Saturday, March 30, 2013

13 Secrets

13 Secrets is the conclusion to Michelle Harrison’s 13 trilogy. Tanya is coming back to her grandmother's estate for summer vacation and looking forward to seeing Fabian and Rowan again. After the events of the second book Rowan now lives at the manor… but she still has some secrets she has not revealed. Tanya and Fabian soon find that Rowan belongs to a clandestine organization that fights against the changeling trade- the kidnapping of human children by fairies. This was hinted at strongly in the second book of course, but here we find out just how involved she was with them and just how dangerous it is. Someone or something is hunting members of the organization down- can the killer be stopped before all is lost? And how is this related to a decision Rowan made that may have disastrous consequences for them all? 

In many ways I thought this was the best book of the series. Harrison seems to improve with each outing. The setting is well- realized, the plot moves along briskly and there are enough surprises and betrayals to keep you guessing. I liked the fact that the villain, when revealed, had a plausible (albeit twisted) motivation. The only quibble I have is everything seemed a little too connected at the end, a little too convenient how some of the pieces came together, but this is a minor point. The fun factor and surprises along the way make this a page- turner.

Some reviewers have noted the overall lack of romance in this series, and it seems appropriate given the young ages of the protagonists. In this third volume however we begin to see some romantic entanglements, both between Rowan and Sparrow (a streetwise ally with a heart of gold) and also between Fabian's father Warwick and Rose (Rowan's mother). The various members of Rowan's group are also a nice addition to the story. Everyone has a secret and no one can be trusted.

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