Book Review – The Devil Makes Three

Hello hello and welcome or welcome back to my little bookish corner of the internet! Today I’m sharing my review of the dark academia novel, The Devil Makes Three. This is one of those “bookstagram made me do it” books, and I’m glad I let it persuade me!

Tess Matheson only wants three things: time to practice her cello, for her sister to be happy, and for everyone else to leave her alone.

Instead, Tess finds herself working all summer at her boarding school library, shelving books and dealing with the intolerable patrons. The worst of them is Eliot Birch: snide, privileged, and constantly requesting forbidden grimoires. After a bargain with Eliot leads to the discovery of an ancient book in the library’s grimoire collection, the pair accidentally unleash a book-bound demon.

The demon will stop at nothing to stay free, manipulating ink to threaten those Tess loves and dismantling Eliot’s strange magic. Tess is plagued by terrible dreams of the devil and haunting memories of a boy who wears Eliot’s face. All she knows is to stay free, the demon needs her… and he’ll have her, dead or alive.

This has been one of those books that has been everywhere recently if you’ve been looking. On social media, especially, talk has been all about this one since its release, helped along because the time of year is just perfect for a dark acadmeia book.

Tess and Eliot make for the best protagonists. I loved that we got to see the world through both of their eyes, as they were both carrying so much baggage that the other couldn’t have known about otherwise. It was a great example of a reminder that everyone around us is dealing with their own demons – in this case, also literally – and it’s more than what we see in front of us.

The dynamics between Eliot and Tess were ever shifting, and I really enjoyed watching that change, again, because we had both their input to the situation. It wasn’t a perfect book in that I did feel there were some issues with the pacing, especially around the middle part of the story where it seemed to stumble a little. However, it did pull it back, and by the end of the book I was really pleased I had perservered when it had a wobble.

One of the things I really enjoyed was that it didn’t hold off from being a bit brutal. There was no real build up to the explosion of magic, drama and violence that all came hand in hand; it just happened, and this powerful switch from normal to the supernatural worked wonderfully.

Thanks for stopping by today, and please come back soon!


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