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July 21, 2015

Review: The Devil's Kitchen by Alison DeLuca

by Donna Huber

Devil's Kitchen
First Chapter, First Paragraph

The Night Watchman train swayed and chugged along through the countryside. Miriam stole a look at Simon's grim profile, sighed slightly and tried to shift into a more comfortable position. Since they sat on a floor made of dimpled iron, this was next to impossible. The windows in their carriage were boarded up with planks of roughly hewn wood, so there was no way to tell what time it was, or whether it was even still dark outside.

The Review

I really loved the first book in the series, The Night Watchman, and was looking forward to reading the next installment. The Devil's Kitchen pretty much picks up where The Night Watchman left off with Miriam and Simon.

I didn't think this one was as action packed as The Night Watchman. Or perhaps I just liked Neil more. Whatever the reason I wasn't as thrilled with The Devil's Kitchen. I did enjoy it; it just felt like something was missing.

I like DeLuca's writing. She draws the reader into the story and has life like characters and I want to know what happens to them. All the character involved in Simon's imprisonment were a bit crazy and a whole lot creepy - all in a good way. I'm not sure if the children act their age as I'm having trouble discerning Simon's and Neil's ages. I want to say Miriam is 11 or 12, but I'm not sure. Part of the reason is the setting. During the time period that the series is set, kids weren't kids as long. But I still have to wonder if a kid in that time period would have acted the same as these kids do.

As it is a middle grades/young adult novel, I did have to wonder about some of the references. I know that kid movies often put jokes and references that go over the kids' heads, but that adults find funny. I wonder if that was what DeLuca was doing in this novel. I didn't notice it in the first book.

You can see an example here:

A photo posted by Donna (@girl_who_reads) on

Oh and the Barbara wanting to seduce Simon was a little creepy too. I wonder what my nephew thought about these things.

As a lot of the plot points seemed to be wrapped up in this book I wonder what the next two books in the series is about. And I'm liking the steampunk genre (this is the first books I've read in that genre) and will be trying out some more books (I have a steampunk audio book in my review queue that I'm looking forward to).

If you like steampunk, The Devil's Kitchen is an enjoyable read for adults and young adults.

Buy The Devil's Kitchen at Amazon

book info
available formats: ebook and print (250 pages)
published: November 2012 by Myrddin Publishing Group 
ISBN13: 978-1939296184
genres: steampunk, fantasy 
target audience: middle grades/young adult
source: author
read: June/July 2015

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  1. Hmmm...I will admit that I've never been drawn to the steampunk books - for whatever reason. I think I'd have to read more to know if I'd continue. Thanks for sharing it though.

  2. I enjoy a good steampunk book. I'm curious about this series. It's too bad this second book wasn't as good as the first, but I am glad you enjoyed it still.

  3. I'm not sure this one is for me, but hope you like it.

  4. I like the opening lines....and even though it is not my usual read, I am curious. Thanks for sharing...and for visiting my blog.

  5. I hate it when the sequel isn't as good. I wish they would always get better with each book.

  6. I like the opening, so I'd keep reading! I also like the cover of the book.

  7. Devil's Kitchen itself is depicted as a wicked place run by nasty people. Again Ms DeLuca's superior world-building and descriptive flair creates believable settings that are tangible and interesting.

    Ketterman Rowland & Westlund