To say I’m excited for The Devil Makes Three is an understatement. Hosting the cover reveal – plus excerpt – was one of my goals for a book blogger! So finally reading this eerie and atmospheric fantasy took me away from my summer evening into a dusty dangerous library. Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.
Tess Matheson only wants three things: time to practice her cello, for her sister to be happy, and for everyone else to leave her alone.
Instead, Tess finds herself working all summer at her boarding school library, shelving books and dealing with the intolerable patrons. The worst of them is Eliot Birch: snide, privileged, and constantly requesting forbidden grimoires. After a bargain with Eliot leads to the discovery of an ancient book in the library’s grimoire collection, the pair accidentally unleash a book-bound demon.
The demon will stop at nothing to stay free, manipulating ink to threaten those Tess loves and dismantling Eliot’s strange magic. Tess is plagued by terrible dreams of the devil and haunting memories of a boy who wears Eliot’s face. All she knows is to stay free, the demon needs her… and he’ll have her, dead or alive.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
TW: self-harm, abuse
As someone who would be the exact opposite of Tess, I enjoyed The Devil Makes Three supremely – even if I had to only read it during the day. Bovalino’s debut takes place in one of the most magical settings – a library – and infuses atmosphere, danger, and intrigue in every hidden corner. Reading about both Tess and Eliot grounds us in the ways they are so driven by their loyalty and love, even as they circle each other with mistrust. The pacing is fantastic, allowing us to get to know Tess and Eliot before dunking them headfirst in danger, ominous whispers, and ink.
The Devil Makes Three became a book I couldn’t put down. Absolutely absorbed by the action, the intrigue, and the atmosphere. The ways that knowledge can sometimes be a curse. When we have to hide who we are from those who are supposed to love us. All the feelings of loss, of watching the ones you love disappear in front of our eyes. With truly lyrical writing in some places, The Devil Makes Three had me wrapped up in the characters and their quests, their tender love, and their woven ambition.
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Bovalino’s debut is phenomenal. I knew I would love it and I did. That’s one of the best feelings. It delivers dangerous stakes, character exploration, and atmosphere. Find The Devil Makes Three on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, Bookshop.org & The Book Depository.