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review SPOILER ALERT! 2015-12-13 07:20
The Devil's Only Friend
The Devil's Only Friend (John Cleaver) - Dan Wells

So it took longer than expected but I have finally finished The Devil's Only Friend. I can't tell if I'm shaking because I'm so excited or because my apartment is cold. Maybe a bit of both. Let's discuss, shall we?


I LOVE this book. Love it. I honestly don't know which book of the series is my favorite anymore, this one or I Am Not a Serial Killer. Well, maybe the latter, but it did choke me up at the end. So bonus points for emotion I guess. But it's such a close second that The Devil's Only Friend might as well be my new favorite. 


This book was so well crafted it blows my mind. The way Wells set up the mystery of this one, the different Withered mythologies, and just the relationships between everyone is just astounding. I was worried the John Cleaver series was heading into a slump but this one has definitely revived it. It was suspenseful and exciting and most of all it was different. I suppose part of my issues with Mr. Monster and I Don't Want to Kill You were how similar their plot was to I Am Not a Serial Killer. This one paid it's respects to the series' origins but it had a completely different plot line. While I was worried about it at first, I see now there was nothing to be concerned about. Wells know what he was doing and I tip my imaginary hat off to him.


This book is more complicated than I Am Not a Serial Killer, which I originally stated was a concern of mine since I love the original's simplicity. However, this book takes that complexity and handles it perfectly. It didn't feel out of control or like I was going to get lost. More importantly, it met that increased level of complexity with appropriate levels of stakes. The stakes were very high with this one and they were also changing, which meant in the end the story to suspense ratio of this one is equal to the original. I don't know if that makes sense. I'm a little sleep deprived. But I'll stick with it. 


So I was right about one of the team members being a traitor, I was just wrong about which one it was. I mentioned when I was reading Ten that I suck at solving the mystery. That's all right though because it does make the read more fun for me. After all, if I had seen it coming, I wouldn't have literally shouted, "Nathan you little shit!" Apologies to my neighbors. It wasn't a cheap reveal either. Looking back at the events of the story, it made perfect sense that Nathan being a traitor was the buildup we were getting. So well done on that front. 


I was also right about my sweet baby Elijah dying. I didn't expect him to die in the way that he did but as soon as it started I was like, "Here it goes." That made me sad. I was kind of hoping he and John would become this awesome team. They definitely seemed to get along well enough. 


Rack was amazing. As far as villains go, I think he's one of my favorite literary villains I've encountered. He was so clever and SO creepy. The first time he made the corpse talk sent a shiver up my spine. He's such a creepy concept of a character and I loved it. I'm a little sad we won't see more of him in the future. I love monologuing bad guys. If I was a bad guy I would totally be the monologuing type. I do worry about what that might mean for the next book, just since Rack was set up to be THE bad guy and now he's gone. But I'm sure that won't be too big of a problem. 


As far as complaints go, I don't really have any. I never found that line about "You can't get much more murdered than that" but I might have just missed it. When I get excited I read REALLY fast and there were a few times tonight when I had to reread a couple of pages. So there's a good chance I just missed it. I also kind of felt like the ending came a little quick though it was also a perfect ending. A good cliffhanger to lead us into the next one, which apparently is Wells' favorite of the series. I'm hoping we see the ceremony through which someone becomes a Withered. That'd be really cool. 


Final question: Who was Brooke sending letters to? Or was she sending letters at all? Damn my speed reading, making me miss details. 


Rating: 5 out of 5 stars and I probably won't be sleeping tonight since I'm still so excited from reading it all. 


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text SPOILER ALERT! 2015-12-06 22:52
Reading progress update: I've read 241 out of 304 pages.
The Devil's Only Friend (John Cleaver) - Dan Wells

I haven't been reading a ton lately. Part of that was just the holidays. I was planning on reading a ton but I think I need to give up telling myself I will read when I'm home. All I do is drink and play with the animals. On that note, CMU was as adorable as she looked in the picture, though extremely high energy. She also liked to chew on books. So yeah, it was impossible to read while she was around. 


But now I'm back at my place and today was laundry day, which meant, as I'm sure you can tell, I got a good chunk of The Devil's Only Friend read. So let's discuss. 


I LOVE this book. Absolutely love it. I know I was hesitant when I began it but good lord this book is amazing. It might be, dare I say it, better than I Am Not a Serial Killer. Or at least equally good. If my laundry hadn't finished and if it wasn't socially unacceptable to scream at a laundromat, I'd still be reading now. 


Elijah is such a sweet heart. This isn't the first time I've cared deeply for one of the demons. Crowley's death scene makes me tear up every time I read it. But I really love Elijah. He's such a sweetheart. When he took on the dead woman's memories, I just wanted to comfort him. I love how Wells shows the grey areas of morality. Like, there are no good guys and bad guys in his books, just people who do good things and people who do bad things. What Elijah did was bad, but he doesn't read like he's a bad person anymore. Now that I'm attached to him he's probably gonna die. But who knows. Maybe I'll luck out.


The Hunter's letter revealing the back stories to everyone was absolutely amazing. That whole scene had me on the edge of my seat. I did find it a bit info-dumpy, but it was info that I found interesting so I can forgive that. I feel like there's a pattern to the crimes, something that's important. John's were done both because he wanted to but also because he had to. Like, he didn't do it for the thrill, that was just a bonus. At least, that's how I interpret it. Poor John. I'm very excited to find out how he knew all the information about the team. 


On that note, I think at least one member of the team is working for the Withered, if not working for them. My first guess is Trujillo. He's felt off to me for a while now. Something about Brooke's answers about the Withered had made him seem sketchy to me. And the way he was insistent that his theory about the Hunter. Maybe he's just stubborn. I can understand that. But my gut says it's something more. 


My other suspect now is Potash. In the letter, the Hunter calls him "The Death that Walks" and then mentions that he's "a man without a past". He was special forces I think, so that could explain it. But the letter makes me think there's something more. And he's recovering what feels very fast from his lung condition, which is unusual. "But Megan, if he's a Withered, why would Mary attack him in the first place?" Excellent question and one that stumped me with this theory. But then, there's a war going on with the Withered. Maybe Mary and Potash are on opposite sides. 


I dunno. But the theories are making me excited to finish. 


The fact that the Hunter is Rack almost made me scream. I held back so as not to scare the older woman next to me, but it was a struggle. That was such a cool reveal, starting with the revelation of him using a puppet and what that would mean. Rack is smart. I can't wait to find out who he is. 


I'm really enjoying this book. I have a lot to do today but maybe when I have it all done I'll read some more. If that's the case, this will definitely be finished by the end of the night. We'll see. 


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quote 2015-11-15 23:45
Here's a logic puzzle for you: there are four people, named Grant, Bill, Marci, and April. Each one has a different eye color: blue, brown, green, and hazel. Each one has a different role: girlfriend, neighbor, therapist, and mother. Each one died in a different way: a stabbing, a slit throat, slit wrists, and fire. One of the women died alone. The other woman died without a blade. One of the men killed the other and then he, in turn, was killed by a child. All of them loved the child, but the child didn't save any of them. Can you solve the puzzle and find the answer?

The Devil's Only Friend

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text 2015-11-15 23:42
Reading progress update: I've read 151 out of 304 pages.
The Devil's Only Friend (John Cleaver) - Dan Wells

So to start, just a quick update from my last post in case anyone was left in suspense. Sis is out of the hospital and is doing fine. She had orbital cellulitis and apparently her face is still a little weird and we'll be making Hunchback of Notre Dame jokes over Thanksgiving because that's what family does, but she's feeling much better. So that's a load off my shoulders. 


Now, onto the book. 


I LOVE this book. I had my doubts in the beginning and maybe even resisted at first but I have been won over a hundred times over. Wells is such a master of his craft and I can't get enough of his writing style. 


I absolutely adore what he's doing with the demons (They're not called that anymore but I like that term so I'm sticking with it). That's easily my favorite thing about this book and perhaps my favorite thing about the series as a whole. Hearing about all the different demons, their origins, the way they fit into ancient cultures is just so fascinating. I love mythology so the way Wells creates a mythology within his own world is just stunning. 


The plot is getting so intense and I'm having fun trying to solve the mystery. Wells mentioned at the book signing that he holds an auction and the winner gets to be killed in that book and choose how they are murdered. For this one, the winner said they didn't care how they died, they just wanted someone to say, "Well, you can't get much more murdered than that." So I'm REALLY excited to come across that line. 


This book alone is lifting any funk left over from last week. That's a good sign. 

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text 2015-11-08 23:05
Reading progress update: I've read 77 out of 304 pages.
The Devil's Only Friend (John Cleaver) - Dan Wells

I had somewhat mixed feelings about the existence of this book. On the one hand, since I felt the overall John Cleaver series went a little downhill with each book, I didn't really like the idea of another. Also, I Don't Want to Kill You seemed like such a good ending for an overall great series, to add another seemed like gilding the lily. All that said, I love Dan Wells' writing style and I love John, so I was also very excited to read this new one. The excitement definitely outweighed the hesitation. 


So far the book is off to a terrific start. Wells puts us right in the middle of the action and John's character is just as endearing as ever. I really missed his sass and I'm glad that that hasn't been lost in this new book. There are a lot more characters than in past books and the cast itself is pretty diverse. So far there isn't a character I don't like, which is always a good sign for me. And the demons - or Withered, I guess - are just as creepy and fantastic as ever. 


The one weak point I find is there might be a tad bit of inconsistency. I haven't read I Don't Want to Kill you since freshman year of college, which was four years ago roughly, so my memory might be wrong, but the way Brooke was left at the end of that novel doesn't quite line up with her behavior in this one. They line up just enough that there's not a big problem or anything, just enough for me to go, "I don't think that's where you left us, Dan." But I could be wrong.


This story is a lot more action-y than the previous ones, which does bum me out a little bit. I loved the simplicity of the first one, that it was a teenage boy against a killer. Now that he's a part of a team, it loses just a bit of what made the story so unique. I still like the story, I just doubt it will live up to the first one. Which, that's not a rare occurrence so it's not a disappointment really. 


Anyway, I'm excited to keep reading. This'll be good, I'm sure.

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