Don't you just hate spoilers? I do, too. That's why I always try to include warnings. However, I sometimes ramble a bit too much here or there and maybe a few (or many) key plot points slip without me giving proper notice. So I'd like to include a blanket spoiler warning for the weary internet travelers of the world: Here There Be Spoilers. You've been warned.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Kayla and the Devil by Bryan Smith

Tales about making deals with the devil are a popular plot device in the horror universe. Possibly the oldest, too. We can all name a few, I'm sure. Satan is just fun to write about and easy, too. Making it scary is tough to do though because... well, it's the just about oldest plot device there is and there's only so much you can do. The best thing you can do is just to write and have fun with it. I think Bryan Smith did just that when he wrote Kayla and the Devil. It's different than his other books, though. If you read Depraved then you'll feel like you just got through bathing in an ocean of blood and wonder if indeed Mr. Smith is some sort of closet psycho. But Kalya and the Devil has a certain lightness to it and the gore quotient is significantly decreased. It's one of those books I can read and enjoy without feeling I'll need months of therapy. Not that I don't enjoy months of therapy as much as the next person. 

The book is written as more of an urban fantasy novel, but it still has that Bryan Smith horror feel to it at times. I mean, considering that Satan, Countess Bathory, and Jack the Ripper all make appearances it shouldn't be surprising that it's at least a little bit macabre here and there.

But Ole Scratch doesn't quite have the gusto of the central character Kayla Monroe. She's kind of the glue that holds all of the madness together. Kayla is a bitch. She's got looks, money, brains, a snarky attitude, and she thinks she's better than you. You probably knew a few cheerleaders like her in high school or college. Despite her in-your-face-ness (or perhaps because of it), Kayla becomes a very endearing character, though. I suppose we can thank Satan for that. Sort of.

Kayla has a comfy life. Obviously. But Kayla's cozy life suddenly gets turned upside down when she finds herself being shunned and ignored by all of her friends and even her own mother. Even Kayla's stalker is avoiding her. 

One day she gets a visit by the devil and she is offered an explanation as to why she is being shunned and a chance to end her harsh treatment once and for all. But her chance at a happy social life may come at a very steep price. Or it may not. It's all a matter of how far Kayla is willing to go in order to be accepted again.

This is the first book in the Kayla Monroe: Haunted World series. The second book (initially to be titled Kayla and the Vampires as per the teaser placed at the end of this book) is titled Kayla Undead. Once you finish this book make sure you buy the second book. 

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