Thursday, April 18, 2013

Book Review: The Devil Knows by K.C. Cavanaugh

The Devil Knows

Author: K.C. Cavanaugh

Purchase on Amazon.

Synopsis: Megan has met her soulmate, her eternal love. The problem is he’s immortal. Not only that, he is a minion of the Devil sent to steal her soul by using her desire to save her best friend from death.

Jeremiah, a real devil of a man, is truly in love with Megan. But his work with the Devil requires him to ask the immortal question, "What would you give to save a life?" A better question might be, "What would you give to save a love?"

Eternal love and mortals, those words are not something that go hand in hand. By definition eternal love is, well, it's eternal and mortals are so fragile and break so easy. How can something that can die so easily ever really know eternal love? And how can something damned to eternal life ever know love at all?

Brought to you by TeamNerd Review Annabell Cadiz
Warning: There are spoilers and much ranting.

Review: If you approach reading The Devil Knows based off the synopsis you’ll be somewhat misled. The synopsis makes the book sound like it contains this epic, deep romance, but although it does contain a good deal of romance, it isn’t as deep as you think. The story focuses on two separate issues: Megan’s growing feelings for the demon who takes her soul in exchange to save her best friend Anya and the struggle Anya faces to stay alive in the fight against cancer.

I liked Megan and Anya’s friendship. They are best friends who treat each other more like sisters. They take care of each other and give each other strength and face everything together. It’s a beautiful friendship and the emotional struggles that play out as both Megan and Anya fight to come to terms with Anya’s cancer fight was executed well enough.

Those are about the only elements to the book that are enjoyable though and that work.

Even though Megan can be caring and loving and bold, she falters a great deal in characterization because she is selfish, weak-willed, lacks common sense, lacks self-preservation, and lacks smarts. Yes, she offers to give up her soul to the Devil in exchange to save her best friend’s life, but even that gets turned around to mainly focus on her needs and wants. Her fears or worries about Anya took a backseat as Megan worried about her growing feelings for Jeremiah, which made Megan look quite pathetic considering he’s the one who takes her soul then spends the majority of the book waiting to save Anya like he said he would. Why would ANYONE automatically think that going to an occult shop to sell her soul to the Devil is a GOOD IDEA?! Or the BEST way to get help for her best friend?? Why not pray to God or ask an angel?? They’re the good guys after all. That would have at least made far more sense!

Jeremiah is supposed to be the hot, sexy, irresistible demon but he doesn’t fit any of those qualities. Instead he’s very melodramatic and unrealistic. He suddenly decides there’s just something about Megan that makes it hard for him to resist her even though he’s taken dozens of human souls before hers. What was so special about Megan?? He’s in her home making breakfast or taking her to dinner or, and this is the kicker, WORKING AS A DOCTOR AT THE HOSPITAL! I just couldn’t handle it. Jeremiah keeps saying he needs to stay away from Megan because he can’t grow any type of relationship with her, yet he’s always STALKING her.

Jeremiah and Megan’s relationship didn’t have any depth and there wasn’t enough of a build up to it. They meet. They decide they like each other. They decide to pretend not to have feelings for each other even though they keep having these mini make out sessions and Jeremiah is a DEMON. They give in to their feelings. The romance was too one-note, too cliché, and too ridiculous to take serious.

The narration of the book had a tendency to drag, repeat, and state the obvious. Every minuscule detail is presented to the reader of Megan’s actions, what she’s wearing, what she’s thinking. It became so taxing to read because of it. A scene doesn’t need to be broken down so much. It didn’t help that much of the narration TOLD the reader everything and skipped through certain parts of the plot instead of SHOWING them. The romance was too sped up and the plot dragged, focusing completely on Megan’s idiotic relationship with a demon instead of saving her best friend, which originally was the point to the entire story.

The way Jeremiah came into Maya’s service was quite sad and horrifying, which was probably the only scene in the book that fit the atmosphere of despair the book failed to create, but that didn’t explain why Jeremiah felt INDEBTED to Maya. He should have felt revengeful because it was after all Maya’s fault what he turned into and what happened to his family.

Oh but the hardest part of this book to swallow was the ending. First Jeremiah is a demon who works for Maya who is a vampire wrapped in a Goddess wrapped in the Devil. How is that possible? No clue. It’s never explained. Then there’s the big revelation of what Anya is: a Maefaw or fairy, who can not only inspire all those who come into contact with her, but somehow magically heal Jeremiah from being a demon slash vampire back into a human being. How you may wonder? No clue. That isn’t explained either. The thing is Anya never knew she was a fairy but one quick phone call to her mother confirms her family heritage.
Just take a moment here to let all of that sink in because I needed to stop reading and actually think about it myself. NONE OF IT MADE SENSE. Anya NEVER knowing she was a fairy, NEVER experiencing any fairy like gifts, NEVER finding out her family heritage but then one quick phone call to her mother and she’s completely okay with having been lied to, with being a darn fairy?? No questions. No reeling from the truth like a normal human being. Just complete and total acceptance like it’s not the craziest thing in the world to hear. Then she’s off to the hospital with her husband to get the test results like it’s nothing weird or out of the ordinary just happened.

Then there’s the clencher: the Devil knew about the whole thing and was compassionate enough to let Megan and Jeremiah have their happy ending. When it was revealed who Anya was I had to physically get up and walk away from my computer because I couldn’t take it. But when the ending came and the Devil was showcased as this good supernatural entity when only pages ago she had been threatening Jeremiah with finishing the deal he made with Megan, I had to get up and walk away from my computer because I was laughing so hysterically.

I stuck this book out hoping beyond hope that an ACTUAL story would develop but the book is basically about Megan’s struggle to accept what her best is going through which then turns into struggle to fight her feelings, quite unsuccessfully, for a demon then everything is nicely (and very quickly) wrapped up. There isn’t really a plot to the story. The book just drags out close to 200 pages a romantic relationship that came off shallow more than romantic.

Somewhere in the mist of this story, there is potential. The writing isn’t half bad and the story still manages to engage the reader a few times. There are just far too many loopholes in the plot and far too many clichés with the romance. Both lead characters lacked any real depth or redeemable qualities and there wasn’t much world building.

Would I recommend The Devil Knows? As is, no. Would I read something in the future from the author? Sure. But the author needs to study the elements to writing a book better first and get a far better content editor. Loopholes in a plot are ALWAYS noticeable and they ruin a story.

Wishing the best of luck to the author and her success in the future!

About the Author: K.C. grew up in a small town in Northeastern PA. She has been writing since a young age and is getting prepared to have her first novel debut within a couple weeks.  Before now, she focused on poetry and short stories. 

"The Devil Knows" is now available via Amazon in paperback and for Kindle. Other works are soon to follow.

Where to Find the Author

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