Thirteen Days of Midnight – A Review
I received a copy of this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
My biggest regret with this book is that I read it in July, when the sun was out and it was eighty degrees in the evening. This is the kind of book I would want to read in October, when the air is crisp and the leaves are dead and I go walking in the evening with my dog, passing the cemetery with some bizarre anticipation. It’s a Halloween book, set at Halloween and it’s great for Halloween.
Luke’s like goes from normal to haunted quickly. He finds out his dad is dead, he’s inherited a host of spirits and they’re not happy. It might be cool if you found out that you have a bunch of ghosts who will follow your orders, it would be less cool if they were out to add you to their ranks.
This book is aimed at young adults, and you can tell in the way the story flows, but it surprised me by how dark it went. Maybe I haven’t read enough teen literature yet, but I can’t imagine a lot of them have the literal devil, blood sacrifices and necromancer wars. There’s some interested world building, which is mainly near the end, but it feels slightly out of place with the rest of the book.
Luke’s a likable character, starting as a popular jock at school with a decent understanding of how and why cliques work. Once he inherits the ghosts, he finds that there’s more help to be had with the weirder kids. Elza, a girl at school who can see those in the world beyond, is a great partner who just doesn’t give a crap about social cues. She would be right at home in Neil Gaiman’s Sandman comics.
The ghost themselves are alright, but we never really get to know them. There’s the big bad, the monster and the one who’s getting to old for this, but they’re not really fleshed out as characters. There’s eight of them, but it might have been better to have a few less and make them more memorable.
I liked the book and Leo Hunt has a way with words when it comes to the netherworld and Hell and he does a few run-off paragraphs that hit hard. I’ve already ordered the book for my library and would get the sequel, if it happens. It’s dark, unique in it’s British-setting and a fast-paced page turner. It’s not perfect, but it’s doing a lot and building some interesting ideas for it’s world. Recommended.