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.