Title: The Thirteenth Sigil
Author: J.L. O’Faolain
Cover artist: Paul Richmond
Amazon Buy Link:The Thirteenth Sigil (A Section Thirteen Story)
Genre: urban fantasy
Length: 300 pages
Rating: 3.75 out of 5
A guest review by Sirius
Summary: This third installment in the series had fun and exciting plot developments, but I was not sure what it meant for the series as a whole and I still did not care for the romance storyline at all.
Sequel to The Thirteenth Pillar A Section Thirteen Story
After his last somewhat disastrous assignment, sidhe special detective Tuulois MacColewyn effectively got benched. But when a break-in at a high-tech storage facility leaves no witnesses—alive or, Cole’s specialty, dead—and just one missing canister, he’s recalled to Section Thirteen, the NYPD’s paranormal branch. It’s nice to get to work again with his current flame, Inspector Joss Vallimun, even if they do have their hands full: some mysterious force is cutting a swath through the city in search of that canister. If Cole and Joss figure that out, there’s the disappearances of employees connected to a local children’s television program to solve. Meanwhile, Internal Affairs is breathing down their necks.
But while Section Thirteen is working to find the stolen property and figure out what it is, something even stranger starts happening. Children’s imaginary friends are somehow manifesting themselves—and they’re coming after Section Thirteen. Even with a newly deputized witch and an ogre to bolster their numbers, the detectives have their work cut out for them.
I reviewed the first and second part in these series and while I really enjoyed the mystery in the second book, I thought that Cole and Joss were one of the most mismatched couples I have ever “met”. I still do. I still really like them as friends and colleagues, but I have no idea what they see in each other and most importantly do not *feel* any chemistry between them.
It is interesting how in this installment the author tried to show more of Cole supposedly not understanding some basics of human psychology, what some basic definitions in human relationships that we take for granted mean to him or do not mean to him. Unfortunately, for me it did not have the right feel. I felt that Cole was living as a human long enough by now that there was no way he did not know at least some of the things he claimed he did not know. I think I *get* what author was trying to say here, but for me it fell on deaf ears and I interpreted it not in Cole’s favor if that makes sense. I know Cole is not human;- I am fully aware of that, but I just was not buying him being that clueless after living amongst humans for so long. There could have been plenty of things he still did not know, but the ones the author chose just did not ring true for me. One especially bizarre moment was for me when Cole claimed not to know what “boyfriend” meant (even clarifying that he did not know what it meant for Joss). And here I was thinking, wait, what, had you not have a relationship in your past and should have at least an inkling what “boyfriend” means for the human being? Anyway, their relationship progresses in this book, and I am sure if I will still be reading these books I will eventually learn to tolerate them together.
The plot was fun and fast and furiously moving for the most part of the book. This writer surely knows how to do fighting scenes, how to keep the reader in suspense. In fact, while there are constant references made to the events and villains from the past books and you are unlikely to get confused, I do not think the book fully works a stand alone. The threats from the past books are still lurking in the back ground and you are much better off knowing what exactly those threats meant. I however was not sure what I thought about the impact of the story in this installment for the series overall. The immediate mystery was fun, although not as complex as in book 2, but one of the potential threats to Cole, Joss and their guys from previous books has the potential to develop into something really interesting, into something grey. I thought that in this book they were taken into clear black direction and I was kind of dissappointed.
I also really really enjoyed all secondary characters, who joined Section 13.- I think they were a lot of fun and I can’t wait to see how they will develop in the next book.
The conclusion was not exactly a cliffhanger, but definitely leaving some questions open for the next book.