The Devil Crept In, by Ania Ahlborn, begins when Stevie’s cousin and only friend, Jude, goes missing. The cops cannot find him, and Stevie suspects that they are not even trying. Feeling that the adults have given up hope, he takes matters into his own hands and sets out to find Jude.
What I Thought
The first half of this book was a pretty low-key horror read. It was creepy and I was interested, but it was a slow-burn. However, halfway through the book, I was hooked. The pace quickened and the story really got going, and I loved every moment of it.
Ahlborn truly did masterful job in crafting her characters. Stevie, the main character, was a shy boy with a pronounced stutter and a tendency towards having hallucinations. She portrayed his struggles in a way that created depth for his character, and added tension to the story. The reader will ask themselves repeatedly if they can truly rely on his point of view.
I also thought the location of the story, a rural town in Oregon, was a great place to set this story. Woods are always creepy. But, Ahlborn upped it by creating a dreary town where even the animals don’t stay, and always run into the woods.
A small criticism: even though I liked the character of Stevie, it was a little difficult to navigate the story through his perspective. He was a ten-year-old boy, but at times, it felt as though he was considerably more intellectual than the average 10-year-old. It made the story feel contrived and like it was forced to work. But, it was a unique move for a horror story, and I have respect for that.
Why You Should Read It
This is definitely a good book for when you want something creepy, but not terrifying to where it will keep you up for days. It is a unique story, and you probably will not be disappointed that you read it.
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