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Shannon Delany

Teoksen 13 to Life tekijä

19+ teosta 1,218 jäsentä 96 arvostelua 7 Favorited

About the Author

Image credit: Author Shannon Delany of the 13 to Life series in upstate New York. Photo credit to Karl Gee.


Tekijän teokset

Associated Works

Spirited: 13 Haunting Tales (2011) — Avustaja — 40 kappaletta

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On the outside this sounds kind of like every other young adult paranormal you can think of: mysterious new boy (and siblings) begin attending the local smalltown high school, girls go ga-ga, our narrator or main character is constantly in his company, sparks fly...oh and that annoying problem, that may be supernatural even, keeps rearing its plot point head. Here's where Delany does it different. Our narrator, Jessie, is completely 100% normal. There is nothing, except maybe her pistol shooting, that is special about her in a paranormal way. As a human she is determined to help others out as much as possible. Like the elderly at the nursing home she volunteers at for school and the former Queen Bee who used to torment her, but is now a sorry broken doll. In other words Jessie does her best to 'fix' things so everyone is happy and comfortable. I'm hoping Jessie stays normal too. Other than some weird coincidences surrounding her and Pietr, I think she will stay normal.

Throughout the novel Delany teases us with information regarding the werewolves. Jessie sees a huge animal's teeth and eyes on her farm. There's reported sightings in a nearby town. Newspaper articles detailing the 'Phantom Wolves'. Even some subtle clues as to who is a werewolf (not that its a surprise). More than the werewolf problem however, Delany brings the Russian mafia into the mix, learning to cope with grief and guilt and what makes a person a man instead of a beast. It felt like redemption was the major underlying notion. Jessie was seeking redemption for treating her mom so carelessly while she lived. Sarah was seeking redemption for how she used to behave. Pietr was seeking redemption for a curse he never wanted. Their stumbling ideas on how to achieve this redemption is what drives the story.

Some of the secondary plot lines got a shorter stick on development. For instance Derek; his interest in Jessie seemed all over the place and I couldn't quite get if he was truly playing her or if it was genuine interest. Wanda, a female friend of Jessie's father's, just kind of...appeared and had answers at one point. One being Max (Pietr's brother)'s interest in Jessie's friend Amy. Since this is the first book in the series, I expect a lot of the answers will be forthcoming in the preceding volumes, but sometimes my questions got in the way of my immersing myself in the book.

I was highly anticipating this novel and it was not a let down at all. I'm looking forward to the second book, due out in early 2011, and finding out more what happens after the ending scene!
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lexilewords | 51 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Dec 28, 2023 |
All right guys this is it. This is the final book in Delany's 13 to Life series and holy werewolf babies does it punch it. There's no real 'downtime' for Jessie and our Rusakovas. If its not an emotional crazy, its a medical crazy and if its not a medical crazy its a personal problem and that doesn't begin to cover the other werewolves running around Junction.

Surprising of all was the turn Jessie and Pietr's relationship took. I knew it would change, with the fourth book's ending it HAD to change because Pietr had changed and certain folks didn't make it any easier for him to adjust to those changes. I should say the turn wasn't so surprising, more the way I felt about it. I thought I was feel...differently. More upset I suppose, like I was in the first two books and the problems their relationship underwent then. I think Delany handled this shift in dynamic better.

As for the other Rusakovas--no one is spared the insanity. Alexi undergoes quite a bit in his quest for redemption for his sins (perceived and otherwise). I forgot somewhere between books 3 and 4 how much Alexi made me ache for him. He really tries so hard and he's so under appreciated. He shines in this book, and deserves every moment of it.

Let me put this forth however, reading the last chapter's first page or two had me ready to tweet my displeasure from here to next year. I was almost ready to toss the book, no joke. I'm glad I kept reading though because Delany ties it up in such a way that I forgave her. Mostly. I demand those ten years I lost when I thought the worst idea ever was coming true.

As a finale to a series that I've loved more often then not, with a cast of characters I liked from the get go and a blend of genres I found irresistible this was good. Better than good. Some of it felt rushed; the final confrontation with the bad guys and resolution for instance. It was bam bam bam in such a way I had trouble digesting each new piece of information quickly enough to comprehend the next event.

This series did convince me that Shannon Delany is one of my favorite YA writers in the last five years and whatever she writes next I'll grab before someone can blink and say 'Hey!'
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lexilewords | 2 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Dec 28, 2023 |
I want to start this with a quote, which will only be a spoiler if you hadn't read the end of Book 3. "I expected victory...I never expected a single hard-won victory could still feel so much like defeat." (pg 280) That quote sums up this book spectacularly well in my opinion. Everything the Rusakovas have wanted is theirs at the beginning of this book. They rescued their mother, found a cure to their werewolf issues and have each other.

So how does everything go wrong so quickly? When does something that should feel so right start to feel so wrong?

I've been hooked on Delany's "13 to Life" series from the very first book. There have been ups and downs, but by in large I've found myself drawn into Jess and Pietr's world and eager to watch their story unravel.

For the majority of the book this wasn't the Pietr and Jess I knew however. With the cure comes a change in all their personalities, but Pietr is...a shadow of his former self. Uninterested in anything (not even making out with Jess), quiet and studious you'd never guess this was the passionate, impulsive Pietr Rusakova from the first three books.

Jess is also at odds with the strong, independent girl from the past three books. Whether it’s because she's dealing with the changes in Pietr, and how emotionally distant he becomes, or the sudden menace at her school making her friends ill, Jess is very often lost at sea and struggling to remain afloat. She remarks to herself at one point that Cat has been the one to stand by and bolster Amy, something that Jess regrets and laments because she wanted to be the one to bring Amy out of the funk she was in. This almost lovesick and fuzzy Jess is a bit grating at times. She made me wish to shake her so she'd get her sense back and fight harder.

DESTINY AND DECEPTION however is a good reflection of this change. The threats in this book are of a more personal nature, impacting everyone in an individual way and as a group. Their classmates falling ill and mysteriously undergoing their own changes, a return of a person from Alexi's past--the stakes are much higher and as the ending shows, nothing should be taken for granted.

Word of warning, Book 5 RIVALS AND RETRIBUTION, comes out in August--don't read the synopsis. The end of this book is all but ruined by the synopsis of Book 5 and even though what occurs at the end of book 4 is a stop gap measure at best, I really would have liked if the tension wasn't suddenly gone by a few badly chosen words.

Review originally posted at Night Owl Reviews
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lexilewords | 2 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Dec 28, 2023 |
Delany's second book in her 13 to Life series picks up where the last left off a couple months down the line. Things go from barely tolerable to intolerable remarkably fast. With the CIA watching their every move, and the Russian Mafia still hanging out there waiting to pounce, the Rusakova Werewolves have more than the usual growing pains to handle.

All of the questions I had, in regards to character motivations and development of secondary plots, are pretty much answered or given enough time to flesh out to the point where it satisfied me (for the moment). Derek's interest in Jessie, Wanda's sudden 'I know things!', even Max's weird fascination with Amy, they're all given plenty of time to develop and mature. Sadly other things change as well. Growing increasingly uncomfortable with the amount of harm he continually puts Jessie in, Pietr tries to put distance between them, but like any boy he doesn't explain this to Jessie.

I felt wretched for her. Nothing is working out for her, no matter how hard she tries to please everyone they just aren't happy enough. Delany keeps the pace high-strung throughout most of the novel. She builds upon the first book's hints and winks about Junction, as well as pushing along the trauma of high school itself.

Some was a little rushed feeling, like Cat's choice to test a concoction that Alexi makes. Her reasoning is well laid out throughout the book, but it was so reckless. She's kind of taken to task for it, but in the end its largely overlooked for far more pressing concerns. Like Derek. Knowing the secret behind his smile made me look back at his actions in 13 to Life differently. Small things, that seemed so off in the first book (which I even remarked upon), made so much more sense.

On a slightly less supernatural side (though I have my doubts on this score) the tenous connection Sarah seems to have with reality further snaps and we get to see just what kind of shrew she was before the accident.

The end of the novel had me clenching my jaw. My first reaction was to cry out in horror because it just seemed so wrong after everything that had happened...but at the same time it felt almost right. The book was leading towards a more drastic solution to the problems Jessie's dad thought she had, so it made sense. Her dad didn't understand--neither she nor Wanda felt a need to explain to him the exact particulars of their lives--all he saw was the aftermath. The aftermath which was pretty bad and could easily lend itself to unwise presumptions.

Book 3: Bargains and Betrayals is due out in August. Which seems much farther than it is. I can't wait to see how Jessie gets out of her predicament and what sort of answers the Rusakovas find. The tantalizing two sentence synopsis, tied with the title has me biting my nails already in worry however.
… (lisätietoja)
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lexilewords | 13 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Dec 28, 2023 |


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