When someone told me this book was about biker gangs and magical realism (although it ended up being more like Urban Fantasy-ish …), I was all in without even seeking out more information. Admittedly, that might have been my first mistake.
While I did enjoy the general concept of the book, there were some aspects that I might have just not been prepared for but that really bothered me at times. Jemmie, the main character, deals with her lack of control over her powers by drinking alcohol at every turn. Look, I am really not a person who will condemn someone if they want to have a drink or two. You do you, but she basically just graduated High School and was already a borderline alcoholic. It worries her family, it worries her friends, everyone knows there’s some deeper rooted issue and obviously it doesn’t really help her much either. I understand that it is her coping mechanism, but reality is that she has a great support system and that her life would have been far easier if she just told the truth. (My biggest pet peeve in books is when people are unable to communicate!) Especially considering that she whined the entire first part over how much her ability to sense magic sucks, just to get over it with the blink of an eye with everyone thinking it’s the coolest power ever. It was infuriating, because it didn’t feel like progress or a learning curve, but rather like she had made it out to be a far bigger problem than it truly ever had been.
The other thing that bothered me a bit was the love triangle. To me, neither option was a particularly good one and the whole affair was rather predictable. I just really wish we could stop romanticizing the douchebag that cannot deal with his emotions and tries to protect the love interest by pushing her away, hurting her emotionally and sometimes even physically. I am all for vulnerable and emotionally complex boys, but Crowe’s behavior made it really difficult for me to like him at all, nevermind actually root for him.
I know I made this book sound a lot worse than it actually was, because despite it all, I DID enjoy Devils & Thieves. While I may have gotten a tad confused from time to time with the terminology, I think there’s some great magical world building in there. There’s a rich family history and mythology still worth exploring and I would be lying if I said I wasn’t curious what will happen in the next book.
It also helped a lot that Devils & Thieves was very fast paced. I legit read it in one sitting and was fine with it. So, while it definitely wasn’t one of my favorite reads, I still think there’s quite a bit of potential in this story. If I could wish for certain things to happen in the sequel, it would be that it stayed on the dark and magical path the first book ended on. That they would dive more into the biker gang dynamic (people rode more cars than bikes and other than the lingo there really wasn’t much to that element) and maybe ease up on the tropey-ness of it all. I would love to not actually be able to guess what might happen next!
Fazit: 3/5 stars! If you don’t mind a bit of predictability and cliché love story, this might be for you!
Have you heard of Devils & Thieves? Is it something you’d be interested in?