The Devil’s Only Friend by Dan Wells
The Devil’s Only Friend by Dan Wells is the fourth in a series about teenage sociopath, John Wayne Cleaver. John has been “trying” to be good his whole life. He is “trying” not to kill. He has rules in place that help, but circumstances keep arising that put his efforts to the test, as well as his belief system. Is he wasting his time trying to be good?
On the other hand, he has killed. But he tries to kill demons, not humans. In his short life, John has killed three so far. The last one took the life of his mother, and that of his girlfriend Marci. His friend Brooke, now hospitalized with mental issues, has a demon’s memories living inside her. That demon calls herself “Nobody”. So yes, John kills demons, but when humans get in the way, he feels responsible for those deaths too.
But he has found a way to justify killing. He has joined a special team of government/FBI professionals whose only purpose is to kill these demons, or as they call them “Withered”. These demons were Gods of the ancient world, but performed some kind of rite which gave them immortality. They have existed for thousands of years, but each has a flaw which could leave them vulnerable, because in order to be immortal, they had to give up something else. John’s job is to study the demon, discover their weaknesses and try to figure out exactly how to kill them. John is good at his job. He just wishes his job was to kill them, but that is left to others in his team. Apparently he’s still struggling with that killer instinct.
So they are currently in the mid-west city of Fort Bruce, which seems to have an extraordinary number of “Withered”. When John actually finds a demon who has tried to turn his life around, none of the other team members have John’s faith in Elijah. When more demons are identified, the team realizes that there seems to be a “war” about to start, as the demons are starting to join forces. Will Elijah be able to help them? Will Brooke, who has been feeding the team information from “Nobody’s” memories, help them determine who the demons are? When things start going wrong, there is a lot of blame to go around, but one of the team may not be playing fair.
I love this series. Yes, it’s a little gory, but Dan Wells has created wonderful characters. How can you not love 17-year John, who tries so hard to be good, but has admitted sociopathic tendencies. Then, Wells introduces a “demon” who you can sympathize with. Brooke, of course is adorable, and she thinks she loves John, who at one point fantasized about killing her. Okay, these characters are a little messed up. Wait til you meet the rest of the team!
It is a good fast read!
Favorite Quotes from The Devil’s Only Friend:
“Life isn’t a thing, it’s a condition; we switch it on and we switch it off.”
“I never thought I had a heart until it was broken. It’s hard to see the point of something that only ever causes pain.”
Re-Read: January 2017
About the Author: DAN WELLS lives in North Salt Lake, Utah, with his wife, Dawn, and their five children. In addition to this series, he has written the Partials series, a few stand-alone novels, and has now started a new Mirador series.