Release Date: October 9, 2011
Series: Adventures of Justin McKnight #1
Buying Links: Amazon
Devils' Den is an odd mish mash of horror, dark fantasy and high fantasy. The parts didn't mesh well overall, veering rapidly from one genre to the next, though the horror and dark fantasy elements worked better together than the high fantasy elements. To be honest, I liked the high fantasy elements the best. That realm, the Underwood, has potential, but I'd like it best separated from the dark fantasy and horror elements.
Despite being set in Kentucky, it never had a local feel to it. It could have been any rural small town in the US. The author lives in Kentucky so that was particularly disappointing to me. Though there was one expression used repeatedly that may be a local one - "mashing the gas pedal".
Hopkins mashed the accelerator.
Every time a character's driving was described, there was mashing. It was odd and kind of funny, I had images of mashed potatoes under the gas pedal.John mashed the gas
Anyway, the story as a whole was disappointing. The characterization was superficial, the pacing was slow, the genres an odd mash-up, and the copy editing lacking. While I enjoyed reading about the Underworld and it's people, especially the butterfly faeries, I didn't enjoy it enough to read more in this series. If the story had been straight horror and better edited, both for content and mechanics, I might have liked it, but as it is, it didn't work for me.