Part three of three for The Devil’s Revolver special this week, my book review for the second story in the series, The Devil’s Standoff.

The Devil’s Standoff
V. S. McGrath
(The Devil’s Revolver #2)
Publication date: April 2nd 2018
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Welcome to the birthplace of the Devil’s Revolver, where untold danger lurks for Hettie Alabama and her companions…

The Devil’s Standoff picks up shortly after the end of The Devil’s Revolver, where we see Hettie Alabama, her sister, and companions ‘Uncle Jeremiah, and Walker Woodroffe making their cautious way to the Mexican border, desperate to avoid any attention from either the Pinkerton Agency or the American Division of Sorcery. Events conspire against them, however, and they force their way through a heavily magicked border wall before racing for the home of Javier Punta, where many surprises await them as Hettie holds hope that Javier, the creator of the demon gun, can unmake his creation.

A worthy successor to the first book, The Devil’s Standoff ups the ante at every stage of our heroes’ journey while introducing new, wondrous and terrible magic, and a deeper lore for both the land and the history of El Diablo. I found this book every bit as engrossing as the first. I loved how the magic of the land was fleshed out and how the author developed and interwove separate plotlines for some of the major characters.

If I had any complaints about this story they were that (1) it still played on the trope of characters not telling each other important information to move the plot along, and (2) the love interest between Hettie and Walker seemed forced. This latter bothered me a bit because while I did feel a natural romantic interest developing between them, I didn’t think the author needed to force it more than it would occur through the natural flow of the story. I can only suggest that someone mentioned to the author that female-led YA stories have to have multiple love interests, so she forced a few in. Fortunately, they didn’t detract significantly from an otherwise excellent story.

In conclusion, I’m very happy to have read both books in this series and they’ve been among the best books I’ve read recently. I can’t stress enough that if you like the idea of a wild west filled with magic, a strong female protagonist, and believable characters, this is the series for you.

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