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The Printer's Devil (Printer's Devil Trilogy #1)

3.45  ·  Rating Details  ·  398 Ratings  ·  72 Reviews

The notorious inhabitants of London's criminal underworld are all in a day's work for Mog, the young printer's apprentice, who prints their WANTED posters. But then a real-life meeting with a genuine convict entangles Mog in a secret scheme that has all the crooks of the city at each others' throats.

An ingenious theft, a series of mistaken identities, and a chilling murder

Hardcover, 384 pages
Published October 31st 2009 by Little, Brown Young Readers (first published January 1st 2005)
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Feb 12, 2011 Writemom rated it did not like it
I picked this book up as an "escape" book because it looked like it had a fun plot, and I'm interested in printing and publishing. Nonetheless, don't bother. While there were moments, it was largely uninteresting. There is not enough character development for me to get really engaged with the characters in the book. I don't feel I had a much better understanding of Dickens-era England through reading the novel. The thing that bothered me most is that the author introduces a wide variety of myste ...more
May 15, 2015 K8 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Set in Victorian London, this historical thriller features murder, intrigue, colonial interests, orphans, gender roles, and many many characters. I'll admit, the ending didn't satisfy. It felt anti-climatic after all of the twists and turns the plot took. At first, I wondered if this was because a second book/sequel was to come out, but I had the same issue with that book - The God of Mischief - as well.

The thing is, the endings weren't bad, but compared to the rest of each book they fell short.
Emily Lovitch
Jul 12, 2015 Emily Lovitch rated it it was ok
Ok, I didn't finish the whole thing. I got to around page 265 so I read like 2/3 of it. I'm really surprised at my self, but I couldn't finish it because I just couldn't take the story or the characters seriously. Not after the line on page 7 that goes "I seemed to be absolutely hungry all the time at the moment." Yeah...I'm not sure who's more to blame here: The author or his editor. That one line pretty much ruined the whole book for me.
It just snowballed into catastrophe from there. I just d
Oct 03, 2010 Amanda rated it liked it
Mog is a twelve-year old printer's devil, or apprentice, in Victorian England. One of his jobs is to print the WANTED posters of criminals. A chance encounter with a band of opium smugglers sets Mog on a dangerous adventure through London's underworld. Compelled by questions about his own past, Mog will risk everything he has to discover their plans and stop them. Full of plot twists, suspense, and just a tiny hint of magic, this book is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat.

I found this boo
Oh, this book. How I wanted to love it... but in the end, I just couldn't. The three stars (really more like two and a half) are for the wonderful, Dickensian way that a vaguely-past London is described, for the twists and turns the mystery takes. I was especially impressed with the genuine surprise I had at one of the twists that came about two-thirds of the way through; usually (and especially with middle-grade books) I can see those kinds of things coming, but this was a true surprise that ha ...more
Sep 25, 2010 Gloria rated it it was ok
Well…I had, for some reason, high hopes for this book. Maybe because i love letterpress, and to have a book start out in a letterpress shop seemed very promising. Especially since the book required that Victorian wood type be printed in the text, to make the point…

But it just didn't hold my interest. After a second day of leisurely reading (I started this as a chaser to a non-fiction book just completed), it just didn't grab me, and I had a sneaking suspicion that I would rather read MT Anderson
Jun 16, 2014 Tony rated it liked it
Shelves: thrillers
THE PRINTER’S DEVIL. (2005). Paul Bajoria. ***.
This YA novel was the first in a projected trilogy by the author. The trilogy relates the adventures of Mog Winter, a printer’s devil in Victorian London. There’s lots of action and a fairly intricate plot involving Mog and his trusty dog: killers on the loose, ships from strange ports, conspiracies by shady characters, etc. I suspect that the intended readers will find the story and characters fascinating, but the author – who works for BBC Radio 4
Lauren Stoolfire
I want to give a 1.5, but I gave it the benefit of the doubt and rounded up to 2 stars. I liked the concept very much and the description on the back cover, but I simply didn't care for the way it was executed by the author. To say the least, the description on the back cover held my interest more than the final product. Just like going to a movie theater with high hopes, but then coming out of it to realize the trailer was much, much better.
Aug 14, 2010 Marva rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 08, 2015 Jued rated it it was ok
I really wanted to like this book. Some of its descriptions of Dickensian London were interesting. But, the story read like an old video game. Walk a little -- encounter a strange and mysterious character that gives a piece of vital information -- walk a little more -- explore a hidden room with an artifact.... I was underwhelmed.
Jenny Staller
Apr 04, 2016 Jenny Staller rated it it was ok
Shelves: middle-grade, mystery
I saw this book on my library's shelf and liked the cover, so I thought I'd give it a try. It's set in Dickensian England and is about a plucky orphan who gets mixed up in some mysterious and sinister happenings surrounding a ship, a valuable camel statue, and a case of mistaken identity. Unfortunately these elements didn't really come together for me. I didn't understand what motivated Mog to get involved in the mystery and didn't buy Mog's continued sleuthing, at great personal risk, when it f ...more
Mar 29, 2016 Tara rated it it was ok
Shelves: dnf
I picked this book up because: Mystery, Victorian London. That's right up my alley. However, I just could not get into this book despite it being quite short. I was 'reading' it for a few months before I finally gave up on it. Hence, I won't be getting to the second book either.
I gave it 2 stars because I didn't exactly hate it; the characters were likeable to me and the world was described well. What let it down was the story. I found it a little strange, slow and at times, hard to follow. Thi
Judith Geary
May 27, 2011 Judith Geary rated it really liked it
This YA novel does a great job of creating the sense of a time and place, London in the 1700s. The main character, Mog, is apprenticed to a printer after "escaping" from an orphanage. We're never told the ages of the characters, though 10 or 11 seems about right. Mog is beaten by toughs when he's mistaken for "the bosun's son." Mog soon discovers the real bosun's son, a boy less fortunate than the overworked Mog as he's in the hands of an abusive father and his even more abusive "girlfriend." Th ...more
Aug 19, 2012 Andrew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first of the printers devil trilogy - the last of which I read last year when I randomly picked it up and read it - I know never a good idea reading the last book in a series but each one presents its own story which only slowly reveals the larger picture which represents the underlying trilogy.
The book is fun and fast paced and effortlessly creates the atmosphere and feeling of the London it was set in - something of a cliché these days but still a pleasure to read (there is nothing
Miss Amanda
gr 6-9 373pgs

late 1700s/early 1800s, Victorian London. 12 year old orphan Mog has managed to survive along with his dog working as an apprentice to a printer. Without meaning to, Mog finds himself in the middle of a mystery and a case of mistaken identity...

I think this book would appeal to readers who enjoy Dickens or Avi's "Traitor's Gate"
I was a little disappointed in the abrupt ending to this book, which is a real obvious set up for the sequel, but overall I thought it was very entertaining. Twelve-year-old orphan Mog works as a printer's apprentice, or "devil", in London in the early 19th century, and gets into all sorts of trouble just trying to solve a mystery that involves his past life. There's a major plot twist in the middle of the story that smart readers will figure out early on, but the rest of the plot--involving opi ...more
Jun 29, 2009 Heather rated it really liked it
Recommended to Heather by: Megan
This is a quick and pleasing read, and if the plot is sometimes over-full and over-twisty, I didn't really care: it's full of wonderful descriptions, both of the city and the details and objects of everyday life. I love the dark alleyways and narrow streets, where "the houses on either side of the lanes leaned inwards at the top until they almost touched, so the sunlight could hardly get through" (p 10), and the crowds and noise of the docks by the Thames, where Mog, the twelve-year-old "printer ...more
Jun 11, 2015 Emily rated it it was ok
Overall, I enjoyed this YA read until the very end when it is cut off abruptly and you're told to read following books in the series to get main theme questions answered. It really makes me mad to have a book leave so much unanswered. I'm not sure that I'll continue with this series.
Kyra Dune
Sep 19, 2013 Kyra Dune rated it really liked it
This is not the sort of book I usually read, but one day while digging through a bargain bin I came across The Printer's Devil and it's sequel, The God of Mischief. They were cheap, so I picked them up. Now, I'm very glad I did so.

The Printer's Devil takes place in 19th century London. It's a YA adventure story about 12 year old Mog Winter, who gets involved in a dangerous plot involving thievery, deceit, and murder. The point of view is, for the most part, Mog's. Mog is a charming character wh
Oct 20, 2014 Navid is currently reading it
So far it's pretty boring. It's about a their that I pulling of schemes and perfectly framing other people. So far I'm thinking about abandoning the book, but I'll read more and decide. Most likely I will abandon this book and start another one?
Bill Fischer
Dec 17, 2015 Bill Fischer rated it liked it
Nice story about life in Dickensonian time. Really learned alot about life back then. Story is cute. Easy to read. I got my copy at our local library book sale for $1. I wouldn't pay more for this one. Nice pen and ink illustrations.
Dec 04, 2011 Ruby rated it really liked it
This book is very intriguing from the first page to the last. I found it very hard to put down. Mog is an orphan who lands a job as the local printer’s apprentice and becomes known by townsfolk as the “printer’s devil”. He finds himself caught up in a world of mystery, intrigue, theft, and murder where no one can be excluded as a suspect. Mog, along with his dog Lash, and his new-found friend Nick, find more trouble than they bargained for when they set about to solve the mystery. This author ha ...more
D. Eric
Jul 20, 2010 D. Eric rated it liked it
The Printer's Devil was a likable book once you realize it is best suited for young adults/teens. It tells the story of a young printer's apprentice in a Dickensian setting, full of mysterious strangers and new-found friends in unlikely places.

Mog, our hero, inadvertently stumbles into an international drug ring and must both solve the mystery of the camel as well as extricate himself from the clutches of the evil-doers.

Thankfully the story is not as long and drawn out as the Dickens stories i
Apr 18, 2014 Lily rated it really liked it
Shelves: good-books
I really liked this one!!! Mog was awesome, Lash was awesomer, loved the setting, loved the mystery (even if I solved elements of it early), adored teh plot twists. Very good!
I loved this book! It got my heart racing pretty fast sometimes, which surprised me. I've gotta get my hands on the sequels.
Oct 05, 2015 Patt rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Un libro entretenido oero que a la hora de la verdad no te resuelve nibguna de las preguntas importantes. Un 2.5 en realidad
Nov 17, 2008 Deepa rated it really liked it
I LOVED THIS BOOK. I listened to in the car while driving up to California and if anyone has a long road trip their planning, I would definitely recommend this book!!! It's a mystery about a printer's apprentice or devil named Mog whose life is turned upside down by the arrival of a ship named Son of Calcutta. The rest of the events that unfurl leave you on the edge of your seat and is very suspenseful. I usually fall asleep on car rides but I didn't fall asleep once while listening to this book ...more
Michael Baylosis
Apr 06, 2010 Michael Baylosis rated it it was amazing
This was one great read. I picked up The Printer's Devil because it felt fun going back to reading children's books all over again but this book proved to be so much more than just that. Paul Bajoria was able to craft a compelling, groundbreaking mystery that keeps you glued to its pages whenever wherever. The novel ended with quite a cliffhanger. Some questions and mysteries still remain unanswered and unsolved.But as one of the book's characters said:

"The end of the book is rarely the end of
Apr 06, 2013 Brooke rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 31, 2008 Anastasia rated it really liked it
The Printer's Devil claims on its cover to be a book filled with twists and surprises, and that is both its strength and its downfall. As a study of a particular environment and era, it works on a fairly entertaining if nonspecific level. The fantastical elements are minimal and most of the story is grounded in social hierarchies and the "criminal element." But many developments arise seemingly from nowhere, to the point of being ludicrous ways to add interest to an otherwise basic identity myst ...more
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