Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children’s UK | Publication date: 8th October 2015
The Verner family have been going stir crazy. It’s particularly affecting their sixteen year old daughter, Amanda, who feels both her mind and emotions are going through a blender.
This close knit group of seven, occupying their isolated, cramped, but habitable home in the mountains, had a terrifying experience during last year’s unexpected harsh winter. It tested their resolve, almost fracturing their little group, and succeeded in making the family realise how vulnerable they truly are.
To make matters worse, the family appear almost cursed by the birth of an afflicted baby that never, EVER stops crying. It pretty much reacts badly to anyone that touches it, except for their mother. Frayed tempers result in placating gestures from the remaining children, who are just going about their days in an atmospheric God-fearing manner. A little extreme perhaps, but without it a crucial element of darkness wouldn’t be as effective.
Amanda is heavily influenced by their primitive naivety and believes she’s being punished by something evil for her ‘wayward thoughts and immoral deeds’. Okay, she might have some explaining to do, but the considerable traumas that lie ahead will mean her gnawing feeling of impending doom may be realised sooner than she thinks.
In an attempt to prevent a repetition of cabin fever, Pa suggests they (Pa, Ma, the WAILING baby, plus Amanda and her siblings) pack up their meagre possessions to reside in prairie territory, where the promise of taking your pick of a much larger unoccupied property is an opportunity that’s too good miss. Alarm bells should have been ringing as soon as their horse and cart rolled up at the one with the blood soaked interior, which they opted to a call their home. No, wait, it’s perfectly fine. In fact it has several redeeming features. It has a door, a working water pump, and the rural views are, well, spectacularly barren. And let’s face it, there’s nothing like getting to know your new neighbours when the opportunity presents itself…
The simple prose and absence of flowery descriptors complimented the Verners’ basic lifestyle perfectly. And while there is a constant threat of seeping evil, it did take some time for it to truly escalate–indeed the last quarter of the book excelled at being positively sinister!
Overall I found Daughters Unto Devils quite unsettling. Its finale raised more questions than answers to toy with me long after I’d closed its rather amazing cover.
(My thanks to the publisher for providing a paperback copy of this book via a giveaway they kindly ran on their ‘Dark Pages’ Twitter feed. That artwork on the cover is truly amazing.)
(Courtesy of Amazon UK)
Sixteen-year-old Amanda Verner fears she is losing her mind. When her family move from their small mountain cabin to the vast prairie, Amanda hopes she can leave her haunting memories behind: of her sickly Ma giving birth to a terribly afflicted baby; of the cabin fever that claimed Amanda’s sanity; of the boy who she has been meeting in secret…
But the Verners arrive on the prairie to find their new home soaked in blood. So much blood. And Amanda has heard stories – about men becoming unhinged and killing their families, about the land being tainted by wickedness.
With guilty secrets weighing down on her, Amanda can’t be sure if the true evil lies in the land, or within her soul . . .
Perfect for fans of American Horror Story, Stephen King and The Others.
(Courtesy of Amazon UK)
Amy Lukavics lurks within the forested mountains of Prescott, Arizona, along with her husband and two precious squidlings. When she isn’t reading or writing creepy stories, she enjoys cooking, crafting, and playing many video games. She prefers sour candy over chocolate and deeply enjoys a good movie soundtrack. Daughters Unto Devils is her debut novel.