I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by Harlequin Teen on September 29, 2015
Source: the publisher
When sixteen-year-old Amanda Verner's family decides to move from their small mountain cabin to the vast prairie, she hopes it is her chance for a fresh start. She can leave behind the memory of the past winter; of her sickly Ma giving birth to a baby sister who cries endlessly; of the terrifying visions she saw as her sanity began to slip, the victim of cabin fever; and most of all, the memories of the boy she has been secretly meeting with as a distraction from her pain. The boy whose baby she now carries.
When the Verners arrive at their new home, a large cabin abandoned by its previous owners, they discover the inside covered in blood. And as the days pass, it is obvious to Amanda that something isn't right on the prairie. She's heard stories of lands being tainted by evil, of men losing their minds and killing their families, and there is something strange about the doctor and his son who live in the woods on the edge of the prairie. But with the guilt and shame of her sins weighing on her, Amanda can't be sure if the true evil lies in the land, or deep within her soul.
Lately, I’ve really been in the mood for a creepy, scary, “keep the lights on” book – Something that scares me as much as my favorite horror movies, maybe more. Which is why I’ve been desperately anticipating Daughters Unto Devils for over a year now. But as a horror buff, not much scares me. So, sadly, neither did this. But beyond that, the entire book fell kind of flat for me.
I didn’t connect with any of the characters, nor did I particularly like them. They were very flat and had very little character growth or development throughout the book. Not to mention the fact that they were all pretty nasty and mean to each other. Pa was such a cold man. Ma seemed broken. Amanda was bland. Henry was completely using Amanda. And though Emily had reason to be angry with Amanda, she also didn’t have to stay so angry. Wasn’t Amanda punished enough with everything that happened to her? I just didn’t see any love at all between these characters. Also, I didn’t trust Zeke or Doctor Jacobson at all.
Though the majority of the book didn’t scare me, the last page did gave me a small chill, but it was nothing near what I’d hoped to feel with this book. Rather, it was like watching a horror movie that you’ve already seen – you know what’s coming, yet you still anticipate that moment when you’re going to be scared and jumpy, but you’re never actually scared, just jumpy. It’s unfortunate that this book wasn’t creepy because the setting – the isolated prairie in the 1800s – had such creep-factor potential.
Despite all that, I will say the plot was intriguing! With the right music and special effects, I could completely see it being a successful movie or TV mini-series. Also, the pacing was pretty spot-on. I finished this book in a matter of hours – mostly because I was desperate to get to the creepy part (which didn’t happen), but also because the writing flowed very nicely and it was an easy read.
If you love horror, give this one a shot! And if you’re easily scared, you might want to read this during the day.. With all the lights on.. Just in case..!
So.. Short review is short. But I honestly don’t have anything else to say about this one. I’m very sad panda that I didn’t enjoy it more; however, this book had all kinds of potential and I’m still excited to see what Amy Lukavics comes up with next.