Review – The Thirteenth Pillar
After the events of “The Thirteenth Child”, Cole, our sidhe hero, Cole has his very own sithen to call home, and he’s now a cop, a member of Section Thirteen, the unit of the NYPD that investigates the unexplainable crimes involving fae and other supernatural beings. He is also in a new relationship with the inspector Joss Vallimun, his boss.
A child murderer is on the loose and the Section Thirteen team is tirelessly working to stop whoever is responsible. Then, a teacher for a Staten Island private school is murdered, and Cole is summoned to the scene of the crime. This murder leads Cole to discover that he and his fellow fae are in great danger and it all seems to be circling around the school where that teacher had worked. When Joss is injured in the line of duty, facing down a rampaging ogre no less, Cole has to keep the investigation going until the very end. Because Joss is out of the action Cole needs to pull in reinforcements and we get three new interesting characters to learn about, an ogre, a ballsy policeman, and a witch.
This is a terrific, action-packed follow up to “The Thirteenth Child” which has quite a few twists, so get ready for a great ride. There is a lot of chemistry between Cole and Joss, and their developing relationship adds a new dimension only hinted at in the first book. Cole, though a warrior and not prone to much emotion, is quite sweet with his new lover. Though the two are so busy, they don’t have too much down time together in this story.
As in the previous book, the fusion of action, suspense, fantasy and romance works really well. The mythology and backstory are filling in beautifully and O’Faolain is creating a rich tapestry to build on. In this story, the horror of the child murders is juxtaposed against the almost ridiculous reality of who is committing the killings, along with the identity of the mastermind behind the Staten Island problems and why. Ultimately, the larger picture storyline isn’t fully resolved, but that just means we get another book soon. Yay!
So I am beginning to care about the characters and I really like the new ones introduced in this installment. James wasn’t quite as much of a jerk as he was in the first book, though he still has issues. We haven’t seen his harridan of a wife yet which I am anxiously awaiting. No Robyn this time, though I heard she shows up again in the 4th book. The Consort and Danu are showing some interest what is happening with Cole and I am excited to see where that all leads. Cole is starting to thaw a bit for me. He is a reserved character but he is showing emotion through his actions and what he does for those in need. The only thing that continues to throw me for a loop are some of the word choices in the sex scenes as they cause me to snigger like a 10 year old boy telling sex jokes. They tend to pull me from the scene quite effectively making it not so much sexy as jarring. Oh well.
This was another fun urban fantasy from O’Faolain. This twisty tale is both imaginative and well told, I just wish the almost porno-esque word choices especially in the first sex scene were smoothed over a little (but that might just be me!). Also, small point, but the cover art doesn’t do the urban fantasy element any justice at all. 3.5 stars.