Review of The Devil’s Flower by Lisa Collicutt

See full issue for 2015 12-14

The Rundown

When we first meet eighteen-year-old Rosalie Lockwood, her BMW has run out of gas on a Colorado highway and her cell phone battery is dead. She is on the run from her sexually abusive stepfather. When she gets out of her car in high heels and a fancy dress, a bear chases her into the forest and onto a back road just as a motorcycle stops in front of her. The rider tells her to get on. She ignores the “warning bells” in her head (note: this won’t be the first time she does this) and rides off with him.
So begins Rosalie’s adventure with Steele and his motorcycle club. Steele takes her back to his clubhouse and introduces him to his sister, Lexie, and his best friends, Lithium (the club President) and Blaze (another club member and Lithium’s girlfriend). Lexie hates Rosalie on sight, and continues to hate her until it gets tiresome for everyone (including the reader). Blaze, however, takes Rosalie under wing.
Speaking of wings, the reader quickly learns, from both the cover (which features an angel) and the early pages of the book, that this is a story of angels and demons. Just who the angels and demons are, however, remains a mystery—indeed, until the very end. The story is well plotted, and it never drags. I wanted to keep reading to find out what would happen next.
This book’s main weakness has to do with the warning bells mentioned above. Throughout the book, Rosalie takes actions that are against her better judgment. She ignores warning bells. She “[knows] she should turn and run” (page 30) but doesn’t. In short, a reader has a hard time understanding Rosalie’s motives because she’s constantly doing things for no reason. It’s okay for a person who is just waking up to a latent power or destiny to take actions that she doesn’t understand. But that’s not what Rosalie is doing. She’s taking actions that are against her instinct, against her latent knowledge. Because Rosalie is entering a new world, indeed two new worlds, her motivations are very, very important to the story—and they’re missing.
Despite the weaknesses, the book is a page-turner with a satisfying ending. It straddles YA and adult, so it is appropriate for younger audiences. Plus, the author presents a unique take on the angel/demon mythology. And by the end, Rosalie knows just what she’s doing.

The Recommendation

A fast-paced book that will appeal to paranormal and motorcycle fans.

The Rating Reviewer Rating: 4 Stars

4 Stars (out of 5): Recommended. For the right audience, this book is a great read. It can hold its own against any traditionally published novel in its genre.

The Pros & Cons

Pros: Page Turner, Plot, Surprise Ending
Cons: Character Developement, Dialogue

The Links

More about The Devil’s Flower on UBR

The Reviewer

Katie Rose Guest Pryal

Visit Katie Rose Guest Pryal‘s website.

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