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House Read: The Devil’s Only Friend

February 9, 2016

devilWhat I’m Reading: The Devil’s Only Friend by Dan Wells
Published: Tor Books, 2015
Read This: when you’re somewhere safe and sunny.

John Wayne Cleaver is back after a two year publishing hiatus! When Dan finished I Don’t Want to Kill You we all thought that was probably the last we’d see of our favorite teenage sociopath. But, we got lucky, although, no one in the story world did…
John has teamed up with an FBI taskforce to hunt the demons he’s been battling through the first three books.
But the demons are fighting back. The Withered know that John is out there and that he’s killed three of them already. And now, they’re starting to work together to find him.
Brooke, the former girl of John’s dreams, is still in the picture as well. She has physically recovered from being possessed by the demon known as Nobody, but the experience has left her with all of the demon’s memories. No teenage girl is designed to deal with the sudden influx of tens of thousands of years of memories. Brooke is sometimes herself, sometimes Nobody, and sometimes one of the thousands of girls Nobody possessed and killed throughout the millennia. It’s terrible, but it also means that for the first time John and the FBI have someone on the inside.
Brooke can tell them who they are facing and what that demon’s powers are. But she has no answers when a demon who calles himself the Hunter starts to leave John letters on the bodies of his latest victims.

The Devil’s Only Friend is the first book in a new John Wayne Cleaver trilogy. Book two, Over Your Dead Body, comes out in May. The story moves very quickly and you don’t have much time to catch your breath. But then, neither does John. While this isn’t my favorite book in the series, I do think it’s a great start to a new series of stories. And it’s perfect timing as the film of I Am Not a Serial Killer is slated to be shown at South by Southwest this year!

John has lost basically everyone in his life except for Brooke. That puts him in a very interesting position, emotionally speaking. He is a diagnosed sociopath, so he doesn’t usually form emotional attachments to people, but nevertheless, he has lost people he cares about and is abruptly shoved into close and long term contact with an entire team. He is answerable to people for the first time in his demon hunting and that adds another level of tension to the story. As always, John is fighting himself and his own instincts as much as he is the demons that are hunting him.



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