The Thirteenth Pillar (Section Thirteen #2)

Title: The Thirteenth Pillar (Section Thirteen #2)
Author: J.L. O’Faolain
Cover artist: Paul Richmond
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Amazon: Buy Link The Thirteenth Pillar
Genre: M/M Fantasy/Mystery
Length: 270 pages
Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5

A guest review by Sirius

Summary: This was enjoyable and fast paced sequel to The Thirteenth Child, which I liked more than the first book, but the love story still left me quite cold.


Tuulois MacColewyn’s simple life performing dirty jobs for fey hiding in New York City has died a quick death. Consulting for the NYPD on a case involving child abductions, losing a friend, laying siege to a stronghold at the end of Broadway, and being chased through a hospital by animated scarecrows combined to make last month hell. This month is shaping up to be much worse.

Yet, it’s not all bad. Cole has a new place to live, a steady-paying job working for the NYPD, and the heart of Inspector Joss Vallimun, head of Section Thirteen and, incidentally, Cole’s new boss.

Section Thirteen is understaffed and overworked, trying to solve every supernatural crime in New York, including a series of grisly child murders and evidence that local fey are being enslaved. When Vallimun is gravely injured just as the investigation reaches a fever pitch while a snowstorm blankets the city, Cole will need all the help he can get to have any hope of salvaging this month at all.

Section Thirteen Series


I reviewed the first book in these series here, and as you can see in that review, there were things that worked and things that did not work for me. I have to say that a lot of things worked much better for me in this book than in the first one.

I thought that the mystery was paced much better for starters, and it felt as if it had several layers to it, which the writer slowly peeled away for us. At first I was thinking, “oh we have the resolution that early in the story?” No, turns out we don’t. Then we have another almost resolution and it turns out no, we don’t, the main villain is still not caught. Then we finally see the villain — kind of — and then the writer gives us another twist, which I actually really appreciated. I loved how “The Lord of All Fey” was dealt with.

To me Cole was a much more likeable character in this book than he was in the first one. He is still an exiled fei, who does not care for some of the human “morality” and who prefers his own way of dealing with investigations, but I did not see the casual cruelty which I thought he displayed in the first book. If he was merciless, he was merciless to the real bad guys, and here he actually showed some real mercy during the course of this book, which I also really appreciated. I loved learning more about his magic and I loved seeing how Cole uses that magic in action. I enjoyed his interactions with other magical beings, and I thought some of those interactions were a great deal of fun to read about.

But the writer still did not sell me on the love story, I am afraid. I thought, and of course your mileage may differ drastically from mine, that for the most part Cole and his lover had absolutely no chemistry. I did not feel any spark between them. Oh there was sex (not too much, not too little) but it was not casual sex, it was sex between two people who eventually say that they love each other. Unfortunately I felt as if I was being told, not shown this love. I wish I could “see” it and “feel” it instead of being told about it. The love story seems to be a secondary storyline in this book, which is totally fine by me; as I have said before, I found the fantasy/mystery plot to be exciting and fun as is, but it felt to me that the plot would not have lost anything if Cole did not have a boyfriend at all. I liked him and Joss as friends, but I really did not feel that they are credible as lovers.

While the book does not end with a cliffhanger, there are several unresolved questions left, including the elimination of what I considered the real evil in this series. I am not sure how many more books are planned, but I feel quite confident to at least make a prediction that the third one will be coming.




  • One thing I’d like to comment regarding the ‘mean’ aspect of Cole, if you don’t mind. Cole is sidhe, not human. He comes from a dimension where perceived slights have resulted in all-out war.

    For generations.

    Cursing a flamer was being nice by Sidhe standards. In fact, by their morality, Cole had gone soft. Soft Sidhe don’t live long, productive lives.

    Also, there is a reason why the romance aspect might have felt ‘tacked-on’ as you said. It will come up later on as the books progress. One matter explored as a subplot in this series is that, even after nearly a century, human romance and relationships are a mystery to Cole. He only has what he’s read and seen on TV to go by. Basically, you have someone from a totally alien culture trying to reason modern human romance, and be in a relationship with a mortal. Cole is walking on pins and needles at this point, and that won’t resolve itself quickly.

    Just to clarify something, I appreciate your review regardless. This wasn’t meant to be taken as a response to the things you didn’t like.

  • Hi, Sirius!

    As far as I know, there will be 13 books in the series.

    I am looking forward to reading this book, because the characters are set in the first book and I don’t think romance is that important in this series (at least not so far). Plus, I hated James so much in the first book, that I will take Vallimun any way the author chooses. I’m glad you liked this book more, because I think that should be the point of the series – that the next book is better than the previous. 🙂

    • Hi LadyM. Thirteen books? Oy. Here I thought next one would be the last one. I guess the good thing is there will be plenty of space for various character developments. I completely agree that romance is not that important in these books. I have no problem with it, my problem was that I was not happy with the romance that was there. It felt tackled on to me, I would have definitely preferred no romance at all to what I got here. Even if romance is quietly simmering on the background, I want the guys to have chemistry. I agree that James behaved like an ass in book one, be prepare for him to exhibit some of that behavior in this book as well, but I am still hoping that Cole will end up with him, or even better with somebody new or nobody at all. A lot can happen during thirteen books lol. Thanks for commenting.


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