The Devils Heart (Devils Series, Book 2)
For Stewart and Leyla to bring down the Company, they need to find out what this Formula is and how to defeat it, along with the mysterious demonic Ponzi scheme. This book is fascinating in so many ways, in particular in the way it makes you think. We have some truly excellent consideration of the effect of time and place and culture on evil, raising uncomfortable questions about whether we, if we were brought up at that time, in that place, would commit the atrocities that so shock us through history. It raises nuanced and detailed questions about our white washed views of history — how the atrocities of our enemies often stand up starkly in our memories, but the atrocities we have committed, our culture and our society has inflicted, are so often justified, excused or brushed over as somehow less damaging and less atrocious.
It also has a deeply unflinching examination of the atrocities of the past. Not being graphic and disturbing is to ignore just how graphic and disturbing history actually is. We see demons urging people to evil, but we see equal — or worse — evil acts perpetuated by people who have no demonic urging at all.
I also really liked the twist of the war in Heaven, with the fundamentalists fighting the Angels because the Angels are just too liberal for them.
So this book has a huge amount of excellent, thoughtful positives. I would recommend buying and reading this book for that alone. But there are problems — firstly, it started very slowly with a lot of extraneous information. After which we had the interview of Kenzo and the big tour of Hell that was excruciatingly slow. These ideas and concepts I love in this book take the place of the plot. A huge amount of this book is spent spelling out these scenarios and not even remotely subtle messages and lessons.
Worse, they are repeated — over and over again — because the protagonists are two of the slowest learners imaginable and the demons trying to convey the messages to them are utterly incapable of spelling things out. The complete obliviousness of the protagonists, the convoluted way no-one could give them a straight answer and the endless repetition of the same points over and over again bogged this book down terribly.
And that cover! The Last Magician is full of shock plot twists and dramatic character moments and intense action. The Devils Thief is much quieter and drawn out - I can see why people don't like it as much I also didn't love it quite as much but for me, this was really still a strong second book. Because it took time to actually delve into the world and characters and build a plot that didn't rely on quick plot twists and dramatic reveals.
If The Last Magician is a train veering wildly off course and making turns you didn't see coming, then The Devils Thief is rattling toward disaster - you can see it coming, but you have to slowly watch the approach, and brace for impact. I think the time taken to raise and stakes and build tension, in anticipation for a third and probably explosive third book, was a good choice.
Also, this book just has a lot of angst and I love angst. Like, literally nothing goes write for these characters for pages and I literally love pain so it worked for me. Harte and Esta are Including some small specific things in books I love - which I won't mention because of spoilers. I don't really want to say too much about this book as I feel anything I get into even related to character would spoil the end of book one. But I will say - and this ties into my original point, I thought the character development was good. All the characters arcs and issues weren't resolved But thats what the final book is for but they all progressed a lot.
The final book is one of my most highly anticipated releases of Once he had been her enemy. Always he had been her equal. Now he was her ally, and she had risked every thing to come back for him. After reading and loving The Last Magician this year, I couldn't have been more excited about getting an arc of the second in the series. Book one ends in quite the cliffhanger, so obviously I was eager and excited to continue with Esta and Harte's incredible adventure. Fantasy lovers will find so much to love about this series.
Lisa Maxwell knows how to pack in the action at a nail biting pace, and plenty of suspenseful, pulse pounding moments. The unpredictable twists are sure to keep you hanging on until the very end, because you know that at some point she's going to deliver a jaw dropper. But the biggest draw for me? The time travel trope. Add magic into that scenario, and I am one happy reader. This series has all the ingredients for my perfect happy place, but it didn't all come together as well as I was hoping this time around. I was still a solid and enjoyable read for the most part, but I did have some frustrations that took away from my enjoyment.
We take off right where we left off at the end of The Last Magician. Esta and Harte have succeeded in their heist at Khafre Hall, and now must make it past the Brink and collect the five artifacts that were sent into safekeeping. Or at least, that was the plan at the time. But we all know that plans don't seem to work out so well for this pair, and it was never more evident than in this installment. The Ars Arcana book holds power and knowledge that would be cataclysmic if it falls back into the wrong Sundren's hands. Unfortunately, Harte has unwillingly transferred the energy or power inside himself, and this causes some monumental challenges for the pair.
The dark choir merged into a single voice, one that was speaking in a language he should not have recognized but understood nonetheless. A single word that held untold meaning. Jianyu and Viola were not in the forefront of the story in the previous book, but they definitely shared the spotlight here, feeling much less like secondary characters. Jianyu is tasked with keeping Cela safe, as well as stopping Logan from reaching Nibsy with invaluable information. All this while keeping out of the hands of those who betrayed Dolph, and the ever sinister Order. Jack has a strong ascension into power, as well as the new leader of the Devil's Own.
Viola places herself into the Five Pointers' gang, at her brother's mercy in order to gain information and bide her time. She will find a new love interest as she plots to destroy the Order by whatever means necessary. The Anistasi anarchists have now entered the scene, and their intentions are murky at best.
It takes some time to decide if they are friend or foe. Ruth, Maggie, and Lucas are new intriguing characters that have their own score to settle, and the appearance of Harte and Esta may be an interference they couldn't have anticipated. Everyone is on their guard, watching their backs and holding their cards close to their chest.
Here's the thing: the world building quality Ms. Maxwell produces here is notable, and her ability to keep a time travel plot free from holes is truly impressive. The length of this book was problematic. I'm not one to complain about a book being too long, especially a fantasy. In this case, the book started out strong, but slowly deteriorated in pace.
I would describe the middle chunk of this book as stagnant. There was little to no progression with the characters, it was simply hopping from one character to another at a frenetic speed where they never seemed to achieve any of their goals or noticeably move things forward. Failure after failure kept occurring, bad luck following everyone like a black cloud ready to unleash a storm.
After a certain point I started to become frustrated at how little success had been gained. In fact, they were worse off in every regard than when they started. Like there was a lot of filler content simply to fill time or set up the next book. Yes, Harte did finally understand more about the power inside the book and himself, and what they were up against. But in regards to their original mission at the start, it seemed to all crumble like a house of cards.
The Devil’s West
Esta and Harte had some hints of a romance brewing in book one, and I was really looking forward to seeing that develop more. There was constant back and forth between them, a lot of repetitious internal pining or a moment of weakness, followed by a surge of the darkness inside of him, and then retreat. It never produced any change in their relationship, any chance for romance was slimmer than ever before.
Viola's love interest had considerable development in comparison, with the promise of even further growth. I have to say, I was more than a little surprised that she was falling for someone so soon after grieving that deeply for Tilly, but it was at least not an insta-love situation. In the end, while there were no inconsistencies, my main issue was the pacing and progression.
It held my attention in parts, but there were long lags were I struggled and my attention wandered. My favorite things about this part was seeing more depth from Viola and Jianyu. Their past and present were fully fleshed out, and it endeared me to both of them so much more. As always, I loved the Mageus and their many varied talents, as well as the time travel and how it potentially influenced the course of the future. We didn't leave off in the most positive of places, so I'm anticipating that it's still going to take a lengthy conclusion to wrap the series up.
I'll be really interested to see how she brings everything to a close with all of the new information brought to light. View 2 comments. Nov 09, Sara Saif rated it it was ok Shelves: my-whole-life-is-a-lie , , i-dunno-why-i-bothered. I am pissed, disappointed beyond measure and annoyed at how outrageously pointless this entire book is. At least nothing it could have at easily half that size.
Why the actual fuck is this book even that long? It exhausted me with its constant pointlessness. All the characters had to do was find a bunch of artifacts.
The Devil's Heart eBook by Carter Carmen | Official Publisher Page | Simon & Schuster Canada
All of them ran and chased and pursued and delivered some trite god-forsaken monologues just to get to those awe-inspiring magical objects, only to lose them and start their chase all over again. Except for that bit about Seshat and Thoth, which, by the way, clears up exactly nothing about this stupid magical system which seems to make even less sense than it did before the more the writer tries to explain, this monstrosity was a worthless pain in the ass.
That pretty much put my interest in the two of them to the grave, complete with a tombstone saying R. H Rot In Hell. The second was Viola and the girl she legit falls in love with under 5 minutes of seeing her. Another grave, another tombstone. View all 9 comments. RIP this book. I tried.
Fantasy Books Of The Year
And it's going to be a big no for me The first book was really great and this book just took a fricking turnaround into mess and I'm not feeling it. At all.
Well, actually it's not too bad, honestly. But really this book could be so much shorter. Like waaaaay shorter. Instead we're getting their POVs and I don't really care for any of them aside maybe two characters. Yes, while there's a lot happening in their POVs, we get like such small minuscule slices of it, it's like it'll take forever to get through their own part of the story.
Which is frustrating to say in the least. With six frickin POVs Too much. Don't care. I get it. The time period at the time was drastic for women and for being treated and viewed poorly along with people of color. He's just really really annoying to the point where I want to slap the shit out of him. He undermines her so much and is really a bland boring character who is just— Damn it, Darrigan Harte can choke , not talking about him anymore.
As for the villain In the first book he was actually good as a villain and now he's more comical than anything else here. I tried to push through and tried to force myself to read and finish. Totally unnecessary. I really enjoyed the beginning of the book but now I don't see myself finishing it for the time being. Got halfway through. That's enough. Fuck it. Oct 15, Alexa rated it really liked it Shelves: read-in It takes the world of magic and corruption and science and secrets, and just throws us right into a story where the stakes just keep on getting higher.
Nov 28, Suzanne rated it liked it. This book is so hard for me to rate and review because I did struggle with keeping interest in it. I loved the first book so much and it had my interest from start to end so not sure why this one was such a struggle rea This book is so hard for me to rate and review because I did struggle with keeping interest in it.
I loved the first book so much and it had my interest from start to end so not sure why this one was such a struggle really.
My quick and simple overall: a good sequel and the reading struggle was probably just personal on my part with very little to do with the book. The ending leaves a good deal of interest for the next book though. Nov 05, Laura rated it it was amazing Shelves: magic , that-was-it , romance , release-in , in-love , fantasy , print , ya , waiting-for-sequel. This was truly amazing!! The world, the characters, the intrigue and magic LOVED everything about it!
Oct 05, Rae rated it really liked it Shelves: arc , fiction , bt-e-book , personal-library-physical-books , Now that Esta has traveled back in time to save Harte, the two of them work together to find the scattered elemental stones. Can they find them before the Order does? I really enjoyed this beast of a book! It was beautifully written, featuring rich world building and life-like characters.
While the sheer amount of details made the plot drag at times, I still loved reading it! The Devil's Thief bounces back and forth between multiple character's perspectives. There are a lot of characters in this book, and you get inside each of their heads! My favorite storyline to follow was probably Viola's, especially once she meets Ruby. Viola is a fierce character with a rough family history.
She's tough--physically and emotionally--and has a strong moral compass guiding her actions. Her part in the book was interesting. I really like her as a character! There's so much tension between the two characters, but unfortunately, there's a huge elephant sitting between the two of them that hinders most of their interactions.
I'll be curious to see how their relationship continues to develop. Understanding what's happening with the Book, Nibsy, and Harte is utterly fascinating. I can only imagine how this will all play out in the next book. Lisa Maxwell knows how to write stunning characters! There are a lot of characters in this book, but they're easy to keep straight because they're so unique and individualized. I couldn't ask for better character development. Thank you to NetGalley for providing the Kindle version of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Oct 31, Nastassja rated it really liked it Shelves: 3rd-pov , gives-me-goosebumps , trilogy , cover-ecstasy , messed-me-up , dark-haired-heroine , intiguing-concept , lgbtq , anticipated-releases , i-will-go-down-with-this-ship. So, let's not beat around the bush A fine feast of pages alchemy tome. And judging by the way things have ended in book Nov 09, alexandra ling rated it really liked it Shelves: audiobook , arc-physical , ss , release , read The Last Magician was one of my favorites of last year and maybe ever?
T - the slow-burn and angsty romance!!!!!! Jul 24, Alice rated it it was amazing Shelves: youngadult , genre-fantasy , favourites , reads , lgbtq. Jul 10, Megan rated it it was amazing. Just like in Last Magician, what really shines in The Devil's Thief is the way Maxwell twines history and magic together. We get to see what our favorites are up to now that everything kind of what backward for them. Esta and Harte travel across the country and time to St. Louis during the Worlds Fair meet me in St. Louis, Louis. Meet me at the fair while Jian and Viola deal with the aftermath of Dolph's murder and Nibs' take over.
We also get introduced to other characters, the most wonderful Just like in Last Magician, what really shines in The Devil's Thief is the way Maxwell twines history and magic together. We also get introduced to other characters, the most wonderful being Calla; a black seamstress who gets tied up with our mageus thanks to Harte Darrigan. This book is full of lovely characters, fun capers, and twists that will leave you begging for more. Feb 06, Amanda marked it as to-read. Apr 06, Melissa H rated it really liked it.
What a fun ride! Lewis, and provides a full perspective from the villains and the good guys. It was a great second book that literally had me on the edge of my seat the whole time. After the crazy ending of the first book this picks up right afterwards and continues on. I enjoyed the large cast of characters and you really felt like you knew them and none seemed one demential. They all had good and bad What a fun ride! They all had good and bad traits that created a realistic personality. I understand why the author wrote some of the chapters so short, in order to make you keep reading to find out what happened.
But honestly I found it frustrating and had to take a break mid week to give myself a moment to collect all my thoughts about it. Overall a great second novel in the series and I can not wait to see what happens in the next installment!! Dec 08, asbah rated it liked it Shelves: read-in I mean, there's time travel, thievery, gang drama, strong female leads, angst, and a whole lot of tension—all packed in one. There might be a few issues with this book, but Lisa Maxwell did not come to disappoint. Anger and sadness and destruction and chaos was her song, and Esta was the melody she sang to.
It started a bit wobbly, but I really started to care for these 3 aside from the MCs. I never asked for this but You probably saw this coming since this is a whole time travel book and all, but I seriously love the way Maxwell writes time travel. There are so many aspects of the past and present and the future tied together, yet she does it so effortlessly. It's my favourite thing about her books. It's no surprise I love books set in the past. It's kind of mind-blowing. It was a little less than a major issue in The Last Magician , but it was overtaking the story here, imo.
Like I'm a sucker for tension, but that wasn't exactly the problem. And I really, don't like repetition. The cycle went something like this: an attraction, ignores it, makes a move, what am I doing, mission abort. And it happened so many times, that it just got boring. I knew there was some hope for romance since the ending of the fisrt book, but it kind of depleted here.
I know a modern YA book being pages is no big deal, but it just was too much.