The Devil’s Own
Published by: Acorn Publishing
Publication date: April 20th 2019
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
RATING: 4 stars
Delaney Murphy has always known she’s the Devil’s daughter. And although the title itself is a burden, she never expects to inherit all her father’s infernal abilities. When her newfound magic begins to poison the people closest to her, Laney must make a choice. To protect the world from the worst she can do, she leaves everyone she loves behind and builds a new life for herself, alone, in a place where she can control the urge to give in to the magic living within her.
But when she recognizes a familiar pattern in a string of murders, Laney leaves her peaceful, isolated life behind and goes on the hunt, unleashing a threat she never dreamed possible. Confronting this menacing specter could mean giving in to temptation and becoming the one thing she fears most. Will she use her magic to do the right thing, even if it means hurting the ones she loves?
I love a good urban fantasy with characters that push boundaries as well as grow. The Devil’s Own by K. A. Fox feels like it could be one of those. I fell into the world of Delaney Murphy almost right away. It opens with her in the middle of a pretty intense situation, and it seems like the world just keeps piling it on. There is a LOT going on in this book, though, and that makes it hard to keep track of things for me. The story is complex and the characters are really fleshed out. The book has quite a bit going for it. If you’re sensing a but in there, you’d be right.
As much as I really really enjoyed this book (without being able to pinpoint the whys–it was just really enjoyable), there are a few things that caused me to start to lose interest. One was the MULTITUDE of threads. The story was almost TOO complex. There’s the mystery of the Miss Tilly and the town. The mystery of why the demons are after Delaney. The mystery of Torren. The mystery of Cal. The mystery of Delaney’s dreams. The mystery of why the hell this is being pushed as a YA book when the characters are all clearly adults and we’re facing some pretty freaking adult situations.
I love a complex story, but this begins to feel like one massive info-dump before we get to the real deal. I feel like a couple of these mysteries could have waited for another book or even been dealt with. Instead, it seems like the questions just keep piling on top of each other and the MC’s way of dealing with anything is to go to her gym and beat the crap out of something. I’m also fairly picky about getting settings correct if you’re going to use real locations…and the fact that Delaney lives in a tiny-ass town in Nebraska, but is 30 minutes from “Omaha” is misleading, as it’s rare you can get anywhere in Omaha in 30 minutes. All of this made me start to lose interest around 75% of the way through the book. I felt like I was slogging through. However, there are definitely some redeeming qualities that make me think that this intro book is just the beginning of a really good series.
The tongue in cheek references to romance novels throughout (and their formulaic approach to life) lighten the load and keep things moving when it seems it’s getting pretty heavy. It becomes pretty obvious that there’s some behind the scenes matchmaking going on, though I’m not sure how aware the ones being matched are of the machinations.
Delaney has a touch of the pridefully stupid in her. Granted, it’s her own life experiences that make it so that she doesn’t trust others and their experiences, but it’s still enough to be annoying. The driving need to do everything alone is just irritating. However, the thing that Fox has done is given Delaney a past that backs up this desire in such a way that the reader at least understands, even if they don’t agree.
Overall, I’d definitely recommend this book. It’s a new take on making the bad guys good guys and creating a world that is both familiar and new. Fox weaves a very tangled web, but it seems like it’ll be worth it to stick around and unravel it.
K.A. Fox is a proud military brat who has lived all over the world but now calls the Midwest home. She uses her psychological training to facilitate successful negotiations at work and to convince her husband and three sons that she’s always right. When not writing, she can usually be found hiding somewhere with a book and a bit of chocolate, or chasing after her own adorable Hell Hound.