Friday, March 23, 2018

The Devil Crept In by Ania Ahlborn book thoughts

Title: The Devil Crept In
Series: N/A
Author: Ania Ahlborn
Published Date: February 7th, 2017
Publisher: Gallery Books
Source: Got from Nocturnal Reader's Box
# of Pages: 374
Format: Paperback
Genre: Horror/Mystery
Days to Read: 6
Rating: 2.25 / 5 stars
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Goodreads Synopsis

Young Jude Brighton has been missing for three days, and while the search for him is in full swing in the small town of Deer Valley, Oregon, the locals are starting to lose hope. They’re well aware that the first forty-eight hours are critical and after that, the odds usually point to a worst-case scenario. And despite Stevie Clark’s youth, he knows that, too; he’s seen the cop shows. He knows what each ticking moment may mean for Jude, his cousin and best friend.

That, and there was that boy, Max Larsen...the one from years ago, found dead after also disappearing under mysterious circumstances. And then there were the animals: pets gone missing out of yards. For years, the residents of Deer Valley have murmured about these unsolved crimes…and that a killer may still be lurking around their quiet town. Now, fear is reborn—and for Stevie, who is determined to find out what really happened to Jude, the awful truth may be too horrifying to imagine.

My Thoughts

TW: Child abuse, Domestic abuse, mention of fire, bullying, Death, Harm to animals, Toxic Masculinity, possibly more i've forgotten

**Spoilers, you have been warned**

First off I want to say this probably won't be a great review, and I don't mean because I didn't like the book. I mean because the power and internet went out for a couple days after I finished the book and I wasn't able to write a review shortly after finishing it, but dang it it's bothering me to not have a proper review. I really wanted to get my thoughts out asap but that just wasn't ment to be this time. Anyway I had gotten this book from a Nocturnal Reader's Box and it was a group read for March.

I really loved Stevie! I felt so bad for him and related a little bit to him. I hated the Tyrant, his step-dad, so much. At first I felt a bit sorry for his mother but it got to be too much, step up for your child damn it! He needed to see a doctor and all that had happened proved that, and the way the Tyrant treated him. What kind of parent lets that crap go on without doing anything? Sorry not sorry. Also I looked up echolalia and other things...this book felt poorly researched if at all.

I really didn't like Part 2. I don't want to go into spoilers (insert per proofreading-I do anyway, warning up top) but the way it was written, to me, made it seem like a certain characters deformities were a big part of why he was a monster. I've heard again and again how deformities are used to make a character more of a monster in horror books and they are seen as evil and disgusting...when real life people have those deformities or are deformed, and people treat us like we are monsters for them and how that happening in books and movies does real harm to real people. Maybe it hit too personally for me but I didn't care for the way it was written. I don't mind that he was a monster obviously, it's horror, that he acted like one, actions speak about who a person is, that she birthed a demon, it's just how the deformities were written/seen in some parts that bugged me. Also as someone with anxiety Rose's anxiety seemed ridiculously over-played. Maybe that's just a me thing but with the way your child was born, TAKE HIM TO A DAMN HOSPITAL, WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU.

I don't even know where to start with all the implausabilities. Why didn't Rose's doctor husband get her checked out when she miscarried in the 3rd trimester and then proceeds to drive over 10 hours away, when she came back? Why doesn't anyone not follow their pets into the woods to see what is going on and why all the pets are sick? Why doesn't anyone check out Jude when he re-appears all dirty and not having a clue what happened? So...what about Ras, the guy who is forgotten, then remembered and is more important than you thought, then forgotten again? Is he the devil? Over-all it felt like lazy writing to me.

While part 3 I did like more than Part 2 and how parts 1 and 2 came together it just felt..rushed to me. And don't get me started on the Epilogue. If the epilogue hadn't happened I'm sure this book would have gotten 3 stars, or if the Epilogue had been more developed, not left hanging so wide open. I get the conclusions we are supposed to make but again, it does the thing where it paints someone who is mentally ill and schizophrenic as the bad guy, evil and crazy. I know that isn't what it's supposed to look like and it doesn't to me but I think that the ending will really bother some people who are mentally ill and are tired of being seen this way, with the all too real mental stigmas in reality and how they get treated. I am not schizophrenic though I do have depression, anxiety and ptsd so take that however you will. Even though I get that wasn't ment in a harmful way I felt like it could have been a bit more fleshed out and it felt rushed. Not to mention all the unanswered questions.

Also it didn't make much sense to me. The final scene before the epilogue and then the epilogue happens and it doesn't go together one bit to me. What several people saw and physical evidence made it clear what happened and then the epilogue completely disregards the final scene and stuff it mentions itself just to get a certain ending? It made no sense. I saw someone else say it feels rushed and like the books are being forced to come out too fast, and despite being my first Ania Ahlborn book it really did feel that way to me too. Also wanted to add I just can't buy the heroic act of the Tyrant in that final scene. I wish I could. "Get off my kid!" or something like that...oh now he's your kid? Since when and since when do you care?

There was stuff I really did enjoy but it just wasn't delved into and then everything at the end disregarded so much evidence and decided to not make any sense just to get a certain ending when it could have been left at the final scene or fleshed out the epilogue a bit more.

I hate to say this but if it hadn't been a group read i'd have DNF'd it...and I wish I had.

These are all just my opinions, and this probably isn't a well-done review by any means. It's probably all over the place. I did enjoy some aspects of it. I liked how it showed affects of bullying and child abuse/neglect. I enjoyed the unlikeable characters because I know people like that exist. And it did have some horror to it. But over-all it just wasn't for me.

I have thankfully seen other reviews from people who have read her other books and really enjoyed them, especially Brother (which I had already bought), that didn't like this one either so I will still read Brother and hopefully like that more.

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