"The Devil’s Only Friend" Book Review
Written by Jennifer Turner
Published by Tor Books
Written by Dan Wells
2015, 304 pages, Fiction
Released on June 16th, 2015
Before I review this book, I must put in a disclaimer, I read the fourth book in a series and this is the first book of the author that I have ever read. Thanks for warning me, Steve!
This is my first experience with Dan Wells work and I must say I was blown away by his writing style. He sucked me into the story before I even finished the first chapter and I have already put him on my mental future reads list.
The Devil's Only Friend revolves around a young rather sociopathic teen named John Cleaver. He has the unfortunate ability to recognize and kill the Withereds, a species of ancient demons. This ability has also cost the lives of his mother, girlfriend, and the sanity of his friend, Brooke, who spends most of her time institutionalized. He has been hired by the military to assist in the demon hunting, even though all he wants to do is be left alone.
It’s a shame I didn’t have the opportunity to read these books in order because I probably would have had a more emotional reaction to the deaths of some of the characters. Not that it’s going to stop me. I don’t know these characters, have no idea if they were long timers or recent additions to the series, but I want to know them. And that’s the sign of a good writer. A little more exposition would have been helpful, though.
What I like about Wells is how descriptive he is; you can practically see the locations and the people involved. I like authors who are visual because you feel like you’re more involved with the story. Whenever I picked up the book, I felt that wonderful feeling of disconnection from reality that only the rarest of authors can achieve.
The story moves fast, a little too fast; there is, I believe, a new character named Ethan, who is also one of the Withered. We get a quick introduction, a little backstory, and then bam, he is gone. He seems more of a quick addition to move the story forward and I didn’t have the time to develop an interest in the character.
There’s is also a betrayal by one of the core characters that seems a little out of left field. However, I am leery of even writing this because I don’t know the character. For all I know, their actions might have been completely normal for them.
Even with the ignorance of the series, I enjoyed the story on its own and am not only interested in catching up with the Cleaver series but also exploring the author’s other oeuvre.