Review – The Devil Makes Three by Tori Bovalino

When I found out that The Devil Makes Three was going to be in an Illumicrate box, I honestly debated skipping the box because I didn’t think it would be up my alley. But oh, am I glad that I didn’t because this turned out to be such a pleasant surprise. I fell in love with the characters, I laughed, I cried, and I gave it 5 stars.

I’ll keep the synopsis short as it’s a horror/mystery and I don’t want to spoil anything and just let you experience it for yourself.  Tess and her younger sister only recently transferred to this preppy boarding school. There, she has a job at the school library where her aunt works. When one day during summer holidays, she gets a request for lots of grimoires from Eliot Birch for his senior project. Together, they end up stumbling upon a grimoire they should have left alone and that is now interfering with their lives.

When I got this book in the mail, I was absolutely stunned by the beauty of this edition. I got the one from the August Illumicrate box and they completely redesigned the cover. Just the digital picture of the cover wouldn’t do it any justice as it doesn’t show the gold foiling on the golden veins in the marble background. Combine this with edges sprayed in a deep teal color, and binding in gold and you have a fabulous edition of this book. I’ve put in my own picture for once to try and do it justice.

“This ink was the same universe as Truth’s eyes in all the dreams she’d had before. Everything and nothing all at once, terrible and beautiful and coming for her soul”

This book was written very accessibly and had some great lines in there. It starts out with the 2 POV’s from Tess and Elliot in third person and then somewhere along the way, a third POV came in that was written in second person. I believe this is the first time I’ve ever read a book with second person POV, but I didn’t even find it too jarring. Those chapters were also kind of short and only sporadically in there. Don’t let it scare you off from picking up this book, because It really isn’t as daunting as you might think. So, watch out The Fifth Season, because now that I know I can deal with it, I’m coming for you soon!

It definitely focuses most on the three main characters, but I found that the few supporting characters also added a lot to the book. I loved how Tess’ sister, roommate, aunt and parents, as well as Elliot’s parents and stepmother contributed to the plot. They were great for thickening up their backstory and to really get to know the main characters. Through them, a lot of information was given, and it made me feel even more for these characters. The book brought up a lot of emotions for me as 1) I could find myself in the characters with some of the things they were going through and 2) their personalities were incredible, so I found myself laughing out loud at some points and also crying at others. I don’t cry much at any books (Sarah J. Maas seems to be the only author who consistently manages to get to me though), so when I do, it is a big indication for me that it is a great book. Of course, there also has to be a romance, and it was SLOOOOOOW in a very good way. I savored all of the banter and the comforting moments, the recollections of the past when they share it with each other, the tension, the chemistry… It is all there and written in a very satisfying way.

The setting made this book complete. A “haunted” library with seven floors of books and personal offices for the senior students to work on their project. And of course, a basement section with all of the restricted books. What more can a reader want? Together with the supernatural elements and the gore, it creates an unsettling atmosphere full of suspense.

The book is set in high school, but it definitely feels older to me. I do get that the author chose for the high school setting as it kept the sisters together and serves certain plot points and motivations for the characters that wouldn’t have been there if this were set at uni/college. Another thing that some readers might be bothered with is that the plot moves kind of slow, but the character development that is given instead absolutely made up for that in my opinion.

I just found out that Bovalino is set to realeas another book, Not Good for Maidens, next May, so I already added that to my TBR list. It’s said to be a horror-fantasy retelling of Christina Rossetti’s “Goblin Market” *insert eyes emoji*. I’m sure it’s going to be fabulous and will be a great read for spooky season next year!

If you’re still looking for a dark, creepy, spine-tingling read for October, I would highly recommend this one. I’m also looking forward to reading some more spooky books myself (preferably with a fantastical element), so let me know if you have any recommendations!



5 thoughts on “Review – The Devil Makes Three by Tori Bovalino

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