"The Devil's Thief" Book Review
Updated: Jun 25, 2019
Author: Lisa Maxwell
Genre: YA Fantasy
After my binge read experience with The Last Magician, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the sequel, The Devil’s Thief. And, overall, I wasn’t disappointed. Maxwell does an amazing job at progressing the story and making me love characters I already adore. We should all aspire to be Viola: amazing, badass, and loyal (although, I do not support murder).
The novel begins where the last novel leaves off. Hiding from the threat of the Order and having crossed the brink, Harte and Esta search for the pieces necessary to control the Book’s power. While Harte’s friends battle the threats within the city to keep Mageus safe from Jack and the Order, Harte and Esta face threats apart from just the Order, threats that they can’t run from. Literally, they can’t run from it, unless Esta dumps Harte on the curb, because the power of the Book has nested inside of him, and for some reason, it’s hungry for Esta. And OF COURSE that hunger makes Harte nervous to touch her. Let Haresta live, Maxwell! Aren’t dangerous relationships the best ones?
At the beginning of the novel, we go a long time before truly discovering what is going on with Esta and Harte. Not TOO long (about 50 pages). That time is instead spent on some of the other characters, following perspectives that weren’t explored as much in the first novel. I actually loved this. It creates an air of mystery at the beginning, hearing all the perspectives about what happened. In a way, that puts us in the same place as everyone else, not fully understanding the events that had passed after that jump, and that made me invested in finding out what happened.
When it comes to these differing perspectives, the chapters play well off each other. They intertwine and progress like a dance. Thanks to the time stamps, I always knew what time these perspectives took place, making the flow of these chapters followable. Although, Maxwell’s ability to orient us makes them not entirely necessary.
As always, the perspectives Maxwell builds are very strong. I’ve always been a lover of close 3rd POV, being that I prefer getting into the characters’ heads. I absolutely love how much internal thought and emotion are on the pages. So much of this plot and character development are driven by what these characters are feeling.
However, certain moments are a little over-explored. That would be my only complaint with this novel. I found myself skimming certain paragraphs because it ended up being a reiteration of something I was very aware of at that point, especially when it came to characters’ feelings. Or it would be something that was being explained in a scene for too long at that point. And these certain paragraphs slow down the story, especially when the moment should be fast paced. Even in scenes of high anxiety and action, the prose feels somewhat stunted, and I find myself skimming to get to the action. This also applies to certain perspectives of more minor characters. I’d read whole chapters without feeling like I needed it there to progress the story.
However, this didn’t stop me from really liking The Devil’s Thief. Maxwell once again does a great job at orienting us in the time period, writing strong characters, and making the chapters and story itself flow in a way that leads to well done development. I’m very excited for the next novel! Till next time, Nooksters!