27 December 2013

Review: The 13: The Stand by Robbie Chevront & co

Not thrilling

A thriller should be thrilling. It should keep me turning pages like there’s no tomorrow. It should keep me awake at night, wondering what’s going to happen to the characters (or it should keep me up at night to finish it so I can rest).

A thriller should get my heart rate up.

This didn’t.

I read the first 40%, got bored, so went and read something else (seriously. I’m bored reading a thriller. Doesn’t that tell you something?). By the time I got back to it (two weeks later), I’d forgotten most of what had happened in the first portion but quickly picked it up again. The problem was I still wasn’t engaged with any of the characters. I gave up not long after the halfway point, where two main characters had a gunfight and I realised I just didn’t care who won and who died. Life is too short to read boring books, so I stopped there.

In fairness, The 13: Stand is the second book in a series, and I often find the middle book in a trilogy to be slow, so maybe it’s that. Or maybe there are too many characters (I had trouble keeping the characters, locations and politics straight).

Or maybe it’s the fact that even though I have read the first book in the series (The 13: Fall), it was a year ago and I have forgotten most of the details. The 13: Stand moved straight into the plot, with no recap of what happened in 13: Fall, and that felt as though I’d been dumped in the middle of the story.

I suspect The 13: Stand is written for people who only read a handful of books each year, so have no trouble remembering the plot and characters from a book they read a year ago (several other reviewers have only reviewed this one book. I suspect that’s the camp they fall in to). Unfortunately, that’s not me.

Thanks to Barbour Books and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.

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