Trigger Warnings: alcoholism, self-medicating, violence, threats, slut shaming, abuse
Release Date: October 3rd, 2017
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.
Goodreads Review: here
Power corrupts. Magic kills.
Eighteen-year-old Jemmie Carmichael is surrounded by magic in the quiet town of Hawthorne, New York. In her world, magic users are called “kindled,” and Jemmie would count herself among them if only she could cast a simple spell without completely falling apart. It doesn’t help that she was also recently snubbed by Crowe—the dangerous and enigmatic leader of Hawthorne’s kindled motorcycle gang, the Devils’ League.
When the entire kindled community rolls into Hawthorne for an annual festival, a rumor spreads that someone is practicing forbidden magic. Then people start to go missing. With threats closing in from every side, no one can be trusted. Jemmie and Crowe will have to put aside their tumultuous history to find their loved ones, and the only thing that might save them is the very flaw that keeps Jemmie from fully harnessing her magic. For all her years of feeling useless, Jemmie may just be the most powerful kindled of all.
R A M B L E
A friend of mine read Devils & Thieves in a day. She loved this book (check out her review here). She described it on her Instagram story basically as a sexy urban fantasy. Since I was in between books and hadn’t unpacked any of my books yet, I figured I’d download the eBook and give it a try. This book and I did not mix.
First up, my big problem was Jemmie. I should also briefly mention I have some big problems when it comes to alcoholism and self-medicating in books due to things that have happened in my own life. This obviously makes me sensitive when they’re included in a book. I basically had three panic attacks reading this book because of this and I read the book in a day.
Anyway, Jemmie, our main character. I have never read a more Mary Sue main character in my entire life. Move over Clary Fray because you’ve been dethroned. I’ll talk more about this in my character section but simply she was so naïve and angry. I think angry is the best way to describe Jemmie. Mix that with the fact the girl trusted absolutely everyone without a second thought, you’re going down a destructive road.
Another thing that frustrated me about Devils & Thieves was the world building. It had a lot of potential. Magic and urban fantasy are two of my favourite genres (well, magic isn’t a genre just an inclusion but still). However, the further I read the more confused I got. Again, this could be my fault because I was still moving and busy while trying to read a book in a day (no Internet seems to be good for this). There were so many words for this particular word that didn’t feel completely developed to me I was let skipping back pages and hunting for a reason why that particular thing made sense.
I just really didn’t mesh with this book. The romance made me mad and there was absolutely no chemistry for me. The whole possessive alpha love interest is kind of boring to me at this stage of reading and I really wanted more. However, you don’t get that at any point of the book. Crowe (yep, that’s his name) doesn’t change throughout the book and basically orders Jemmie around. The real kick? She does whatever he says.
P L O T
For about 50% of the novel, there is a lot of world-building and character development (none of which I would say is good). You learn about Jemmie’s past, her powers, why she doesn’t use said powers and basically get to listen to her not shut up about Crowe.
Then the plot. The motorcycle gangs (I really have no idea) are fighting (no seriously, I have no idea if this is right) and Crowe’s little sister and Jemmie’s best friend (same person) gets taken by someone. However, no one is confessing to it. My favourite part had to be right after the friend/sister goes missing and they go to her house to find something to do a locator spell with and Jemmie is thinking about that time she made out with the brother about a year ago (he’s ignored her since then, what a charmer).
Really I can’t tell you much of what else happened in the story because I got so bored. My eyes rolled back into my head and I couldn’t deal. I basically skimmed about 30% of the book? It really didn’t get better for me though, so it was probably best that I did that.
C H A R A C T E R S
#J E M M I E
I’ve already started this rant on Jemmie, but trust me, I didn’t even get started. This girl was the definition of a special snowflake. A power that is rare (honestly, no clue on this) but wait she can smell power.
Trust me, you didn’t just read that wrong.
Our main girl, Jemmie, can smell and see when power is being used it. In case you didn’t think you read that right it’ll be mentioned about six times a chapter, so don’t worry! The other part of the chapter will be filled with how hot Crowe is and how much he sucks!!!! Because!!!! He!!! Kissed!!!!! Jemmie!!!! And!!!!! Ignored!!!!! Her!!!!!! For!!!! A!!!!! Year!!!!!!
Straight up wanted to punch her in the face for the entire novel. Apart from the fact the only person she’s told about her weird smelling magic = not being able to use it without fainting is Crowe (literally, why?)…actually I don’t know where I was going with this point I just wanted to say how dumb it is the only person she told her big secret to was to a boy after he’d ignored her for a year. Maybe this is why I give bad boy advice, I just tell everyone to forget and dump their asses to avoid this dumb shit.
However, my biggest problem with her was definitely the self-medicating. She seemed to get angrier every time she would drink too, I’m not sure if that was done on purpose by the author or simply accidental but with my past and life I wasn’t really able to handle that.
#C R O W E
I’m not going to write much here because wow, what a piece of shit. Crowe wasn’t the type of guy I think we should romanticise in YA (thought this did feel more NA to me). He’s the type of guy we should be telling girls to kick in the balls when they see to avoid being punched in the face. Again, these are my life experiences talking but Crowe reminded me of too many men my mum had introduced me to and then proceeded to have them abuse her, me and my sister. Truly. Crowe was trash to me. I see his relationship with Jemmie as slightly abusive too, hence why I added the trigger warning.
O V E R A L L
Overall, this was a pretty trashy urban fantasy and it honestly wouldn’t have been bad if I was in the mood for trashy urban fantasy. However, I had just finished Dear Martin and Devils & Thieves did not live up to that reading high I was on.
Happy reading everyone!
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