Top critical review
2 people found this helpful
Enjoyable but lacking....
on December 18, 2011
I wanted to like Devil's Business. So far, Black London has been a fun ride and one of the titles for me to keep an eye out on and after the Bone Gods, I was looking forward to seeing what would happen next to Jack and Pete, especially after the deal Pete made with Belial. Since the page summary and other reviews sum up the plot premise already, I won't bore you with another recap.
First, the good. The pacing, dialogue, and characters are great. Moving the story out of London and to L.A. didn't hurt the plot and was actually a breath of fresh air and Kittredge provides an enough hooks to keep you entertained, such as mothers killed and babies ripped out of them for dark purposes. Aside from the establishing premises to the book such as what Jack did and Belial's deal, the book stands on it's own well enough for a new reader to jump in without much confusion. The villains were the highlight for me with the appropriate levels of creepiness and charm and Belial continues to be a fun "devil you know" sort of character. Jack's still Jack: flawed, smart-ass and with deep wells of self-doubt but he's definitely matured and learning from some of his previous mistakes while still running into more potential future issues, such as his relationship with the Hag. Pete...well, she's mainly her, pregnant or not thank God, but the book doesn't really leave much room for her development.
The story is told from Jack's POV, which isn't a bad thing, but Pete is absent for large portions and her and Jack don't have much interaction, which is a pity since I feel like their interactions are one of the high points of the series and was one of the things that hooked me back in Street Magic. What's more, it felt like Kittredge was creating drama between them for the sake of drama and needing more Jack angst (since his well of self-doubt and angst clearly wasn't big enough >_>). As noted in P "SPAZ"'s review, at the end of Bone Gods it seemed like Pete was relatively okay when she discovered she was pregnant with Jack's kid and had a willingness to try and work through what may come but skip to DB and you find out they're not really talking and they're angry at each other and on the verge of breaking up again with little given explanation for why the shift. Even their arguments feel a bit of a rehash from previous books. In the end, they didn't seem to need much to patch things up which gives a feeling of "WHY DIDN'T THEY DO THIS EARLIER?", especially since it felt like that conversation should have happened between BG and DB or even in the middle of DB but it feels like Kittredge wanted an excuse to keep them apart so she could save their reconciliation for the end. It wouldn't be a bad thing if it didn't feel stilted and contrived as opposed to a natural progression of the characters and their issues.
If Amazon did .5 reviews I'd give DB a 3.5/5 but I didn't feel like DB quite deserved a rounding up to a 4. I wasn't as drawn into DB as I was the previous ones - which might have to do with the lack of Pete-Jack interaction and the change of setting taking getting used to - but I did enjoy reading it. That said, I hope the next one gets the quality back up and I wouldn't mind hearing about some of the new faces, such as Silver, again.