Book Review: The Thirteen Hallows, by Michael Scott/Colette Freedman

3 to 3.5 Stars

Thirteen objects that lock demons in the other world are falling into the wrong hands.

Men and women in their seventies are turning up murdered. Brutally so.

Enter young Sarah and handsome Owen, your day-savers.

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I struggled with the rating for this book, and I’m still not sure if I would read a second one. (This was supposed to be the flagship of a new series, which has yet to continue.)

I’ll start with the good.

This book was compulsively readable. It reminded me of Dan Brown. I would sit down to read a few pages, and before I knew it, hours had flown by and I was three-quarters of the way through the book. Short chapters combined with nonstop action keeps it moving pretty quickly.

The story line was decent, but not fantastic. It had a slight air of deja vu to it. Most likely because it was a combination of several other books/movies: Da Vinci Code, Constantine, Harry Potter, a few others. It wasn’t a blatant knockoff of anything, though.

I liked that it brought in elements of mythology and weaved them into history. They obviously did their research on this aspect.

Now on to the bad.

This is one of the few books I’ve read that is written by more than one author. I’ve always felt that the flow would be interrupted and the logic would suffer if more heads were contributing. This book proved me right. There were several areas of the book contradicting itself, and the descriptions were repetitive. (Apparently blood smells metallic. Did you know that? Because if you didn’t, the authors will make sure you do by halfway through the book. And in case you forget, they’ll bring it up again a few pages later.)

I also felt like the book took too long to find its footing. The first several chapters are murders of old people. No mention of a protagonist. Then you get to an old lady that you follow for a while. As a reader, you start to settle in her head. Then bam! You’re following someone else. You don’t get to the protagonist for several chapters. Way too many chapters. It makes the beginning a bit confusing.

The way the cops were written was insulting to the police force. I’ve never read more idiotic and stubborn cops than these. Another reviewer suggested they should’ve been taken completely out and the story wouldn’t have suffered. I agree.

The characters were one-dimensional, but this book flies at a fast pace. Dan Brown’s characters are equally as flat, as are a lot of other authors’ characters who write this way, so I’m not going to fault the story on this too much.

Overall, it was an interesting read, but not life changing, and the inconsistencies were a little too much for me. I might consider reading a sequel if one is ever published, but will probably continue to shy away from books that have multiple authors.

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