My review forms part of The Devil’s Poetry blog tour.
About Louise Cole:
With WW3 on the horizon, Callie and her classmates know consctiption is around the corner, unless they can prove themselves elite enough to work in intelligence. Then a stranger pushes an ancient book into Callie’s hands and tells her to keep it safe. Which is difficult – the dementor-like Cadaveri are on the rise, and they’ll do anything to get their hands on the book. Killing Callie is their first mission. Enter The Order of the Sumer, a mysterious network who claim it is their job to protect Callie. Is there a price for protection? What do The Order want in return? The war, the book, the Order … it’s all connected. What would you give for the chance to end mass destruction?
This was the first time I have read a kindle book. The pace of the adventure kept me reading, and I was interested to see how Callie would overcome the obstacles in her way, when the stakes were constantly high.
The main theme is war. I liked how many aspects of the theme were explored, particularly the focus on young people being treated as pawns in a powerful person’s game. The book raised the irony of politicians going out of their way to protect their own children, while sending masses of young people out to die. It also looked at the effect war and trauma has on relationships. Would you allow yourself to love if there was a strong possibility both of you would die in the near future? How much would you have to love somebody to get past that?
The book, and the role of the reader, are like a master-metaphor – if this war is going to be prevented, it will be with words, not gunfire. The Cadaveri, who thrive negative emotions, go out of their way to separate the book from the reader, so that war goes ahead.
Callie’s main obstacle is emotional reticence. Her mother died when she was small. Since then, Callie’s father has sent an example by bottling his feelings up, and never allowing Callie to talk about hers. If Callie is to avert international disastor, she will have to overcome this.
There is some interesting exploration of gender. At the start, we are told the soldiers who have died are as likely to be female as male, yet Callie finds herself talked down to by boys. Alec is quick to dump Callie in favour of somebody whose father could offer Alec essential worker status, but Alec definitely has a chip on his shoulder about Callie. Alec looks set to play a larger role in book 2, and I look forward to seeing how Callie responds.
I would have liked to know more about the book itself, and the enigmatic Order of the Sumer. It may be the fantasy-buff in me. The book’s powers are such a pivotal part of the story, I would have liked to know more about their origin. I appreciate this could be a story in itself, but this is the question which will see me reaching for the sequel.
Huge thanks to Faye Rogers for inviting me to take part in this blog tour, and for my copy of the e-book. The Devil’s Poetry is published by Kindle Books. Follow the book on its blog tour, and check out the previous stops: