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Next of Kin (John Cleaver, #3.5)
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Next of Kin

(John Cleaver #3.5)

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  1,179 ratings  ·  119 reviews
We call them demons, for lack of a better word, but the truth is something much more mysterious. In the "I am not a Serial Killer" trilogy, the young sociopath John Cleaver killed three of them to protect his family, but he has no idea what horrors he's stirred up.

Elijah Sexton was a god of the ancient world. Now he drives a hearse in a Midwest town and keeps his head down
ebook, 44 pages
Published June 30th 2014 by Smashwords Edition (first published June 27th 2014)
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Andrea It it pretty short, and definitely not vital to understanding the series. It takes place between the third and fourth books. It's an interesting look…moreIt it pretty short, and definitely not vital to understanding the series. It takes place between the third and fourth books. It's an interesting look into the demon psyche, but if money is short you could skip it.(less)

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4.13  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,179 ratings  ·  119 reviews

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Alex Ristea
Jul 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: short-fiction
This novella is short, but so worth it. Honestly, some of Dan's best writing yet.

It's beautiful and touches you instantly, and is larger than its page count would make it seem.

If this keeps up, I can't wait for the new John Cleaver trilogy.
Yolanda Sfetsos
Oct 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed the John Cleaver trilogy about a teenage psychopath who quiets his murderous thoughts by killing demons. So when I found out that more books were on their way and this novella ties them together... I decided to check it out ASAP.

The novella is in the POV of a different character. His name is Elijah and he's one of the 'demons'. An ancient creature that steals dead people's thoughts because his own are fading fast.

He keeps to himself and has a job, but when one particular person'
Oct 10, 2016 rated it really liked it

"Even monsters can defend themselves."

Esta es una novela corta que sirve como introducción para la nueva saga de John Cleaver. ¿Me ha gustado? Sí, mucho. Es una historia muy breve pero esta bien escrita y tiene unas frases preciosas.

"I’ve even been murdered, more times than I can ever remember. Every time, though, every single time, the death itself is never the worst part. Leaving is never as bad as the people you leave behind."

En esta novela nuestro personaje principal es Elijah, Di
Jul 08, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Please please more Elijah!

That is all.
Fernanda Romo
May 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
; -; me encantó!
Mohamed Ghazi
Feb 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful start to the new era of John Cleaver.
I still advice everyone to start reading the phenomenal series by Dan Wells.
Loved every word. Great job.
Amelia Jacobson
Feb 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Terry Weyna
Jun 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
“I died again last night.” It’s a compelling first sentence to a novella told from the point of view of Elijah Sexton, a demon, and it promises a different and exciting new start to Dan Wells’s JOHN CLEAVER series.

Sexton drinks memories. For a time, he killed people himself, “topping off” his memory as he pleases. Soon, though, imbued with a hundred thousand lives, he could no longer bear to kill. Instead, he works in a morgue and drinks the memories of the newly dead. He lives

"from death to dea
Jessica White
Aug 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Alright, so I accidentally read The Devil's Only Friend (book 4) before I read Next of Kin because I didn't realize this novella was technically book 3.5 in the John Cleaver Series.

When I think of novellas I usually think of a really quick read, maybe a hundred pages or so. When Dan Wells thinks of a novella..... he writes less than 40 pages.
But I'm not arguing because I really needed those 34 pages!

Next of Kin explored the life of Elijah Sexton, a Gifted who happens to regularly visit the same
M.A. Nichols
Oct 09, 2017 rated it liked it
A fun addition to the series, where you get to see part of a story from the perspective of one of the "demons". It technically takes place during the events of the next full-length novel, so it's a bit out of sequence with the series; I can't really say at this point if it's really an important addition to the series. It seems like novellas either tell the reader things they already know or things they are going to learn in the full-length novels, or novellas actually provide pertinent backstory ...more
May 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I thought I had read this book awhile back but I guess not - anyway good prequel to the next trilogy.
Sep 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I love the original John Cleaver trilogy. The best thing about the series is John Cleaver's voice. John's a teenaged psychopath turning his murderous tendencies towards monster hunting. The glimpse we get inside his head is utterly unnerving at times. So it's hardly surprising that the best part about this excellent novella, which is to be the bridge between the original books and the upcoming sequels, is again the main character's (who is not Cleaver this time) inner voice. Dan Wells has a real ...more
Kylie Bliss
Jan 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this short add-on story to the John Cleaver series. It gave a small yet satisfying look into the life of one of the "demons" that John comes across. I enjoyed seeing how this lovable and misunderstood character went about his tragic life and would definitely recommend any John Cleaver fans not to skip over this story.
Companion to The Devil's Only Friend told from an alternate character's perspective.
Dec 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
So much better than most companion novellas I've read in a series.
Kristen Landon
Sep 20, 2016 rated it liked it
I love this creepy, disturbing world Wells has created.
Oona Quintanilla
Jun 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
al principio no me pareció tan interesante y me preguntaba donde estaba Jhon...pero al final todo encaja y espero no tardar mucho en leer el siguiente libro.
Jul 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2017
I died again last night.

Well. That's a way to start a story.

Next of Kin basically acts as glue between the first John Cleaver series--set around 15-16 year old John Cleaver in his hometown of Clayton--and the second--which I haven't read yet, but from the summary appears to be set a year or two later with John hunting down the demons.

This time around, we actually get into the head of one of the demons, a hearse driver currently going by the name of Elijah Sexton who steals memories. It's an int
Tina Hawley
Jul 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Dan Wells does it again! This novella, set in the world of the John Cleaver books, takes a different view by telling the story of one of the "demons." Dan does a beautiful job of showing us that not all the demons may be quite as demonic as we'd like to think, and teases the new trilogy in genius ways. Elijah, the demon in question, lives by stealing the memories of the dead, and his struggle to resist seeking out his victims' loved ones when he loves them just as much as the newly deceased is b ...more
Mar 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
It was quite interesting and refreshing to experience Wells' world of demons from a different set of eyes - a demon's eyes in fact (or if you prefer . . . Withered, Cursed, Gifted). Elijah Sexton was a fantastic protagonist, and as I'm writing this, I'm in the part of book 4 where Elijah still has more of a role to play. This novella is woven so much into the book 4 that I would say it is a mandatory read for those completing the sequel trilogy. It's really clever how the books overlap and build ...more
Jennifer A. Johnson
Jan 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I have been reading John Cleaver novels at a ridiculous rate, spending a lot of time in John's head. This novella, from the perspective of a new character, blew me away. I can now clearly see Dan Wells's genius in writing. Utterly poetic and brilliant.

It isn't just the new perspective and the different voice (though those are well worked and thoroughly enjoyable), but the expansion on the world through the eyes of this creature. There is so much more going on than I knew before, and John's situa
Nov 14, 2017 rated it did not like it
Seems to me this would have been detrimental to my enjoyment of The Devil's Only Friend, had I read it first, but having read it afterwards, I found it mostly redundant and not very interesting. You get to see how some scenes actually played out in John Cleaver's absence, but the dialog in these scenes is not Wells' best, and for me the support group scene in particular fell embarrassingly flat. I would recommend sticking to The Devil's Only Friend (which I also found disappointing, but at least ...more
Lisa Feld
Dec 17, 2017 rated it liked it
This is lovely writing, but it's not really a standalone story, it's an interesting alternate perspective on book 4 in the John Cleaver series, The Devil's Only Friend. Still, I do like seeing that world from the perspective of a Withered who feels deeply for people (two things the series' usual tight focus on John's perspective can't give us) and I'm a fan of stories about people dealing with Alzheimer's and disappearing memories.
May 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
I think this is exactly the sort of thing these 0.5 stories are made for: give us a little more detail on a character that wouldn't naturally fit in a book.

I really enjoyed getting inside Elijah's head, so to speak. He was a very interesting character from book 3 and this little story served to both satisfy a little curiousity and increase it. So thanks for nothing, Dan Wells.
Aug 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: franquias
A despeito de ser bem curtinha, essa novela é, até agora, a mais graciosa contribuição de Dan Wells à série de John Wayne Cleaver. Me deixou ainda mais ansiosa para terminar a série. Parabéns aos envolvidos.
I'm sure I would have liked this even more of I could remember the books better. Alas my brain is Swiss cheese. Without any context whatsoever this story would probably not mean much, but I can recall enough to get the gist
Mar 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

That was awesome. I don't want to spoil anything, but this novella did give more details on the demons John's been fighting. Alas, not enough IMO, and that was this thing's only flaw.
Santiago Villalba
Dec 28, 2018 rated it it was ok
Meh... Esperaba algo más. Alguna historia interesante sobre el pasado de Elijah o algo... Pero en esta mini novela el autor solo nos cuenta algunos acontecimientos de El único amigo del demonio desde el punto de vista de Elijah. No estuvo mal, pero insisto, esperaba algo mejor.
Jun 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror, short-stories
A nice setup for the second trilogy that introduces a character I want to spend more (story) time with.
Taju Noor
May 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
I love the ending.
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Dan Wells is a thriller and science fiction writer. Born in Utah, he spent his early years reading and writing. He is he author of the Partials series (Partials, Isolation, Fragments, and Ruins), the John Cleaver series (I Am Not a Serial Killer, Mr. Monster, and I Don't Want To Kill You), and a few others (The Hollow City, A Night of Blacker Darkness, etc). He was a Campbell nomine for best new w ...more

Other books in the series

John Cleaver (6 books)
  • I Am Not a Serial Killer (John Cleaver, #1)
  • Mr. Monster (John Cleaver, #2)
  • I Don't Want to Kill You (John Cleaver, #3)
  • The Devil's Only Friend (John Cleaver, #4)
  • Over Your Dead Body (John Cleaver, #5)
  • Nothing Left to Lose (John Cleaver, #6)
“His words held a mixture of embarrassment and anger, the latter caused by the former. He knew he couldn’t remember anything, and he hated it; he was ashamed and embarrassed and angry at everything in the world—himself most of all, for who else could he blame? (..) He hated this place, and he wanted to get out, and after one door and one hall and one elevator, he’d forgotten it all. He was here in a place that he recognized, and it didn’t matter that he hated it because that glimmer of recognition overshadowed every other emotion. Here was something he remembered, somewhere he’d been before, and just like that, he was happy.” 0 likes
“They used to worship us, Meshara—they used to worship you. The god of wisdom, the god of beginnings, the god of dreams. They chanted your name in the darkness, dancing naked around the first fires of the ancient world, and now you’re here, hiding and tired and worthless, as scared of living as you are of dying.” 0 likes
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