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

3.45  ·  Rating details ·  442 Ratings  ·  76 Reviews
A pacy, Dickensian-style adventure thriller set in the shadows of Newgate Prison and amid the bustle of the stinking East India docks.
Paperback, 296 pages
Published May 1st 2005 by Simon & Schuster (first published January 1st 2005)
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Feb 12, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 06, 2009 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.
Oct 03, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Emily Lovitch
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
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 24, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jun 19, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 17, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
May 19, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Quick read. I like the portrayal of the time period. Also enjoyed pictures. Simplistic, but a nice read.
Morgan Beck
"He was the ugliest, most evil-looking man I'd ever seen. He glared up at me from the poster, his outline glistening as the ink dried, making him seem more alive and threatening."

The Printer's Devil by Paul Bajoria, Mystery and Suspense thriller!

Mog is a twelve-year-old printers devil of the well respected Mr. Cramplock. He has the occasional job of putting up WANTED posters of murderers and thieves in Victorian England. A random encounter with a group of smugglers sets him on a dangerous adve
Judith Geary
May 27, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jenny Staller
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
Aug 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
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 28, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Kyra Dune
Sep 14, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 04, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 17, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Tara (TRexTeaTime)
Mar 29, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 31, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Candace Hinnergardt
Okay so really if I could I would give this book 2.5 stars, but that's not an option. The whole premise of the book I thought was fantastic, and the author did a wonderful job with his descriptions. He seemed to have an over all understanding of sentence structure on a grand scale.
However, the plot seemed to never reach a climax. I never felt invested in the character's story. Part of this is probably because it is obviously geared for preteens and early teenagers and I'm in the late teens.
Sep 27, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a mystery set in the 17-1800s in England. The plot: Mo, a printer's apprentice of 12 years of age, stumbles in upon an elaborate crime scheme involving a mysterious man (or two), a ship from India, and the occasional camel. Although it is not spectacularly, written, The Printer's Devil is funny with a thrilling plot and a lot of suspense. It's a quick read.
Sep 24, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Overall this was a pretty good books. There were a lot of details and the book itself was very exciting. However the end was rather anti-climatic. I mean, I could tell the author was setting it up for a sequel which I do intend to read but I wish he set it up in a more exciting way. Still, I did enjoy reading this book. Very exciting and a rather unique story.
Oct 14, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: young people
Shelves: random
The plot is a little bit confusing, but it's a good read. It's pacey and has a certain mystery to the plot. I have a signed copy! Paul Bajoria came to our school and talked to us about it. He was wearing a long black coat and a pink shirt. I remember thinking first that he looked a little like a vampire.
Set in Victorian England, the main character is an orphan girl pretending to be a boy and working in a printer's shop. She's the printer's "devil" as she does all his running around and grunt work.

Some of the plot elements were really predictable to me, but there were some nice aspects as well, with a few hints of magical realism.
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Other Books in the Series

Printer's Devil Trilogy (3 books)
  • The God of Mischief
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