Title: Daughters Unto Devils
Author: Amy Lukavics
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Publication Date: Oct 2015
Source: Review Copy
Synopsis from Goodreads
Sometimes I believe the baby will never stop crying.
Sixteen-year-old Amanda Verner fears she is losing her mind. When her family move from their small mountain cabin to the vast prairie, Amanda hopes she can leave her haunting memories behind: of her sickly Ma giving birth to a terribly afflicted baby; of the cabin fever that claimed Amanda’s sanity; of the boy who she has been meeting in secret…
But the Verners arrive on the prairie to find their new home soaked in blood. So much blood. And Amanda has heard stories – about men becoming unhinged and killing their families, about the land being tainted by wickedness. With guilty secrets weighing down on her, Amanda can’t be sure if the true evil lies in the land, or within her soul…
REVIEW BY LILY – YEAR 10
When reading the synopsis of this book I automatically fell in love, I am such a lover of horror books! Usually I wouldn’t read books that were set in a historical period, but this book I mainly enjoyed.
The story follows the Verner family and one daughter in particular. Amanda is a 16 year old girl who has been scarred from the events of last winter, when her mother fell ill and gave birth to her deaf and blind baby sister, Hannah. But something else happened to Amanda last winter, and throughout the story Amy Lukavics gives us details about what happened to Amanda to leave her in the state she is currently in.
The Verner family decides to move from the small cabin in the mountains the family shared to a bigger one in the prairie, forcing Amanda to leave the boy behind she has been meeting in secret, and try to leave behind the memory of last winter. But when the family arrive to their dream cabin, they are horrified to find that inside the cabin is covered with blood. The thoughts of the cabin and the memories of last winter cause Amanda to be scared of her own sanity, worrying that one day she might hurt the ones she love, especially Hannah, who she has been secretly praying for her death.
Before reading the book, I decided to read a few reviews. This isn’t normally what I would do, but since Daughters Unto Devils isn’t the type of book I would normally read, I decided to see what other people thought about it. The reviews that I read were very positive, giving me a positive attitude when starting the book.
I didn’t particularly like the book at the start, it had a few adult themes, and already not being the type of book I would read, my optimism started to fade. But, after reading on I began to enjoy it, and by the end I was completely hooked.
Some parts of the book were predictable, but that didn’t stop excitement. Amy Lukavics drew you in with curiosity by slowly giving you clues as to what really happened to Amanda last winter that claimed her sanity, making her a danger to her family. When I finally found out what happened to Amanda, it didn’t exactly make my jaw drop but did put together all the clues that Amy Lukavics dropped throughout the story.
I loved all the characters, all of their personalities and relationships were explained well and thankfully there were no pointless characters, all of them contributed well to the storyline.
Adding onto my previous comment about relationships, one part of the book I especially liked was the relationship between Amanda and her younger sister, Emily. The relationships adds texture to the story, and a feeling of comfort to see two sisters become so close. Family is very important to me, and to see a sisterly bond so strong in a book makes me warm even more to the story.
Amy Lukavics is an extremely skilled writer, I would definitely read another book of hers. Although one problem that ran throughout the story was the description of events, and the way she set the scenes. The scenes were described well, and I always knew what was going on, yet there still was something missing from scenes that really had potential to make my jaw drop and haunt me even when I put the book down. For example, when Amanda and her family found that their dream cabin was drenched with blood, the scene really had the potential to be a thrilling horror scene, yet Amy Lukavics didn’t use her writing skills to make the scene stand out as a key horror scene. She could have chosen key objects, thoughts or feelings and use these to build up the tension and drama of the scene.
Considering all of these factors, I would give Daughters Unto Devils a star rating of ⅗, I absolutely loved it, but there still were a few things that could have been written slightly differently. I would definitely recommend this book to friends, especially fellow horror lovers like myself, despite the description problems, this book is still a thriller and I am not surprised that many people have enjoyed it.