Source: MacMillian Audio– I received this in exchange for an honest review.
Publisher: MacMillan Audio
Narrator: Kate Reading
Edition: Audiobook, 10 Hours 49 Minutes
Genre: Horror Fantasy
Purchase: Macmillan / Amazon / B&N
Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
The Hallows. Ancient artifacts imbued with a primal and deadly power. But are they protectors of this world, or the keys to its destruction?
A gruesome murder in London reveals a sinister plot to uncover a two-thousand-year-old secret.
For decades, the Keepers guarded these Hallows, keeping them safe and hidden and apart from each other. But now the Keepers are being brutally murdered, their prizes stolen, the ancient objects bathed in their blood. Now, only a few remain.
With her dying breath, one of the Keepers convinces Sarah Miller, a practical stranger, to deliver her Hallow—a broken sword with devastating powers—to her American nephew, Owen.
The duo quickly become suspects in a series of murders as they are chased by both the police and the sadistic Dark Man and his nubile mistress.
As Sarah and Owen search for the surviving Keepers, they unravel the deadly secret the Keepers were charged to protect. The mystery leads Sarah and Owen on a cat-and-mouse chase through England and Wales, and history itself, as they discover that the sword may be the only thing standing between the world… and a horror beyond imagining.
The Thirteen Hallows is the beginning of a spellbinding new saga, a thrilling tale of ancient magic and modern times by a New York Times bestselling author and an award-winning playwright.
First I want to start with how fantastic Kate Reading is. She not only has a rather soothing voice but she’s fabulous at providing the different voices, with different accents. I think it was an awesome move on Macmillan Audio’s part to get her to read this, since it’s set in the UK it only makes sense to have someone with the proper accent. I’ve heard other audio books that were not so well thought out in that aspect.
Now on to the actual story. It’s certainly not what I was thinking it was going to be, but that’s not a bad thing in this case. The blurb is rather spot on and it’s not the plot that surprised me entirely, it’s more of how very straightforward this is. It should be noted that this is not something you would call a light read, and there is a significant amount of violence, sexual content, and cursing. In both cases it’s fairly blunt and anyone who can’t stand a lot of either in a book should probably steer clear. I did find some of the violence really cringe-inducing because of some of the detail and at times had to take small breaks. The sex scenes are not what I would call erotic or overly sensual as they are fairly straightforward, but they are somewhat detailed and slightly numerous. However seeing as this is a book that deals with demons and ancient and primeval powers it makes sense.
The plot itself is really thought out and researched, and I personally really enjoyed the mixing of thriller and mythology. The Hallows of Britain are are not something I’ve seen in fiction before so I find it to be a refreshing change of pace from all the Greek and Fae lit that is out there. I had heard of the Hallows, but they are not something I was very familiar with before this novel. Now I’m extremely curious about them and kind of hoping that this won’t be all Scott has to write about them. Unfortunately I would say that some of the characters lack the same detail as the plot. Sarah Miller is a great character and feel terrible for her, but I had a hard time really connecting to her counterpart Owen. The same thing goes for the Dark Man and Vivian. I felt that the Dark man was a great villain who was mysterious and creepy with an easy to understand motivation, but Vivian was hard to understand. The more I read the less I understood her reasoning to help gather the Hallows.
The writing is rather fluid and descriptive, which when paired with the short chapters and cliff hangers you end up with a book that’s hard to put to down.Though I do recommend this, it comes with a word of caution. It’s not a young adult novel like Scott’s Flamel series, and it’s not something that can be considered light in any sense of the word. It is a really good book though, and I’m certainly going to look into the authors’ other work.