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Saturday, 21 January 2017

Devil's Due by Rachel Caine (Red Letter Days, #2) - Book Review

4/5 Stars

The psychic world will never be the same again...

But what are the consequences of defying destiny...?


Edition: Paperback
Pages: 329
Chapters: 17 (Plus a prologue and an epilogue)
Publisher: Harlequin Mira

Book Links: Goodreads
                      Amazon
                      Author's Website

Review

Destiny + Supernatural + Action + Romance + Choice + Consequences = Devil's Due.

And if you're not sold yet, let me continue: Devil's Due is a fast, fiery paranormal thriller with a vibrant cast and streamlined writing. It's rife with thought-provoking themes, but never lets them overtake the overall fun and flirty nature that the novel embodies. 

It doesn't top its predecessor, Devil's Bargain, but it does close the duology with vigour.

You'd be remiss if you let this little series pass you by, and by remiss, I mean you'd miss out on laughs, adrenaline-fuelled fights, and earth-shattering conspiracies for world domination.

Synopsis

The psychic world will never be the same again...

Lucia Garza is trapped in a supernatural power struggle. To save a friend she agreed to work for sinister psychic organisation The Cross Society. But after the death threat that almost succeeds, she's starting to think they want her out of the way. Forever.

Worse, as Lucia uncovers the society's most dangerous secrets, she discovers that she's being used as a pawn between two warring paranormal factions. Caught in a battle no one can win, Lucia's only choice could be to go against long-told prophecy to destroy both The Cross Society and its sworn enemies.

BUT WHAT ARE THE CONSEQUENCES OF DEFYING DESTINY?

Plot - 4/5 Stars

Devil's Due takes us back to Kansas City, Missouri, and right on the heels of the previous book. With Devil's Bargain's cliffhanger leaving the mystery and stakes high, Devil's Due does its best to deliver. And, overall, it kinda does. Caine, quickly and efficiently, eases the reader back into the world, spreading little paragraphs that recap book one throughout the first hundred pages while still moving the second novel's story forward. The feel of chess is prevalent and welcome, shaping the thrilling tone into one of conspiracy and manipulation.

Emphasising this is the severe scenes where the author lays landmines for both the reader and the book's cast. Threads are artfully all over the place, and while, at times, it's frustratingly convoluted, the author does manage to semi-successfully pull them together. You'll just have to accept the mishmash as is.

I am a little annoyed that, as we reach that long-awaited finale, not all questions are answered. They aren't forgotten; the author just chooses to leave them to the reader's imagination (I know, the horror; how dare the reader be expected to imagine).

But what keeps the novel with a rating of 4/5 Stars, for me, is the subplot that provides likely the best twist the novel offers. And it comes after an intense, action-packed race against life and the future. It closes the novel firmly, with a reader near tears (I won't tell you if they're tears of joy or sadness).

Pace - 4/5 Stars

Red Letter Days is an action-packed duology, let there be no doubt. Devil's Due balances action and exposition in a way I adore, despite some of the exposition's misses. It creates a flow that doesn't relinquish control of the reader's attention, lest they miss some vital investigative clue. 

Characters - 4.5/5 Stars

Characters and their relationships begin and progress with sharp clarity. The author does a phenomenal job of making individuals with personality, quirks, and intricate ideals. In the previous instalment, we predominantly follow Jazz Callender, but with Devil's Due, the viewpoint switches to her equally capable partner Lucia Garza. Both are definitive in their portrayals, and both continue to compliment one another with their opposing natures. Jazz, our lovable wrecking ball, meshes fantastically with Lucia's calm and affable appearance.

The two of them are deadly.

One kills with a bang, the other with a whisper.

Aside from Jazz and Lucia's tight and tantalising friendship, both face romantic subplots that are full of fire and passion. Caine can write a sexy scene, and with characters as undeniably saucy as this, love is a pungent aroma that is most definitely in the air.

Plus, the confusion and paranoia that cling to our protagonists offer some interesting roadblocks in their personal lives. Namely: Who the hell can they trust?

Writing - 3.5/5 Stars

Simple, clean, and clear. Caine doesn't waste time in Devil's Due. She can sometimes get lost, but for the most part things are set and executed exceptionally. The author says what she wants to say, paints what she wants to paint, and leaves the reader thoughtful as they ponder life's bigger picture and their choices within it.

It can often favour telling over showing, though, so an open mind won't go amiss.

Overall - 4/5 Stars

A conspiracy thriller with a touch of the paranormal.

How can you go wrong?

If you're looking for sleek writing, lightning-quick progression, and inspirational character developments that burn with romantic passion and fiery adrenaline, then the Red Letter Days duology is pretty much the perfect pill.


Previous Instalment: Devil's Bargain


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