Welcome to Bettendorf. At first glance, it seems like a typical Midwestern town, but take a closer look and you might be surprised.
High schooler Jack Davies sees the darkness coming; he lives with it. Cold voices call out from the closet door; dead hands reach up from under his bed. Although he doesn’t know it, Jack wields a great power.
Now, a smooth-talking preacher has come to town promising freedom and redemption for all who follow his words. But like Jack, this preacher has a secret. Those who heed his call find themselves pawns in his plan to awaken an ancient evil, long ago imprisoned in the dank caves of Devils Glen Park.
With the help of a widowed police officer, a babysitter, and a mysterious spirit called Ava, Jack must find the truth about his hidden power in time to battle the dark forces that have descended upon his town. If he fails, our world will be cast into darkness forever.
– S & S –
Devil’s Glen Review
First off I want to say that I love the cover of Devil’s Glen. The art is pretty and magical looking. I also love the feel of it. That might seem like a weird thing to mention but it has a grippy feel to it that makes it easy to hold.
I really liked Devil’s Glen. The characters were likable and the dialogue of the teenagers flowed nicely. The author didn’t make them sound too adult or go overboard in trying to make them sound trendy. The story of Devil’s Glen was a bit of an odd mix but somehow it worked well together. I’m very interested in seeing where the series will go.
There were some characters that I’d like to know better (like Leo) and others that I’d like to see more of. Particularly Opus and Maximus. I’m really hoping they show up again. I also liked that characters weren’t brought up and then dropped. Matthew Speak did a great job of keeping track of his characters and relating them to each other in natural way. I really liked the friendship between Jack and Randy. I loved the character of Jack as well. He’s very believable as a teenage boy in the situation he’s in.
I also liked the chapter titles in Devil’s Glen, some of them were pretty funny. I particularly liked ‘The Misadventures of Jack’s Lap’ and ‘Lupus Ex Machina’. It shows an awareness of the tropes he’s toying with and using to great effect, for the most part.
There were a couple of things, though, that didn’t quite make it a 5 star read for me. They were minor and easily fixable. One of the major ones was for as often as the dialogue was great and flowed naturally, there were parts that were very melodramatic. There was an overuse of the ‘mystical speeches’. Such as, “You will know when the time is right” kind of thing. A few I don’t mind but the book was cluttered with that particular cliche.
There were also a few parts that seemed a little…weird but they were minor.
All in all Devil’s Glen was a smooth, entertaining read and I’m very interested to see what else will happen in Bettendorf, Iowa.
4 out of 5 Skulls