The Devils You Know by M.C. Atwood

Setting: Wisconsin
Genre: Teen Horror
Publisher: Soho Teen
Release Date: October 3, 2017

To avoid final exams, seniors at Red River High are given the choice of going on a field trip to the Boulder House. Legend has it that the home's original owner cursed the property. Some enter and never return.

Five of the teens who opt to go on the trip go for reasons beyond skipping exams. Ashley, Dylan, Gretchen, Paul, and Violet, find themselves trapped in the house and facing horrifying battles they never imagined. They'll have to team up, which isn't easy when you don't even like each other and try to defeat the evil within, if that's even possible.

Strengths and Weaknesses

The pacing of The Devils You Know never slowed. I did find the glimpses into the Maxwell Cartwright, Jr.'s house to be a litte jarring. I didn't need the break. I ended up racing over those to get back to the teens.

The horror aspect did a good job. I don't like clowns. I haven't liked clowns since I was a kid. Dolls to me are worse. Detailed narrative involving dolls and other items turning their heads and following the teens around, if not full out attacking them, definitely brought in that creep factor I look for in a horror novel.

The teens - maybe it's where I live - but some of their internal conflicts didn't seem authentic. I don't want to give away spoilers, but some of the things that made them "freaks" in their peers' eyes are openly accepted here. I had a hard time with those details for that reason. It could be Wisconsin is different. I'm not sure.

RTR's Bottom Line

I've read plenty of creepy books over the years. Dolls and clowns top my list of objects with a major creep factor. For that reason, The Devils You Know didn't disappoint. 


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