and nearly everything was spot on about how hateful they can be to live with if you don’t love parrots. The only thing missing was how they like to pick up high-pitched shrieks and use them on you when their beloved has left the room!

 Overall, this last book rounded the series off nicely. I saw some things coming, but only when they were about to be revealed. Some things I didn’t and had a few ‘No way!’ moments before rereading what had just happened. This trilogy definitely needs to be enjoyed by children and adults. It’s a series that will stand the test of time, in my opinion.

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