Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Book Review: Daughters Unto Devils

Daughters Unto Devils

Author: Amy Lukavics

Published: September 2015

Pages: 231

Amanda Verner’s life changed last winter. From her fit of insanity—presumably a result of cabin fever—and her new, sickly baby sister who cries endlessly, Amanda has sought to forget the long, harsh winter in the arms of the post boy. Soon she finds herself jilted and pregnant, and on her way to a new homestead in the prairie, where her family, ignorant of her condition, has decided to try to stick out the upcoming winter that promises to be worse than the one before. Amanda thinks this may be her chance at a fresh start—that is until they arrive at the cabin, which is covered in blood, and Amanda’s visions from last winter begin to return. Amanda fears she may find out soon enough what lurks in the prairie fields.

I was, pardon my pun, dying to read this book. As soon as it came in the run on the new shipment, I snatched it up and checked it out for myself. I really, really wanted to love it. Which is why it was a bummer to find out that it was…alright, I guess?

Here’s the thing: Amy Lukavics is a very good storyteller. The eerie atmosphere of this book hovers over it like a blanket, and honestly, the almost glacial pace of the first 150 pages only lends itself to that feeling. I was willing to be led along slowly, and I love a good build up. The problem for me was the character development. Basically, there wasn’t any. Despite the ample opportunity we have to get to know these characters, we really kind of don’t.

That said, there was some stuff I really loved about this book. I love a good spooky story, and the last quarter of this book ramps it up to eleven out of nowhere. It’s been touted as Little House on the Prairie meets Stephen King, and that’s a pretty apt description. If you've ever seen the movie The Others, it's a little bit like that--a long, slow wind-up, and then the climactic ending hits you like a slingshot. I’ll warn you, though, the imagery in this book gets downright gruesome, so I wouldn’t advise it if you’ve got a sensitive stomach.

I can’t say much about the ending for fear of spoiling it, but I’ll say this: If you’re looking for a happy ending, you should look elsewhere.

Check it out and let me know what you think!


Want to read Daughters Unto Devils? Find it in the CMRLS catalog and put a hold on it!