By: Trudie Skies
Print Length: 535
Release Year: 2021
Avg. Goodreads Rating: 4.5
Available on Amazon
When the saints fail, the sinners step up.
Cruel gods rule the steam-powered city of Chime, demanding worship and tribute from their mortal subjects. Kayl lost her faith in them long ago, and now seeks to protect vulnerable and downtrodden mortals from their gods’ whims. But when Kayl discovers powers that she didn’t know she had—and destroys a mortal’s soul by accident—she becomes Chime’s most wanted.
Quen’s job was to pursue sinners, until the visions started. Haunted by foreboding images of his beloved city’s destruction, Quen hunts soul-sucking creatures made of aether who prey on its citizens—and Kayl is his number one target.
To ensure Chime’s future, Kayl and Quen must discover the truth of Kayl’s divine abilities before the gods take matters into their own hands.
For a city that bows to cruel gods, it’ll take godless heathens to save it. (Goodreads)
The Thirteenth Hour is one of many books that remind you to appreciate our self-publishing friends. It is an admirable addition to self-pub fantasy and a fantastic addition to the steampunk sub-genre (which definitely needs the love). Skies definitely set up the foundations for a universe vast and complex enough to span multiple series.
The world-building in this book is its primary achievement. We are introduced to a world considerably different than ours with people very different from us. What makes this so impressive is Skies ability to write an otherworldly story that is, well, otherworldly, but still easy to understand. This felt like one of those good starter fantasies for readers with ambitious literary goals, which is a great place to be in my opinion.
With all that happens in this book, I would say that ultimately it was well-paced. There were moments, mostly in the beginning, where I struggled to maintain my reading pace as the story slowed down a bit, but nothing so severe as to force me to put down the book. You are thrown into action very quickly, so most of the beginning pace comes from what I’d like to call “first-book syndrome.” This term I’m going to use for introductory books in fantasy series that have to spend a little more time setting up the world and subsequently causing the book to suffer a little in the pacing department.
Overall, I enjoyed this book. For me, it was nothing particularly spectacular, but good nonetheless and definitely worth the read if you are in desperate need of those steampunk vibes.