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The Thirteenth Hour

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“The ancient clock in the Land of Dreams struck thirteen, and the dreams, now free, soared back to Earth under first vesper’s light …”

And so begins “The Thirteenth Hour,” a tale about dreams and wishes, wild hearts and childhood promises, and the quest to find the unsung hero that lies in all of us.

When a young boy falls asleep during school one day, he is transported into a fantasy world of wizards, dragons, quests, and the tale of Logan, who has come of age and must leave his sleepy village to be a soldier in King Darian IV's Imperial Army. Although he finds himself immediately at odds with military life, Logan’s tour is surprisingly extended when he is picked by the King’s wizards to be specially trained as an Imperial Ranger for a mysterious quest to find the secret to eternal life, catapulting him into an epic adventure he had previously only thought possible in books, daydreams, and fairy tales.

Combining the adventure of “The Princess Bride,” the irreverent humor of “The Hitchhiker's Guide to The Galaxy,” and the feel of 1980s science fiction and fantasy films such as “The Neverending Story” and “Labyrinth” with a healthy dose of introspection surrounding the journey teens experience on the way to becoming adults, “The Thirteenth Hour” is part adventure yarn, part fairy tale, and part introspective narrative that can be enjoyed by both teenagers and teens in remission.

“The Thirteenth Hour” contains over 35 illustrations, music written specifically for the story, and rich world both on and off-line that was sixteen years in the making. Check it out today, and let the adventure of “The Thirteenth Hour” become your story!

Continue the quest here:
• Website: http://13thhr.wordpress.com
• Book trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hpcIU...

336 pages, Paperback

First published January 13, 2015

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About the author

Joshua Blum

8 books37 followers
In 1998, Joshua Blum wrote and illustrated an early draft of his first novel, "The Thirteenth Hour," inspired by his love of 1980s fantasy and science fiction movies, fairy tales, archery, and martial arts. He finally had the time to publish it sixteen years later. In the interim, he graduated from Princeton and Penn State Universities. He is grateful to his parents for instilling in him a love of learning, his brother for keeping him young, and his wife and children for their love. He is currently working on his next novel and hosts a weekly podcast (available free on iTunes @ apple.co/1S3FBWi)

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Displaying 1 - 18 of 18 reviews
Profile Image for Angel.
Author 2 books872 followers
January 12, 2016
I love books where there are underdogs as the focal character. Reading "The Thirteenth Hour," by Joshua Blum was like falling love with those classic storybooks I used to read as a child, this is the type of book I'd read to my eight year old son. Blum's well written story is right up there with "Robin Hood," "King Arthur", "Camelot," "The Neverending Story" and all those characters reminiscent of childhood now revisited in Blum's awesome creation. The illustrations were absolutely striking, engaging me more into the read of this thrilling sci-fi fantasy adventure.
Profile Image for C.P. Cabaniss.
Author 4 books95 followers
May 30, 2015
*I received a copy of this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.*

This book was a lot of fun. There really is no other way to describe it. A majority of the story is told as a dream. Albert, a young daydreamer, falls to sleep in class and a man and woman visit his dreams. The story they tell him becomes the majority of the novel.

Logan is an orphan who grew up in a small town at an orphanage where he met his best friend Aurora. At 18 Logan is sent to become an Imperial Soldier. He soon finds himself training as an Imperial Ranger to be sent on a quest for the secret to eternal life.

The beginning of this novel was really fun and I really enjoy the humor. Logan is just an average kid with average abilities who finds himself in an interesting position. After saving the life of a wizard he's thrown into the life of the Rangers. When training completes they have to set sail on a ship bound for the four corners of the earth on a search for eternal life; the king wants to live forever.

The quest involves sea serpants, castles in the sky, elves, back flipping chimpanzees, dragons (indirectly), flying (and intelligent) surfboards, vengeful sorcerers, and so many other obstacles. Along the way Logan once again meets up with Aurora and their destinies entangle.

The adventures that Logan and Aurora have were so much fun and humorous. Even when things seemed bleak, there was always some humor to be had. I really loved that about this story. It was so different from the novels that I'm used to reading and it was a nice break from the norm for me. I enjoyed the writing a lot. It could use some polish here and there, but overall it has a nice quality that makes it easily readable and enjoyable.

The overall theme of dreams and never being too old to be a dreamer was great because it's so true. We should never be too old to dream and to make our dreams come true. There's nothing wrong with chasing what you want. The dreams throughout the story and how they were presented was an interesting touch as well.

I previously reviewed the accompanying short stories A Shadow in the Moonlighg and Falling Leaves Don't Weep. I really enjoyed both of those short stories at the time I read them and it was nice to see how they connect with the full novel. It's not necessary to read those before you read this or to read this before you read those, but they go together nicely.

This was a really fun story and I'm glad that I finally made the time to read it. It's a humorous coming of age story that I think many readers would enjoy.

You can read this and other reviews on my blog: www.courtneysreads.blogspot.com
Profile Image for Esther Chan.
1 review
September 27, 2016
A wonderful adventure story that takes your mind off the challenges of everyday life and brings you back to that dreamland you once were, when you were a child, when everything dreamy seemed to be real and accessible. Blum is especially good at creating such mood - An air of nostalgia flows through the book.

The characters feel like friends thanks to the colloquial language, but it could get slightly lengthy at times. Excellent structure & flow, love how the "secret to immortality" turns out.

Of course what cannot be omitted is the author's hearty drawings throughout, thoughtful choice of text colours for different characters and even a song that comes with the story. Definitely an all-round creative project that deserves a round of applause. Looking forward to book 2!
Profile Image for Kelly Clare.
Author 52 books2,736 followers
February 11, 2015
The Thirteenth Hour by Joshua Blum

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Joshua Blum has imagination. I am stating it as a fact, because you can’t read this book without seeing it. This is one of those books that straddles the gap between young teen and young adult, but which is still enjoyable for adult readers.

It is packed with adventure and action of the like I haven’t seen before. If I had to use something else to describe it, I would say somewhat along the lines of Sinbad. I truly think it could be used as the storyline for an Xbox game.

The relationship between Logan and Aurora (love that name) is gorgeous. It is so much deeper than the relationships we usually see through other books because it is based on history and friendship. Hats off to the author. I really think the relationships throughout the book were one of Joshua Blum’s strengths.

Somehow although the narrator had a tendency to go off on a tangent it was more endearing than annoying. There were a couple of times this slowed the pace, but as it was in keeping with a character trait it was very forgivable. I’m on the fence that using the dreaming boy in the classroom was necessary as he didn’t seem to have any real link to the story apart from showing how the main characters life panned out. I had expected him to have some kind of link into the story and wanted a bit more here. I didn’t think the King was very kingly, for lack of a better description, but it almost added a bit of comedy to the story. I can imagine the younger readers would love this.

The author’s style was light and energetic. His description was effective and drew you into the story. I know there were several times throughout the book where I found myself relating to the main character and many times I even thought ‘that’s happened to me, too’. Which is ridiculous considering the storyline, but there you are.

A good fantasy book for ages 13-14 years and up, or any reader wanting a fun adventurous read.
Profile Image for Edward Davies.
Author 3 books35 followers
February 25, 2016
This story clearly takes a lot from fairytales through the ages, from ultimate classics, to The Wizard Of Oz, to more modern tales like The Princess Bride and Stardust. Fans of the fairy tale genre will instantly get a feel for this book, and will enjoy the journey of the main characters, although some elements are pleasantly predictable. The structure is a little unusual, with narrative voice changing sometimes between sentences, but the author does point this out at the start of the book, and those lucky enough to read it in colour will easily be able to tell what’s going on. There are even some subtle references to The Hitchhiker’s Guide, such as needing towels for their journey and the use of a device to translate what faeries are saying. Although probably a little long for young children, this is a fun filled adventure that only suffers a little from the need for a read through before being published, with the odd repeated word being used in sentences that jar when read aloud.
Profile Image for A.E. Albert.
Author 6 books42 followers
September 17, 2015
The Thirteenth Hour is is a fantastical adventure with a little bit of attitude. I think that is the book's most interesting aspect. It mixes medieval fantasy with modern dialogue. This makes the characters fun and just a little mischievous. It also gives the dialogue a natural flow and believability. I greatly enjoyed the characters; especially, the protagonist. I loved seeing this character grow and become the unlikely hero he was destined to be. The story is filled with myths, wizards, dragons and over the top super beings; all of which make for a fun, and often, funny read.
The author's writing style is fluid and page turning.
Profile Image for Mehreen Ahmed.
Author 82 books207 followers
July 4, 2015
A Shadow in the Moonlight: a Thirteenth Hour Prequel and The Thirteenth Hour by Joshua Blum are both formidable, well crafted books with many mysterious musings. As one reads through the book, s/he will get a distinct eerie feeling of the romantic past of castles, knights and mires in the forest. The superb description of nature will take your breath away. These books are a must read. If one hasn't traversed through them, one would never know what they have missed. I don't want to give too much away.
Profile Image for Stephanie.
173 reviews
July 22, 2015
The Thirteenth Hour is another perfect book written by Joshua Blum. written very uniquely and a very thought out story. This book should be on everyone's TBR list! Great Story that left me completely satisfied. Color coding each characters POV helped keep me keep track of who's POV is who's, which made this book even more fun to read!
Profile Image for Jeremy Blum.
212 reviews13 followers
December 13, 2015
The Thirteenth Hour is a great story that evokes feelings of classical adventure and reminds me a lot of the works of Peter S. Beagle and Neil Gaiman. Upon first glance, it's basically a fantasy story about a young hero named Logan and his female companion Aurora, who travel to the four corners of the world to discover the secret of eternal life for a crazed ruler. The book is narrated from both of their perspectives, making the two of them seem very much like old, relatable friends.

There's a lot of great stuff in The Thirteenth Hour that makes it stand out from your average fairy tale. The world the characters inhabit has a vaguely Middle Ages feel to it, but everyone tends to speak in modern slang and the whole thing is self-aware, with "gods" who bicker like angry brothers and wizards who seem like they came right out of Terry Prachett's Discworld novels. Logan and Aurora also ride on a super-powered hoverboard straight out of Back to the Future 2, so if I had to invent a genre to describe this book, I'd definitely call it "retro fantasy with a colorful late 80's vibe".

I'd also venture to say that the heart of the story is about growing up, learning who you are, falling in love and figuring out your place in the world. The author wrote this book on-and-off for a period of sixteen years, so I guess it's only natural that these sort of themes would seep into the work! There is one particularly nice section where Logan and Aurora are travelling along a deserted shore, reminiscing on their lives together and the nature of their quest:

"I'll always remember the time we spent on those lonely strips of land. The night sky was beautiful there. I'd looked up at the night sky all my life, but this was the first time I really saw it. Looking up and seeing only a lifeless void of blackness whose only light came from tiny perforations in the alabaster mantle may seem frightening and lonely. And it was, at first. But it was comforting, too, because the sky, the open space, the wild terrain, it only accepted, it never asked me to be anything other than what I was. I felt that if I could just capture the feeling of those nights, bottle it, and store it in a safe place inside myself, I could ration it out to last the rest of my life, to erase the turmoil of the last year."

Beautiful stuff. Read this book!
Profile Image for Esther Jones.
Author 18 books6 followers
August 10, 2016
I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

In a lot of ways, this book is cool and different, taking overused fantasy tropes and turning them on their heads. However, it is also quite tell-y. Some of that could just be the style, but it always rubs me the wrong way while reading something that tells me instead of showing me. The spelling and grammar are mostly smooth and well-done, with a few typos scattered throughout, however the characters don’t talk like real people. Huge sections of beautiful prose are interspersed with awkward, poorly written, sections.

Each time the POV changes, the text colour changes too. While this makes it much easier to follow than some books I’ve read that are full of annoying head jumping, I personally found the different coloured text to be distracting and affected. Also, several times pages end in the middle of a scene… or even a sentence. This tells me that whoever formatted this into an ebook needs to do a bit more work making it read smoothly.

Besides the dialogue sounding like they’re constantly quoting something, many of the conversations are very difficult to follow. With only dialogue and no ‘stage directions’ it’s hard to keep track of who’s saying what, especially if there’s more than two characters in the scene. However, there are a few lines that I really liked. For example: ‘he held up a finger as if to say, “I’m not finished yet,” which had always seemed like an asshole move to me.’ Yes, I’ve always thought that’s an asshole thing to do.

The epilogue is pretty much an elongated moral like at the end of Aesop’s fables. I think the story would be better if the epilogue was cut back a lot or trashed completely. This could be simply personal taste, though. Maybe there are people who like to read a long moral at the end of a book. I found it boring.

Overall, this was a pretty good story, though it could use a good edit to tighten it up and cut a lot of the words. It took me a lot longer to read than a book of this length usually does, and I think a good cut would make it easier and faster to read. However, if you like a fantasy but are sick of the tired old tropes, this would be a good choice.
Profile Image for Pennie.
Author 54 books66 followers
February 1, 2015
A flamboyant and adventurous tale of fantasy at its best and for everyone who dares to dream of all things wondrous in all its glory. An interesting mix of old style and modern elements that surround majestic wizardry, dark sorcery, fairies, and, yes - even a flying ironing board.

The story begins with Logan and his long time childhood friend, Aurora. When Logan turns 18 years old, it's time for him to leave his old life behind and live as a soldier in the Kings army. He and an elite few are picked for a secret mission and his adventure starts with his best friend Aurora joining him on a quest to find the secret to eternal life on a long journey throughout the world.

A fairy tale with a descriptive essence that follows into a gorgeous scenic background and characters that are well executed. Within the forefront of the magnetic adventure, you can see everything that is going on around these characters especially with the use of nicely placed colorful drawings throughout the pages to place the imagination deeper into a realism of suspenseful epic saga.

With fun filled laugh-out-loud moments entwined with on the edge of your seat escapades, join Logan and Aurora through magical kingdoms, they truly deserve two thumbs up.
Profile Image for J.S. Burke.
Author 6 books448 followers
March 7, 2015
The Thirteenth Hour by Joshua Blum is one terrific book! This science fantasy has a detailed, creative, fast-paced adventure with a quest for immortality and well-considered musings on life. The tongue-in-cheek humor is just wonderful. Darien IV is a king mortally afraid of dying. His father was “the king of all things stingy, prejudiced, and cruel…and he lived long enough to instill some of these fine characteristics in his son.” The clever illustrations capture the essence of the story and add to the value of this book.

Logan is an orphan who joins the army when he’s 18. The social commentary is perfect. “I don’t think I was ever quite able to reconcile how a city full of people and possibilities could leave me feeling so grimy, dejected, and alone at the end of the day.” He’s inept and a misfit, younger than the other soldiers in his group, which made me root for him to succeed. Finally he begins to find his place. “I began to dance with the wind, sword in hand. I leaped and turned, kicked and swung, lunged and dove. The wind was my partner, and I was following her lead.” Aurora, another orphan, is his best friend. The quest is filled with deadly dangers and magical beings; the ending is as satisfying as a good dream remembered. Definitely worth reading, for all ages.
Profile Image for Joannes Rhino.
Author 8 books47 followers
February 5, 2015
The Thirteenth Hour is a fairy tale story full of adventure. All I can say when reading this book by Joshua Blum is that the author has a great imagination. I always amaze for those who create fictional story like this. The Thirteenth Hour has an interesting plot and characters are realistic. It wasn't hard for me to get sucked into the book. I felt like I was playing video game with tons of excitements. Thumbs up to the author for creating this piece.
January 1, 2020
A heartwarming tale

This is fantasy in a time that doesnt exist. Archetypes abound, elements, gods, and introspection as magic. For all ages.
Profile Image for Emily.
8 reviews
Read
November 25, 2015
http://luvliereadings.blogspot.com/20...

This is the story for everyone who has been told to get their head out of the clouds and stop daydreaming.
When a young boy falls asleep during school one day, he is transported to another world, where he witnesses the tale of Logan, a young man, and a Aurora, his childhood friend, as they journey to the four corners of the Earth and encounter many exotic creatures, situations, and perils in a quest to find the secret to eternal life for a self-centered ruler.
Part adventure story, part travelogue, and part introspective narrative detailing the struggles we all face when becoming adults, The Thirteenth Hour contains over 35 illustrations, music written specifically for the story, and a rich world both on and off-line that was sixteen years in the making.



First of all, I would like to send a huge thank you to Joshua Blum, for sending me a copy of The Thirteenth Hour! I had such a great time reading it! To start off, I really loved the concept of a boy falling asleep in class, with the story all his dream. It is definitely a unique view and something that I would never have thought to write a story on myself. I really enjoyed the whole concept of the book and the writing style was very enjoyable!

Logan and Aurora were so much fun to read about! every twist and turn of the book was filled with humor and it was so much fun! I really enjoyed their quest especially. It involved many mythical creatures that made the story just that much more entertaining and fun to read!

I really loved this book partially because it reminded me of the story's that I would read as a little girl, yet this book is great for any age. It is a timeless coming of age story that I know had let me really look at my life and what I am heading towards in my future. The illustrations were so fun and added a great element to the story. My only real issue with the book was the time it took me to read it. I spent quite a long time on it, however, it was definitely worth the read and I loved the time I got to read it.
December 10, 2015
*I received a copy of this book in return for an honest review*

The Thirteenth Hour by Joshua Blum can be described as nothing less than imaginative; the characters are all well developed and easily relatable, the poetry is well thought out and purposeful, and the well-placed illustrations helped to visualize scenes that were important to the characters.

That being said, I had a difficult time getting and staying engrossed in the book. I found the color-coding more distracting than helpful and often used the changes as an excuse to go do something else.

While there were many fun parts of the book (the song of the unsung hero, visiting the four corners, and all the adventures along the way), and many clever editions (the mention of the garden contents in the end), I struggled when it came to stories involving the current King. While I completely understand the importance of his part in the story it just didn't do it for me. In fact, I wasn't able to get into the book at all until the two stories merged. The day-dreaming boy served the purpose of bringing the reader into and out of the story in the same way the little boy did in "The Princess Bride," which I also struggled with.

If I were rating on my enjoyment of the book, as a whole, my rating would be much different than a rating purely on whether or not the mechanics of the book are sound and how well the story was told. As far as my enjoyment is concerned, it would be 2/5 based entirely on my own issues staying interested in the book. That's not to say that this isn't an incredibly well written and well thought out book because that couldn't be further from the truth. A rating based entirely on the story and mechanics would be a 5/5, no questions asked and I would have no problem recommending this to any reader who enjoys fantasy and adventure.
June 24, 2016
Cute fantasy book!

This was a pretty cool book, easy to read and funny. There are some drawings done by the author, and I really appreciated them because I could see exactly what he was envisioning. There were a few spelling errors here and there, but nothing to take me out of the story. I really enjoyed going on the journey with Logan and Aurora and I'm curious to see what happens next with those two! All in all, a good read :)

-I was given this book for free in exchange for an honest and unbiased review and the opinions I put down are my own and not influenced in any way.
Profile Image for Aniela .
19 reviews7 followers
January 11, 2017
Lmao mr. Blum wrote a book
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
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