Review: Thirteen by Tom Hoyle

Title: Thirteen | Author: Tom Hoyle | Macmillan Children’s Books | Thirteen #1 | 4 Stars | Source: Bought | 336 Pages | Young Adult | Mystery/Thriller Release Date: February 13th 2014

Goodreads Synopsis
Born at midnight in London, on the stroke of the new millennium, Adam is the target of a cult that believes boys born on this date must die before the end of their thirteenth year. Twelve boys have been killed so far. Coron, the crazy cult leader, will stop at nothing to bring in his new kingdom. And now he is planning a bombing spectacular across London to celebrate the sacrifice of his final victim: Adam


Thirteen follows the story of Adam Grant. He is 13 years old and little does he know the he is being followed and every single one of his moves is being tracked. He is being tracked by a cult known as “The People” led  by Coron  who firmly believes that he must sacrificed in order for a new world to begin.

I thoroughly enjoyed this read. It is nothing like I have ever read before. The concept of cults is something that I usually laugh at but “The People” is genuinely frightening and I loved all of our characters. Even the villains. The novel is written from two points of view starting off with Coron, the leader of “The People”. We then get to meet out main character.

Our main character comes in the form of Adam Grant. I loved him from the beginning. His first chapter consists of him punching the resident bully in the face because he was picking on one of his best friends. You also feel sorry for him because of his situation. He was abandoned by his mother and had to be adopted in to his new family.

Even though there is no way you could empathize with him, I really did enjoy Coron’s role and presence in the novel. He is a brilliant villain in a sense the he is twisted in the purest form. He is absolutely vile, his soul is black and there is no chance of redemption. He is the villain through and through. There is no reasoning with him and his thought processes are so distorted.  I love seeing characters like this.  In my line of reading they are few and far between.

The novel is split in to four parts. In some cases it was because there was a period of time from one chapter to the next. Other were because they provided a turning point in the novel. As I said before the novel is written from two points of view – Coron and Adam’s – most of the time I enjoyed Adam’s part the most but I was glad to the insight of both parties. It also included chapters from the kills running up to number 13. They were brutal and fabulous. The plot had good pacing and the purpose of the characters missions were clear.

My only problem with this novel is that I would have liked to have seen more about “The People”. I am not going in to spoilers but we do get some info about them and how they function. I would have liked to have seen more development around Coron, as well.

Overall this was a brilliant read. We have a strong main character and excellent back up. We have an old school evil villain and a plot where time is about to run out for all of them and danger is around the next corner. I would recommend this to anyone who wants something different and strong male lead.

Goodreads Average: 3.66/5 (out of 53 ratings)

Want to buy it? Amazon UK | Amazon US | The Book Depository


I had difficulty tagging this. It is young adult but our main character is at the younger side of that at 13 years old. If the main characters in this novel were 16/17 years old, the events still would have been plausible. Thirteen is also quite violent in some places.  But again it is no more violent than the average video game or horror/action movie that 13 year olds play nowadays, even what video games I played when I was around that age.

I don’t know what this is marketed as, but I assume that it is aimed at the whole YA spectrum, young and old. I think this is written by someone who has given credit to the younger side of his audience. I think there is a double standard with books and violence nowadays and thankfully it seems like this novel does not adhere to this.

sequels: at the end of the novel it says he is working on a sequel. The novel did not end on a cliffhanger as such but there was a “to be continued” which I am always a fan.

Finally, just a comment on the cover art. I absolutely love it. It also has some stunning art around the spine and edges, some of you may have seen it on my instagram!

Spine and book edge art from Thirteen by Tom Hoyle #coverart #books #lit #myposts