Before I read this book, I was actually afraid of it. I had been anticipating reading it for so long, that I built it up on a pedestal in my mind. This was a bad idea, but I couldn't help it. So I didn't want to read it because I was afraid it wouldn't live up to my expectations. That, and my luck with middle-grade reads lately has not been so good. Well, I shouldn't have worried. 13 Treasures was all that I had hoped it would be and more.
Generally what I look for in my middle-grade reads is a great adventure that feels like an escape. I read middle-grades to forget about my real life and to not have to worry so much about character depth and I just want to be able to enjoy the story. Also, I have been looking for a middle-grade read that is at least half as good as Harry Potter since, well, since I read Harry Potter. And I finally found a middle-grade series I can stick with and enjoy until the bitter end.
I'm not huge fan of fairies either. But these aren't your run-of-the-mill fairies. These fairies are more like little demons. They are vile, mischievous, and not friendly in the least. And the world they live in is just as dangerous as they are. There is some great world-building to be had here. The manor, the forest, the town, etc. And the story is fantastic as well. There is a wonderful mystery to unravel, and by the end of the book it is solved, but then a new story opens as the book closes. This story is continued in the next book in the series, 13 Curses.
13 Curses was just recently released in the US. And the final book, 13 Wishes will not be out in the US for a very long time. This makes me want to pull my hair out and I just wanted to let everyone know how very frustrated I am about this.
And one other thing, if you order the UK editions of these books, Michelle Harrison's wonderful illustrations are included. The US edition doesn't have them. I think the illustrations are really worth having, and that is something to keep in mind. There's a lot of great imagery in the story, and the illustrations really help you to picture what is going on. If I had known this, I probably would have ordered the UK version.
Either way, if you enjoy middle-grades, if you enjoy a great adventure, this is a series you should start reading. It's definitely one of my favorite reads of the year so far.
Almost a year later, this is still my favorite middle-grade read other than Harry Potter. It's effing brilliant.