Blog Archive

View My Stats
Thursday, April 15, 2010

"13 Treasures" by Michelle Harrison (Reviewed by Cindy Hannikman)


Visit Michelle Harrison's official website here
Order 13 Treasures from Amazon here

Author Introduction: 13 Treasures won the prestigious Waterstone's Children's Book Award, an award by one of the world's largest book suppliers in the UK. It is Michelle Karrison's debut novel.

Overview: Tanya experiences something that other 13 year olds do not. She sees many little creatures that are virtually unknown to others. She can see evil fairies, goblins, brownies, and other creatures. No matter what Tayna has tried to do these evil creatures won't leave her alone. When she mentions their existence to anyone who doesn't have this second sight, the fairies come in the middle of the night and torment and torture her so she will learn a lesson.

One evening the fairies have come to pay a visit to Tayna. They have caused her to create such a mess and disturbance that her mother has had enough. The family has recently been dealing with the recent divorce and Tayna's mother believes she is acting out in an attempt to get attention. To resolve this issue Tanya is sent away to stay at her grandmother's old estate for a weeks. This estate is filled with hundreds and thousands of fairies and other creatures.

In a small town not far from the estate there has been a major increase in missing children. What the town does not know is that they are actually dealing with the issue of changelings that is causing these children to go missing.

Tayna soon finds herself wrapped up in the mystery of events in the town, and even further involved with a mystery that has been haunting Tayna's grandmother and the game keeper of the estate. Tayna will find herself looking to try and enter the fairy realm and get the answers to some of the town's most talked about mysteries.

Format: 13 Treasures is a YA fantasy mixed with a bit of mystery. It stands at 368 pages. It is being released in the US April 12, 2010 by Little Brown Books for Young Readers. It was released in the UK in 2009 by Simon & Schuster Children's. The sequel 13 Curses is currently released in the UK, with a release date in the US to be announced.

Analysis: Any book that wins a major award instantly grabs the attention of any reader. When it was announced that 13 Treasures won the Waterstone's Children's Book Award I was curious to see what it held. When it was announced that Little Brown Books for Young Readers would be bringing it to the US I was really excited.

13 Treasures is a fantasy and mystery wrapped up into one. There are some areas that make this book stand out from the rest but there are also some areas that suffer from the traditional debut novel/author syndrome.

These fairies in this book are evil. There's no other way to describe it. For children this is probably their first encounter with evil creatures. These fairies punch, kick, bite, burn, and hurt people. This whole concept was handled very nicely and even as a veteran reader of fantasy I was amazed at the amount of creativity and time that was spent to develop these creatures' personalities.

This story is grime and very dark for a children's book. It was a nice change of pace from the happy little tinkerbell fairies that seem to be popping up for children. Adult readers might find it a bit of a new twist but nothing overly different from what they've read before.

The problems with this novel pop up in the pacing of the writing. It sometimes comes across as very choppy. The events felt a little uneven a sometimes a bit forced to make them fit into the time frame of the book. This is fairly classic of a debut novel and wasn't overwhelming but it did seem to drag the novel down a bit. There is also an issue in that it takes a good 150 pages before anything of the mystery is revealed. There is plenty of world building and fairy encounters but it caused me to wonder what the mystery was and what the point of the novel was. After the half way point the book picked up pace and was really captivating. The slow start took a bit to get through but I finally understood why this novel was so well liked.

The main characters in the book, Tayna and Fabian (a boy who lives on Tayna's grandma's estate) are a bit of the typical YA characters that one would expect to encounter in a children's novel. I wasn't overly impressed with Tayna as a character, and really the characters aren't the best part of the book. I had a hard time understanding how she could figure out certain things and at the same time take so long to piece anything of this mystery together.

Although the characters aren't overwhelming, 13 Treasures is definitely a great little read. The use of a world where evil fairies live in existence with humans was brilliantly done. The world building and fairy aspect of this novel are it's strongest points. As a debut novel there are a few issues with writing that needs to be ironed out but overall it was an impressive read. Young readers will enjoy this first look into a darkish fantasy while adult readers will find it a fast enjoyable read. I definitely can't wait to see how this story continues in 13 Curses, and how Michaelle Harrison grows as an author because there is a lot of talent and imagination there.



4 comments:

Elfy said...

Thanks for the review. I saw this one a few weeks ago, but couldn't find out much about it. Nice to have an independent review.

Cindy said...

You're very welcome. I've read good things about the sequel so I can't wait to get my hands on that one :)

tiffany said...

Love the book can't stop reading it:) love the review

Ruby said...

In my opinion, this was a pretty accurate review. It explains that, although there are a few hiccups, the book was a great read. I have both the 1st and the 2nd books and I think they are very good :)

NOTEWORTHY RELEASES

Click here to find out more about “The Abyss Beyond Dreams”
Review HERE

NOTEWORTHY RELEASES

Click here to find out more about “Unholy War”
Review HERE

NOTEWORTHY RELEASES

Click here to find out more about “Station Eleven”

Review HERE

NOTEWORTHY RELEASES

Click here to find out more about “The Knight”
Review HERE

NOTEWORTHY RELEASES

Click here to find out more about “The Dark Defiles”
Review HERE

NOTEWORTHY RELEASES

Click here to find out more about “Tom Swan and The Siege of Belgrade 1”
Review HERE

NOTEWORTHY RELEASES

Click here to find out more about “City of Stairs”
Review HERE

NOTEWORTHY RELEASES

Click here to find out more about “Bete”
Review HERE