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  • Writer's pictureAmelia Hooke

Review of 'Fiendish'


By Brenna Yovanoff, 2014, Razorbill

Paranormal, Southern Gothic, Horror

Rating: 👻👻👻 (3 out of 4 boos)

“Clementine DeVore spent ten years trapped in a cellar, pinned down by willow roots, silenced and forgotten. Now she’s out and determined to uncover who put her in that cellar and why.

When Clementine was a child, dangerous and inexplicable things started happening in New South Bend. The townsfolk blamed the fiendish people out in the Willows and burned their homes to the ground. But magic kept Clementine alive, walled up in the cellar for ten years, until a boy named Fisher sets her free.

Back in the world, Clementine sets out to discover what happened all those years ago. But the truth gets muddled in her dangerous attraction to Fisher, the politics of New South Bend, and the Hollow, a fickle and terrifying place that seems increasingly temperamental ever since Clementine reemerged.”

What’s the main character like?

You might expect that a girl locked away for ten years would be skittish or weak or uncertain. Not Clementine. It isn’t long after her release from the cellar that she taps into her magical abilities and goes after what she wants. She is an incredibly willful and passionate character.

How scary is it?

Fiendish has some disturbing and mature content but is not very scary. There are some scenes involving blood, violence, and cruelty to animals, but nothing is described gratuitously, in my opinion.

Who might like this book?

I felt a similar creepy, Gothic vibe from this book as I did from The Women in the Walls. And although Fiendish has much different content, its Southern Gothic quality might appeal to viewers of The Vampire Diaries.

What did I like best?

The setting in this book is everything. Forbidden, magical hotspots. Nature gone wrong. Storms to set the mood. Yovanoff’s descriptions are beautiful and eerie.

What wasn't my favorite?

At times, this book is serious to the point of feeling melodramatic, especially in regard to the scenes between Clementine and Fisher. But maybe I’m the fool for wishing for more comic relief in a Southern Gothic book...

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