Monday, January 23, 2012

Diabolical by Cynthia Leitich Smith

Book:  Diabolical
Author:  Cynthia Leitich Smith
Publisher:  Candlewick Press
Date:  January 24, 2012
Source:  Publisher via Netgalley
My grade:  A

Prepare for a hell of a ride as Cynthia Leitich Smith calls on characters from her previous novels - and conjures up new ones - for a climactic showdown.

When "slipped" angel Zachary and his werewolf pal, Kieren, arrive under suspicious circumstances to a mysterious New England boarding school, they quickly find themselves in a hellish lockdown with an intriguing assortment of secretive, hand-picked students. Plagued by demon dogs, hallucinatory wall décor, a sadistic instructor, and a legendary fire-breathing monster, will they somehow manage to escape? Or will the devil have his due? Best-selling author Cynthia Leitich Smith unites heroes from the previous three novels in the Tantalize Series - including Zachary's girl, Miranda, and Kieren's love, Quincie - along with a fascinating cast of all-new characters for a suspenseful, action-packed clash between the forces of heaven and hell.

My Review

Holy hot trips to Hell!!!  This book was great!  This story was very original, very fast-paced, very engaging and very witty!

Again, one of the things that I love about these books is that they don’t take themselves so seriously.  The tongue-in-cheek narration is wonderful.  I also love the memos from the archangel Michael that show up from time to time. 

In this installment, we get to finally see all the characters together, sort of.  The chapters are narrated in differing points of view and switch between Zachary, Kieren and Miranda.  Cynthia takes us all over the place:  Heaven, Hell, Vermont.  It’s cool to see her interpretation of Heaven and Hell.  They are not Dante’s for sure!

The new characters in this book are definitely fun.  They were so different and they were new to the book series, but I still felt like I got to know them fairly well.  I was very surprised by some of the reveals about the new characters also.

It’s really interesting to see how Cynthia was able to play again with the Dracula plot.  She took one small detail, the Scholomance School, and turned it into a whole book.  The school was great and the way she portrayed the evil was fabulous.  Imagine Dolores Umbridge as a minion of Satan and you’ll get the idea. : ) 

I loved the way she brought all the story lines together in this book.  Unfortunately, I think it is probably the last book, but it wrapped up Zachary and Miranda’s story for sure and didn’t really leave a terrible cliffhanger for Quincie and Kieren, although there is room for a continuation of their story.  ::gets down on knees::  Please, please, please let there be a 5th book, Cynthia!

I don’t want to give away too much about the plot because I want you to have all the surprises as a reader that I had.  The plot in this book is as riveting as Blessed and she keeps throwing in plot twists that I never saw coming but that make perfect sense when they are revealed.  Let me just say that even if you were lukewarm about the first or second books in this series, keep reading!  The last 2 books totally made the first 2 worth the time and effort!  Honestly, this is one of those series that would be great for the publisher to bind into one of those huge paperbacks they seem to like these days.

My grade for this book is an A.  It was witty, exciting and engaging.  I loved it and I didn’t want it to end.  I finished it this morning and I can’t get it out of my head!

This book will be available tomorrow!!  

Much thanks to Candlewick Press and Netgalley for allowing me to read and review this book.  I received no compensation for my review.

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