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Devilskein & Dearlove

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4.15  ·  Rating details ·  27 ratings  ·  10 reviews
A Young Adult novel set in South Africa.
Young Erin Dearlove has lost everything in a violent attack on her family. She now lives with her bohemian aunt Kate in a run-down apartment block. Locked into a fantasy of her previous life, she shuns all overtures of friendship from her new neighbours, until she meets Mr Devilskein, the demon who lives on the top floor... and opens
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Paperback, UK, 253 pages
Published July 24th 2014 by Arachne Press (first published July 2014)
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4.15  · 
Rating details
 ·  27 ratings  ·  10 reviews


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Andrea van Wyk
Mar 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
This YA novel was hard to put down!

Thirteen-year-old Erin Dearlove is sent to live with her aunt in a flat on Cape Town's Long Street after her parents and brother are brutally murdered.

The trauma has caused Erin to block the memories of what happened, instead telling people her parent were horrible and eaten by crocodiles, describing in detail the mansion with a glass staircase she used to live in.

Erin is difficult, stroppy and rude. She refuses to go to school or to make friends with anybody.
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C Hellisen
Devilskein & Dearlove is a whimsical and slightly dark take on the classic The Secret Garden (a book I have always loved, so this was great fun for me.) It is a book of hearts
and keys and lies and sacrifices, set in the wonderfully prosaic (a block of flats in Long Street, Cape Town) and the wonderfully metaphysical (A labyrinth of bartered souls.)

Erin Dearlove is an orphan who is blocking out the horror of her family's death with an intricate fantasy history, and a cold and bitter demeanour
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Greg Cahl
Sep 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Erin Dearlove is a pretty, talented and highly-intelligent teenager. She is also moody, intolerant and wields her considerable grasp of the English language like a rapier. She lives in an apartment with her aunt, above Long Street in Cape Town. Yet, behind the facade of an irritable and perpetually-dissatisfied teenager, lie the embers of a horrific event in her past, something so damaging that she cannot face it. Yet.

If Erin can be considered irritable, Albertus Devilskein is completely caustic
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Annabel
I flew through this book - one of the quickest I've ever read! Readers will be drawn in by the loneliness and vulnerability of the protagonist, and then by her fantastical experiences that follow. I'm not usually a huge fan of fantasy writing, but this way (more of a 'real world' setting and experiences first), meant that I was already drawn in and had to keep reading.

The characters were unique, original and well thought-out (especially Erin, the protagonist), meaning that she didn't annoy me, a
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S.A. Partridge
Sep 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The mind is a tricky beast. Bad memories can be swallowed whole or twisted into lies. This is the underlying message of, the new novel by Cape Town-based author Alex Smith, Devilskein and Dearlove.

13-year-old Erin Dearlove enjoys telling people that her parents were eaten by a crocodile. The truth is even more horrifying.

After the ‘incident’, Erin goes to stay with her Aunt Kate in her Long Street apartment. It is a small rundown flat, but in Erin’s world it is a portal to a wonderful hall of do
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Karina Szczurek
Dec 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read an early draft of this novel and liked it very much. The published version is simply delicious. The feisty Erin is in denial about how she became on orphan. To deal with her loss she invents a fantastical story about her family's demise. She goes to live with her aunt Kate in Long Street, Cape Town. There she meets & befriends the mysterious Mr Devilskein who against all odds opens a door to hear heart again.
Jude
Jul 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
I think this is one of the best YA/fantasy novels I have read for a long time. The author acknowledges that the idea came from her favourite childhood novel, The Secret Garden, but she has added in darker, fantastical elements, demons, the nature of evil, and even a hint of romance. Highly recommended. Thank you Alex!
Maire Fisher
Jul 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read it and loved it. Perfectly pitched for the Young Adult market, yet so appealing for those of us who have long left Young Adulthood behind. I'd love to know if Erin Dearlove will be appearing in other stories. And as for Devilskein ...
Robyn
Jan 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Loved this slightly dark fantasy set in Long Street in Cape Town. My only problem with it, it was a tad too short...
Lu (Sugar & Snark)
Dec 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars
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Alex Smith is a writer, teacher, former textile merchant and adventurer. One of her great inspirations is travel. In the last few years, she has walked the Camino de Santiago across the top of Northern Spain, hiked in Turkey,lived in mainland China, worked in Taiwan, sojourned for a month at a golden temple in Chiang-Mai Thailand, and road-tripped through Iran and Southern Africa to the boarder of ...more