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Devils & Thieves #1

Devils & Thieves

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Power corrupts. Magic kills.

Eighteen-year-old Jemmie Carmichael is surrounded by magic in the quiet town of Hawthorne, New York. In her world, magic users are called “kindled,” and Jemmie would count herself among them if only she could cast a simple spell without completely falling apart. It doesn't help that she was also recently snubbed by Crowe—the dangerous and enigmatic leader of Hawthorne’s kindled motorcycle gang, the Devils’ League.

When the entire kindled community rolls into Hawthorne for an annual festival, a rumor spreads that someone is practicing forbidden magic. Then people start to go missing. With threats closing in from every side, no one can be trusted. Jemmie and Crowe will have to put aside their tumultuous history to find their loved ones, and the only thing that might save them is the very flaw that keeps Jemmie from fully harnessing her magic. For all her years of feeling useless, Jemmie may just be the most powerful kindled of all.

336 pages, Hardcover

First published October 3, 2017

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About the author

Jennifer Rush

17 books1,640 followers
Jennifer Rush grew up reading vampire fiction and took her first stab at writing her own bloodsucker book as a teenager (it might win an award for the worst vampire fiction ever written).

Now, many years and many books later, Jennifer enjoys writing action-packed middle grade and YA. She is the author of the Altered saga and Bot Wars series (written under the pen name J.V. Kade).

Jennifer currently lives on the shoreline of Lake Michigan with her husband and daughter, and occasionally gets to see her son when he needs to do laundry.

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 251 reviews
Profile Image for Korrina  (OwlCrate).
193 reviews4,558 followers
September 12, 2017
This book had such a cool premise, and started out so strong for me. But it was a bit tropey and romance heavy for my liking. Still, it was a lot of fun and a very fast read, unlike anything I had read before. So if you're okay with a saucy love triangle, you may love this!
Profile Image for mith.
752 reviews258 followers
June 2, 2018
Devils & Thieves was one of my most anticipated novels of the year, ever since I found it while randomly scrolling through my TBR. I mean, how could I not want it? Motorcycle gangs! Magic! Mystery! It has all the makings of a great start to a fresh, unique new series.

And it definitely did not disappoint in that regard. This book was nothing like I've ever read before and now I just want more magic and ambiguous characters using it.

The main character, Jemmie, had a voice that stood out—both funny and refreshing. Her character had a lot of growth to it as well, going from a somewhat childish girl who was afraid to use her magic to someone who owned up to what she had inside her and taking things into her own hands. I adored her! Her thought process and inner monologues were great.

I thought the plot was fast paced and it had plenty of action and I loved it. Things were constantly in motion and it genuinely felt like Jemmie never got a break, the poor girl.

I enjoyed Rush's writing. It felt just right for the book, a good blend of humour and slight angst and action. She knew what she was doing and it showed. I thought it was engaging and I wouldn't have been able to stay up all night otherwise to read this in a sitting.

I don't know what to say about the romance because it definitely is a weird situation. It didn't go exactly how I'd planned, which was for the better. At the same time, there also wasn't a lot of it, which kind of surprised me? But, anyway, that was also for the better: it left more for tension and for any sort of development.

Also, I'm being exceptionally vague on purpose because if you read this—and you should!—you'll see what I mean.

I also loved that parents were somewhat involved in this. Jemmie's mom was a great and funny and supporting character whenever she was mentioned. Her dad, who wasn't around a lot, looked like he was trying to be a part of her life as well. Her best friend's mom was also mentioned in a scene or two and I already love her.

This brings me to said best friend and, by extension, her older brother, Crowe.

Alex! Oh gosh, she was such a good friend. While I could definitely relate to Jemmie more than a couple times, I couldn't help but love Alex more. She was so full of life, so comfortable and confident with herself. She reminded me a lot of my best friend, actually!

Crowe, on the other hand, was the complete opposite of Alex. He was a bit broody-ish, and frankly, I was ready not to like him at all. I thought he'd be one of those alpha males that thing they're entitled to everything, including women. [insert eye roll emoji here because um?] Anyway, it didn't quite seem that way and that was both a pleasant surprise and a slight annoyance for me—look, I was really set on not liking him.

But Crowe surprised me! I wouldn't call him a soft love interest by any means, but he did have his sweet moments and my stomach did get the little flutter. The tension between them is real, guys. It's ridiculous.

My one complaint was with how the magic "types" were mentioned. Most of the different types didn't have an outright explanation on what they did, no matter how brief; instead, the author indirectly told you by letting you know what the character did. While I do believe that was the better way to go, after a time, whenever a magic type was mentioned, I sort of forgot what that ability did. And the types were mentioned a lot! Along with what Jemmie can do—see and smell the magic with colours and scents—it sort of made it more confusing. If there was a guide at the end of the book or something, it would definitely make things easier.

The last quarter of the book felt a little rushed to me. The entire book itself was fast paced, yes, but the last few chapters just seemed like they wanted everything to be over quickly. I wasn't really getting the sense of urgency a reader should feel at the climax of the story, so the ending fell a little flat for me.

Overall, this was a great start to a new urban fantasy series. Full of magic and magic motorcycle gangs, a great main character with a brooding love interest—it's definitely something to add to your TBR! 3.5 stars!

Profile Image for Alyssa.
1,069 reviews837 followers
October 5, 2017
4.5 stars. DO I ROUND UP.

I think... maybe. Yes? No?


***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

Devils & Thieves by Jennifer Rush
Book One of the Devils & Thieves series
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: October 3, 2017
Rating: 4 stars
Source: ARC sent by the publisher

Summary (from Goodreads):

Eighteen-year-old Jemmie Carmichael has grown up surrounded by magic in the quiet town of Hawthorne, New York. In her world, magic users are called "kindled," and Jemmie would count herself among them if only she could cast a simple spell without completely falling apart. It doesn't help that she was also recently snubbed by Crowe, the dangerous and enigmatic leader of the Black Devils kindled motorcycle gang and the unofficial head of their turf.

When the entire kindled community rolls into Hawthorne for an annual festival, a rumour begins spreading that someone is practising forbidden magic. Then people start to go missing. With threats closing in from every side, no one can be trusted. Jemmie and Crowe will have to put aside their tumultuous history to find their loved ones, and the only thing that might save them is the very flaw that keeps Jemmie from fully harnessing her magic. For all her years of feeling useless, Jemmie may just be the most powerful kindled of all.

What I Liked:

It has been forever and a day since we got a new Jennifer Rush novel! Well, not that long, but her last book, Reborn, published nearly three years ago. I loved the Altered series so much. Altered remains one of my favorite Young Adult books of all time. When I saw that Rush was publishing a new book, I knew immediately that I wanted it. I didn't even need to know what it was about. As it would turn out, it's about magic and motorcycle clubs and it was AWESOME.

Jemmie Carmichael has always been surrounded by magic. She is one of the "kindled", magic users who live among non-magic users (drecks). Jemmie is a locant, like her father, but she hasn't been able to cast a spell in years. Jemmie feels like an outsider in the kindled world, and especially among the Black Devils, the kindled motorcycle club of the town of Hawthorne. Her best friend Alex is the daughter of the former president of the Devils, and the sister the of current president, Crowe. Crowe took over when his and Alex's father died of an accident that Crowe is convinced was not an accident. Crowe is dangerous and ruthless, and all of the kindled know it. The entire kindled community comes to Hawthorne for the annual festival of the kindled, which is hosted by the Black Devils this year. But something strange is happening; people from each MC club goes missing, and tensions start to rise. All fingers point to Crowe, but someone else's magic is at work. Jemmie and Crowe will have to uncover who the traitor among them is, before it's too late.

Does this book sound kickbutt? It really was. I love stories that are set in modern contemporary times, but involve magic. There is something about this type of supernatural/paranormal story that appeals to me. Throw in a motorcycle club, and I'm sold. As an adult romance reader, I LOVE romance novels involving a guy in a motorcycle club. Maybe it's something about him being patched in, and she isn't, and he has to protect her but also stay loyal to his club. Anyway, I'm rambling, but I love motorcycle clubs, and I love magic in contemporary stories, so this book really worked for me, on the world-building level. It was so cool to learn about the different types of magic. There are many, like Jemmie's (locant), and Crowe's (venemon). Crowe's is my favorite!

The back of the ARC has a comparison to the Beautiful Creatures series, which I'm now more inclined to try. I'd never really been dying to read those books, though they'd caught my interest before. If they're anything like Devils & Thieves? Then I'll give the series a shot.

I had no trouble liking Jemmie, from the start. She feels like an outsider in her own community, because she can't wield her magic like everyone else can. She isn't part of the Black Devils motorcycle club, even though she could become a prospect, at eighteen. She doesn't think she belongs, and she tries to hide her loneliness. In truth, she has a hard time with her locant magic, but she also has a sensitivity to magic and she has never told anyone. This sensitivity makes her sick sometimes, and she drinks to take off the edge. All of this makes her feel even more isolated, since she doesn't want anyone to pity her if they knew about her sensitivity to magic. Jemmie is a tough and strong person, even when she is bitter, hurt, and struggling within herself. I really felt for her and understood her. With her father having left her and her mom, the boy she loves rejecting her, and her magic not responding to her, her life is pretty bad.

Jemmie is one of a kind and I adored her. I loved her interactions with Crowe; all of the interactions were charged with tension, hurt, and a little bitterness, after everything between them. We don't get to know exactly what happened between them at first - Rush reveals that information slowly.

Crowe is a few years older than Jemmie, and already he is the president of the Black Devils. He takes his position in the club very seriously, and stops at nothing to protect the members. He is ruthless and deadly and he has no problem laying down the law or putting down insurrection. Crowe is to be feared, and all of the kindled know that. But Jemmie knows that he is grieving, given that his father died somewhat recently, and Crowe thinks it wasn't an accident. Honestly? I like the dark, dangerous edge that Crowe has. He earned his brutal reputation, and you can't help but respect it. He has done what he needed to do for the club, and he has no fear or remorse.

This story isn't just about Jemmie, or Crowe, or Jemmie and Crowe. There are so many other important secondary characters that I loved. Alex (Crowe's sister and Jemmie's best friend) is such a sweetheart. She is total trouble and always seems to be wreaking havoc somewhere. But she is also a solid best friend and loyal to a fault. I loved her friendship with Jemmie - they are so supportive and good to each other. I also liked several members of the Devils - Hardy and Flynn, for example, who were funny and pretty cool. Old Lady Jane was creepy but good people.

I loved the romance between Crowe and Jemmie, even though there was basically nothing going on between them physically, in this book. One single thing happened in the recent past, and Crowe rejected Jemmie, and that pretty much ruined their relationship for the next year. Now, they antagonize each other in every interaction. There is anger and bitterness between them, a good amount of angst that I surprisingly really got behind. I lived for their high-intensity interactions - so much tension! It's so obvious that Jemmie loves Crowe, and eventually it becomes obvious that Crowe loves Jemmie. Crowe is incredibly protective and alpha-male-y, and I liked this about him (though I'm sure there are some that don't love the alpha male thing).

I will mention A Thing about the romance below.

The climax of this story takes form after people start disappearing - including Alex. By the time the climax of the story comes about, we find out a big thing that was pretty obvious to me from the start, but was still a game-changer when it was revealed. The story ends on a wrapped up but not resolved note. This book is part of a series, so it's okay! It's not a cliffhanger ending, but there is definitely more to come. And I am looking forward to that more!

What I Did Not Like:

There is kind of a love triangle this book. You're probably thinking, whaaaaaat, Alyssa, there is a love triangle in this book and you still LIKED the book?! (I hate love triangles with a passion, in case anyone didn't know. I usually rate books very poorly when I discover a love triangle, regardless of how good the story could have been.) Here me out.

I knew that the "other guy" was not The One, and I knew there was something... off about him. I don't want to venture too much into the spoiler zone, but to me, I knew from the start that there was something vague and off-putting. This guy is Jemmie's friend (emphasis on "friend"), but no one knows that he and Jemmie are friends because he is from a rival MC club that is currently in a truce with the Devils, but they are still on rocky terms with the Devils. This friend very obviously wants more from Jemmie, but Jemmie is very hung up on Crowe.

The thing is, at no point in this book are Crowe and Jemmie together. Crowe owes Jemmie nothing, and Jemmie owes Crowe nothing. They never dated. They never hooked up (technically). Yet they love each other... but Crowe had his reasons for rejecting Jemmie. Anyway, my point to this is, Jemmie and her friend are friends. The friend wanted more. Jemmie didn't really know if she wanted more (and it turns out, she never did, and that becomes clear when things are revealed).

Just trust me when I say that this isn't really a love triangle. It's kind of there and I hated that it was there but the reason for it being there made a lot of sense and I could look past it because of those reasons. There was no romantic feelings on Jemmie's part (to her friend), and it was so obvious that she wanted Crowe and only Crowe.

Anyway, so it's kind of a dislike because the "love triangle" does in fact exist to an extent, but it wasn't bad enough to bother me, and the purpose of the other guy made sense. Also, for what it's worth, there is no need to worry about an actual love triangle in future books. It's not going to be a problem, if you catch my drift.

Would I Recommend It:

I highly recommend this book, if you love magic and motorcycle clubs and some really passionate/angry banter between the heroine and hero. I really can't wait to see more from Crowe and Jemmie in the next book. They are fire and fire together! I wanted more physical "interactions" between them in this book (if you know what I mean) but I'll just expect more in book two.


4.5 stars -> rounded down to 4 stars. I adored this book and would have rated it five stars, had it not been for the thing I talked about above. Still, I think this book was so excellent and I loved. I'll definitely be rereading my favorites parts soon! And swooning over all of the non-swoon between Crowe and Jemmie. Hopefully there will be swoon to swoon over, in book two!

Pre-read squees:

New Jennifer Rush? SOLD.
Profile Image for ambsreads.
656 reviews1,398 followers
November 1, 2017

A friend of mine read Devils & Thieves in a day. She loved this book (check out her review here). She described it on her Instagram story basically as a sexy urban fantasy. Since I was in between books and hadn’t unpacked any of my books yet, I figured I’d download the eBook and give it a try. This book and I did not mix.
First up, my big problem was Jemmie. I should also briefly mention I have some big problems when it comes to alcoholism and self-medicating in books due to things that have happened in my own life. This obviously makes me sensitive when they’re included in a book. I basically had three panic attacks reading this book because of this and I read the book in a day.
Anyway, Jemmie, our main character. I have never read a more Mary Sue main character in my entire life. Move over Clary Fray because you’ve been dethroned. I’ll talk more about this in my character section but simply she was so naïve and angry. I think angry is the best way to describe Jemmie. Mix that with the fact the girl trusted absolutely everyone without a second thought, you’re going down a destructive road.
Another thing that frustrated me about Devils & Thieves was the world building. It had a lot of potential. Magic and urban fantasy are two of my favourite genres (well, magic isn’t a genre just an inclusion but still). However, the further I read the more confused I got. Again, this could be my fault because I was still moving and busy while trying to read a book in a day (no Internet seems to be good for this). There were so many words for this particular word that didn’t feel completely developed to me I was let skipping back pages and hunting for a reason why that particular thing made sense.
I just really didn’t mesh with this book. The romance made me mad and there was absolutely no chemistry for me. The whole possessive alpha love interest is kind of boring to me at this stage of reading and I really wanted more. However, you don’t get that at any point of the book. Crowe (yep, that’s his name) doesn’t change throughout the book and basically orders Jemmie around. The real kick? She does whatever he says.

For about 50% of the novel, there is a lot of world-building and character development (none of which I would say is good). You learn about Jemmie’s past, her powers, why she doesn’t use said powers and basically get to listen to her not shut up about Crowe.
Then the plot. The motorcycle gangs (I really have no idea) are fighting (no seriously, I have no idea if this is right) and Crowe’s little sister and Jemmie’s best friend (same person) gets taken by someone. However, no one is confessing to it. My favourite part had to be right after the friend/sister goes missing and they go to her house to find something to do a locator spell with and Jemmie is thinking about that time she made out with the brother about a year ago (he’s ignored her since then, what a charmer).
Really I can’t tell you much of what else happened in the story because I got so bored. My eyes rolled back into my head and I couldn’t deal. I basically skimmed about 30% of the book? It really didn’t get better for me though, so it was probably best that I did that.

#J E M M I E
I’ve already started this rant on Jemmie, but trust me, I didn’t even get started. This girl was the definition of a special snowflake. A power that is rare (honestly, no clue on this) but wait she can smell power.
Trust me, you didn’t just read that wrong.
Our main girl, Jemmie, can smell and see when power is being used it. In case you didn’t think you read that right it’ll be mentioned about six times a chapter, so don’t worry! The other part of the chapter will be filled with how hot Crowe is and how much he sucks!!!! Because!!!! He!!! Kissed!!!!! Jemmie!!!! And!!!!! Ignored!!!!! Her!!!!!! For!!!! A!!!!! Year!!!!!!
Straight up wanted to punch her in the face for the entire novel. Apart from the fact the only person she’s told about her weird smelling magic = not being able to use it without fainting is Crowe (literally, why?)…actually I don’t know where I was going with this point I just wanted to say how dumb it is the only person she told her big secret to was to a boy after he’d ignored her for a year. Maybe this is why I give bad boy advice, I just tell everyone to forget and dump their asses to avoid this dumb shit.
However, my biggest problem with her was definitely the self-medicating. She seemed to get angrier every time she would drink too, I’m not sure if that was done on purpose by the author or simply accidental but with my past and life I wasn’t really able to handle that.
#C R O W E
I’m not going to write much here because wow, what a piece of shit. Crowe wasn’t the type of guy I think we should romanticise in YA (thought this did feel more NA to me). He’s the type of guy we should be telling girls to kick in the balls when they see to avoid being punched in the face. Again, these are my life experiences talking but Crowe reminded me of too many men my mum had introduced me to and then proceeded to have them abuse her, me and my sister. Truly. Crowe was trash to me. I see his relationship with Jemmie as slightly abusive too, hence why I added the trigger warning.

Overall, this was a pretty trashy urban fantasy and it honestly wouldn’t have been bad if I was in the mood for trashy urban fantasy. However, I had just finished Dear Martin and Devils & Thieves did not live up to that reading high I was on.
Profile Image for Stacee.
2,709 reviews703 followers
October 3, 2017
2.5 stars

I had been looking forward to this story for the longest time and it breaks my heart to rate this so low.

I liked Jemmie well enough. She’s got some issues with her magic and because of that, she spends the first half of the book getting drunk. The other half of the book is her figuring things out and the entire time she’s obsessing over Crowe.

Plot wise, it was interesting, but I was so bored so quickly. Things do happen, but there wasn’t any sort of urgency until the last 50 pages. And it doesn’t seem like Jemmie has any growth. She goes from not being able to use magic, to having loads of power and it felt clunky to me. She even makes a comment about needing to practice, but goes home and takes a nap.

My main complaint is that there is a lot a lot a lot of information. There are a loads of characters and like 12 different types of magic and it was a lot to try to keep track of. So, yeah, most of the time I didn’t know who had what magic or what it could do or what club they were from.

Overall, it was an interesting concept and had an awesome ending. I will probably read the next one out of sheer curiosity.

**Huge thanks to Little, Brown for providing the arc free of charge**
Profile Image for Carole (Carole's Random Life).
1,717 reviews462 followers
October 17, 2017
This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

This was an entertaining read! As soon as I read the description for this book, I knew that it was one that I would have to read. Motorcycle gangs and magic...yes, please! It took me a while to read this book but that had everything to do with my personal life and nothing to do with the book. One I really had the chance to sit down with the book, I ended up reading the final 2/3 of the story in a single day and really enjoyed the experience.

Jemmie lives in a world filled with magic. It can be hard for her sometimes because she does not want to use her magic and being around magic makes her feel ill at times. She has never really worked to hard at learning to control and use her own magic and has instead focused on self-medicating to cope with being around magic.

Jemmie has ties to the Black Devils group through her best friend, Alex, and her brother, Crowe. A gathering of the different groups has tensions at a high. Things get even more intense when several people go missing and nobody knows who to trust. Jemmie finds herself at the center of the mystery and is determined to help Crowe find out what is happening before it is too late.

There is a bit of a love triangle in this book. Jemmie and Crowe seem to belong together from the very start of the story even though they don't seem to realize it. There is another guy that seems to want a chance with Jemmie but I never really felt like he was a serious contender. Jemmie and Crowe do seem to have a lot of chemistry and I can't wait to see more of them together.

I would recommend this book to others. I thought that the world was rather interesting and the mystery was pretty exciting. I wouldn't say that this book ends in a cliffhanger but it did leave me pretty eager for the next book so that I can see what happens next. I definitely plan to read more from Jennifer Rush soon.

I received an advance reader edition of this book from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers via TheNovl.com.

Initial Thoughts
This was entertaining. I enjoyed the magic and how everything worked. Just enough romance and excitement to keep things interesting.
Profile Image for Nastassja.
423 reviews986 followers
January 21, 2018

2.5 stars

A very promising concept of mixing motorcycle gangs and magic, but generic characters and obvious love-triangle killed the engine of my fun before I could really get into the story. Quite cliche special snowflake heroine and bad boy leader of the gang, who can't stand the girl, but, of course, we all well know that he loves her, but for reasons unknown to logic, he protects her by showing her what a useless miserable creature she is. And sure the tactic works: she finds another hot boy to soothe her feelings, but in secret still pins after the bad boy.

Sigh, we all read it before, right?

The concept of magic, though, was really intriguing. In this world that co-exist with our world, we have gifted gangs with their special magic: one gang is in charge of healing magic, another one can break bones and then mend them back and so on. Also, there's blood magic - if you mix two types of magic you can, for a short period of time, be in control of a very big source of mixed magic. There's a villain who tries to mix his blood with all types of magic available and make the effect permanent. Of course, I didn't get into the book properly to get the whole concept correctly, but still I had enough connection with the story to admit the magical part was fun.

All in all, a very promising concept, but romance-centered execution pulled the blanket in its direction, baring the story mostly to teenage-angst.

Profile Image for Damaris (GoodChoiceReading).
611 reviews226 followers
June 26, 2017
Yes! Yes! Yesssss! That ending!!! I hope there is a sequel! I love all things magic, bikers & romance and this has all three!!! Jennifer Rush blended it in all perfectly!! Gosh, I need a sequel now! No, I NEED A CROWE in my life!!!!!
Profile Image for Cori Reed.
1,135 reviews379 followers
May 18, 2018
2.5 Stars

Definitely didn't hate it, but I'm still waiting for the book about magical motorcycle clubs of my dreams. Also, ew, Harleys.
Profile Image for Aneta Bak.
419 reviews103 followers
September 25, 2017
Devils & Thieves is the perfect halloween read.

Jemmie believes she's allergic to her own magic but it doesn't bother her too much, well maybe the fact that one of the reasons her father left was because she didn't live up to his expectations. Jemmie's father and her best friend Alex's father created the Devils, a group of "kindled" that can perform magic and chose to work together. Last year, Alex's father was killed, and the role of leader went to her older brother Crowe, who just happens to be to boy that Jemmie has been in love with for years. When a festival rolls around for all kindled in America, people start to go missing, and Jemmie holds the power to help find these people, but first she has to face her problem of using her magic.

I really liked Jemmie as a main character. All her life she's been the shy, quiet girl that doesn't mind hiding behind her best friend's spotlight. She doesn't care to be exceptional, she just wants to be considered normal. I liked her personality from the beginning, but I definitely liked her a lot more closer to the end of the book. She went through a huge character development, and it was really exciting to read in her point of view.

It's been a while since I've read a book that had a love triangle. While this book did have one, it was definitely one of the love triangles where you know exactly who the main character ends up with. While I did ship the main romance, I didn't particularly like either of the boys. One of the just seems really weird and creepy right from the beginning, while the other is rude and think he know's best when it comes to Jemmie.

The plot and world-building of this story was fantastic. Jennifer created such an amazing world, it was so wonderful to read about it. The details and the writing were really good. The book was well paced, I wasn't bored at any part of it and there was always something that made me want to keep reading. While the plot was a little predictable, I did question whether my original prediction was right (sadly it was), so I would have liked it a bit more if there were more twists and surprises.

The last page of this book is absolutely crazy. I finished the book with my mouth hanging open. If you start reading this book and don't know if you want to give up or not, definitely read till the end because the last chapter was phenomenal. Having said that, I can't wait till the next book in this series comes out, because after that ending I'm dying to read more.

Happy Reading,
September 23, 2019
I didn't hate this but I didn't love it either. It started off good, even though the worldbuilding was a bit sketchy, but eventually I was skim reading quite a bit and it really didn't hold my attention. Halfway through I pretty much wanted it over and almost put it down but then the ending really picked up and was interesting again.

I liked Jemmie, despite her character suffering from the cliche 'everyone is special besides me' syndrome which.

The entire worldbuilding was a bit weak and a big reason why this fell flat for me. The mix of YA fantasy/urban paranormal with magical gangs just didn't really flow, not to mention the rules of this magic world were vague at best.

The fast action pace did keep me interested and I did enjoy the ending so if Rush writes a sequel I might read it, but I certainly won't be running out to buy it.
Profile Image for Jessica {Litnoob}.
1,189 reviews88 followers
January 15, 2020
This was a shocking read and I’m so happy with it being a buddy read.

What do you get when you mix motorcycles and magic? A damn good super angsty time that’s what. That we are set in our world while dealing with something so fantastical as clan magic made this one an easy while interesting read. Jemmie was smart but sensitive, emotional and very self conscious about her abilities, or lack there of. It made for an interesting heroine in a story full of magical people.
Profile Image for Katie • forevermorepages.
728 reviews162 followers
August 9, 2017
Honestly, I should have seen that Devil's & Thieves is blurbed to be like Beautiful Creatures, because I would have gone into this with more of an expectation. To be fair, there is some promise with this book, just not promise to be anything that I would ever enjoy reading. I think I've grown out of cheesy romance books with "fantasy on the side". I loved Twilight, but this felt too similar and much messier (as if that's even possible).

We start with Jemmie, who is one of the most annoying fictional characters to ever exist, and Crowe the supposed "bad boy" who succeeds at 1-wearing leather jackets and 2-leading girls on. HAVE I MENTIONED HOW MUCH BOYS THAT LEAD GIRLS ON OR GIRLS THAT LEAD BOYS ON IRRITATE ME?? Hint: It's a lot.

Anyway, then you proceed into a storyline where Jemmie pines after Crowe while Boy #2 confesses his love for her. 

An actual scene (paraphrased because this is an ARC):

Boy #2-I'm in love with you.

Jemmie-We'll talk about that later. So...



Continuing on, the magic system didn't make much sense, nor was it actually explained. I think Jennifer Rush really just threw her readers into the fire and said "so this is what it is" without ever telling you how you got into the fire or how you're supposed to get out. I also must mention for the umpteenth time how important it is to have a magic system that makes sense. 

I spent most of this book wishing for it to end. It had no depth, nothing exciting, and I really couldn't find any parts that kept me interested. There was a tiny portion toward the end that made me consider upping this to two stars. However, I was still seething with anger at the rest of it, so I couldn't bring myself to do it.

Don't let this review stop you from picking this up. You may love it. I just didn't, and I think that's because I'm not a romance-driven reader. I love fantasy with a side of romance, but that's just me. I hate giving books one star because I feel like I'm destroying the author's dreams. As someone who aspires to be a published author, I understand the amount of effort that is put into writing a novel. Books are a work of art, but I think I need to remind myself that everyone likes different kinds of art and artists understand that. 

-Book Hugger

Profile Image for Sarah.
137 reviews25 followers
October 19, 2017
I don’t read a lot of Urban Fantasy but I feel the need to go out and buy them all after reading this amazing novel! I stumbled upon Devils & Thieves when my local bookstore received a copy in stock (I live in Aus – they’re hard to come by locally!) and the cover and title instantly drew me in. I read the synopsis and knew I had to own this book.

I see a lot of mixed reviews on this novel and I can see all points of view and why people liked it and why people didn’t like it, but personally I loved this novel. I love the world that Rush has create, I enjoy reading about the characters. It’s definitely your typical YA trope novel, but to be honest, it didn’t matter to me, I really enjoyed the writing and the easy read feel to it.

I have a new book boyfriend in my life, his name is Crowe, a damaged soul with the world on his shoulders. He rides a matte black motorcycle and he is an absolute dreamboat. I am swooning just thinking about him.
Jem, our main protagonist is real. She doubts herself, she has had her heart broken but continues to carry on. She is also quite unique, even among the ‘kindled’ and I loved exploring that part of her and figuring it out. The novel takes place over a short amount of time, but the growth Jem makes is incredible and believable.

As I said above, the novel takes place over a short amount of time, but it never feels too faced past. The plot flows really well and I didn’t feel like I lost track of it throughout the novel.

I need to make mention of the magic in this novel. The ‘kindled’ are magic users and they are split into different types of magic wielders. I loved it! I found it so creative and fascinating! I’m keeping this spoiler free so you’ll have to read the book to see what I’m on about ;)

It took me several (interrupted) hours but I finished the book in the same day and now I’m left sitting here scrolling through Goodreads and Google trying to find ANYTHING on the sequel, luckily the author tweeted me on twitter to let me know she is currently editing the sequel *cue squealing*. I cannot wait to be back in these characters’ lives especially after that ending! I’m happy but my heart also aches for Jem and Crowe, I need to know what happens next… PLEASE give me a happy ending!
Profile Image for Melissasfandomworld.
579 reviews115 followers
October 11, 2017
I loved this book and can't wait to get my hands on the sequel! The ending left me aching for more!

+ the characters were extremely lovable and all so interesting to read about, especially in combination with their magical abilities and such!

+- the story-line was amazing and thrilling but the world-building sometimes felt a bit chaotic and could've been more developed I think. In the beginning, it kind of felt some things were all over the place and I had a bit of a difficult time 'placing' it in my mind. Everything just needed to find a place in my mind you know? Normally it's mostly clear to me from the start, but with this one, I had to dissect everything I read and create it in my mind one by one so I could 'build' this world in my mind and get a feel for it. But overall; it was awesome and once I had that 'picture' locked in my mind, there wasn't a thing holding me back anymore and I devoured the rest of the book.

+- the Plot was really good, but to me, mostly predictable - but that happens a lot nowadays with most books because there just is a lot of basic things a lot of authors write in their books and you pick up on them sooner when you read a lot. But it didn't bother me as much as I thought it would because the book was just an incredibly awesome book to read. I was breathing in this world while reading and it just devoured me whole. Loved being inside this book so much, that I can forgive the predictability

+ There was some romance there but it was not overly present, which I really liked. It balanced out perfectly within this story-line I think. I can't wait for tho to see how everything is going to develop in book two because the ending leaves me aching for more! I really loved seeing Jemmie and Crowe together and I'm so curious to find out how things will go down between them in the second book!

Overall; I really, really enjoyed this book despite some things being predictable and the fact I would've liked some more depth here or there in the story. There were some really awesome biker elements present, awesome magic/fantasy elements - the magic in this book was so enthralling and interesting - and the writing style was so addictive and fluid. I devoured this book. Once started, I just couldn't stop anymore.

I've wanted to finish it in one-sitting but since I was keeping my husband up with my reading light in the bedroom, I had to put the book down at some point because it was getting really late and he needed to be up early because of work haha - bummer. But if it was up to me, I would've finished it in one-sitting. That's the kind of book this is; just addictive and it makes you want to finish it asap.
Profile Image for Mandy.
636 reviews67 followers
September 22, 2017
*I won this in a Goodreads giveaway! Thanks so much for sending me over a copy! I really appreciate it!*

Okay, let’s start off with this statement that totally encompasses this entire book: it was a total mess but really entertaining at parts. I loved the first third of the book. It was intriguing, fun, and yes, okay, it was cliche especially with the romance, but it was so entertaining. I loved learning the new magic system. I thought it was so cool, and I loved how much depth we had going on – magical motorcycle gang with rivals and intensity and I was loving it. It was so intriguing, and the author did a fantastic job developing this world and describing it – I was bored by any worldbuilding whatsoever.

Jemmie is an…interesting protagonist. I enjoyed pretty much, but there were a few times I really did roll my eyes hard at her. I kind of just shook my head a bit at her with her interactions with some people. However, I did enjoy her growth throughout the novel, and I did enjoy her for the most part. I did want to root her on.

The issue came with the predictability of the novel. I mean, I predicted almost everything that happened. I knew the big reveals (literally called the biggest one super early on); I knew what would happen with the romance (it was enjoyable at first until it got -_- faced and then just rolling my eyes); and I knew what would happen with the developments in characters and more. There was no surprise. I found myself enjoying the first part since the world was so new, but after that, I found myself not enjoying it so much since I knew what was coming. Would you want to read or see something that you already know the outcome? And the villain was just laughable.

I did find this book super breezy, though. It was such a quick read. However, the predictability and kind of lame romance really tugged down this book that had an absolutely interesting and fun world. I was so impressed by the premise, but the execution caused a lot of issues. I’m still so on the fence of if I’ll pick up the second book in the series – that’s how much of a mess that this story has put me into. 2 crowns and a Cinderella rating!
Profile Image for starryeyedjen.
1,640 reviews1,232 followers
November 29, 2017
You ever just know that a book is going to be for you but that you have to be in the right mood or frame of mind for it in order for it to work out that way? That's me and this book. I'd wanted to read it since I first heard about it, having loved Jennifer Rush's Altered series. But I read some mixed reviews and so I put it off. And put if off. Until yesterday when I decided I was ready for a little magic and some hot bikers. I was not disappointed! It's a little predictable and the characters are a little cookie-cutter, but I loved how the magic of the world was explained. There were a lot of different types of magic to keep track of, but it wasn't overwhelming, especially with the main character's sensitivity to it. And that ending! I would totally be okay with leaving off on that creepy note, totally left wondering, but I'm also glad to see that GR shows this is only the first book. This was such a fun story and I can't wait to see what's next for the Devils' League and their cohorts!
Profile Image for celeste.
556 reviews46 followers
December 5, 2017
2.75 stars
I wanted to like this one, but it just didn't happen. The first time I read the synopsis for this book, I had no doubt this one was going to make an impression in me, I mean, magic combined with motorcycle clubs, what is there not to like about that premise? I was very wrong.

It's not so much the concept of the book that was weak but rather its execution. I think the author had a really good idea but she wasn't able to fully develop it. The story, the setting, the magic system and even the characters felt very underdeveloped. It felt like she was only able to scratch the surface of what the story could have been.

In Devils & Thieves we follow our main character, Jemmie, the daughter of an MC member who left her and her mother many years ago, and who is unable to do magic due to an accident she had when she was young. She knows she is a kindled (those who have a certain type of magic) yet she refuses to use it because she is afraid she will get hurt in the process or hurt others. But when people start disappearing from the festival the MC are hosting, she is forced to face her fears once and for all.

But the story seems to be focused more on an unnecesary love triangle rather than develop the actual "mystery" plotline that's going on in the book. There were a lot of questions that I had about how this world works that were never answered. Why are MC members the only people who have magical abilites? What is the relation between the motorcycle clubs and magic? I'm not even complaining because I love books that deal with MCs, but there was no explanation whatsoever as to why MCs are the only ones tied to magic. The same thing happens with the different types of magic. Some people have the power to control nature, others can heal themselves and others, some can see the future, and so many more, but the actual workings of the magic is never explained. It just exists, and is never given any sort of explanation.

Most of the times I felt like the author was info-dumping names of types of magic and its abilites but in the end, I was left with the same questions, and not even the info-dump could help dissipate my doubts and questions.

To be honest, I was fairly enjoying it at the beginning, I thought it was a typical average YA book with a main character going back and forth between two guys and having to deal with her fears of using her magic, but once it became ABSOLUTELY obvious who the "villain" of the story was going to be, I just couldn't deal with it anymore. I was never able to connect with the characters because, like I've already mentioned, they all felt underdeveloped, and the fact that the "revelation" of the villain wasn't even a revelation due to how obvious it was, I really wanted to DNF it. The only good thing out of the book was the last page. It really raised some interest in me because of how it ended, but is it enough for me to want to continue on if this is going to become a series? I don't think so.

Overall, it was a very average book with a cool concept that was poorly executed. It's a shame because the synopsis was promising, yet it ended being quite the disappointment.
Profile Image for Brittany.
1,191 reviews278 followers
August 8, 2017
I liked the first two books in Rush's Altered series well enough for her new book to be on my radar.
She knows how to keep things pretty light, short and with enough action to keep me reading. That can definitely be said for Devils & Thieves.

The magic system is a little convoluted. And not really flushed out enough to get the gist of the world and all the different types of magic. But I was definitely here for the mention of black magic. I want something dark and magical in with these motorcycle gangs. I mean what else would fit but dark magic? I can't imagine a big biker dude casting some fluffy little spell. So there was definitely a darker undertone to the story(and magic).

I liked Jemmie well enough. She's not a push over by any means. But she is too trusting. Which is her ultimate downfall. Along with being "the chosen one" but she just doesn't know it. Yet. There was a strong female friendship between Jemmie and Alex. I enjoyed them together; you can tell how much they care for each other.

The romance I could do without. She's pining after the typical alpha male guy who pushed her away for her own good, "because she doesn't understand." Yet, as is usual, fails to talk to her and you know help her to understand why he can't be with her. Blah blah blah. It also felt really forced. There was no spark between Jemmie and the love interest. So how am I supposed to believe they're busy wanting each other? There's no moment or time that cements that.

The love triangle is present. But I will say that it's so obvious that other guy is pretty much playing her with his nice routine that the love triangle never bothered me. I knew what outcome was coming, so why care... Especially when I could care less about either guy anyhow.

Besides the romance, the predictable plot was an issue. From page five it was so easy to guess at pretty much everything about to go down. With a book so short and the story only taking place over a few days, it didn't leave much room for any major developments.
The ending was pretty cool though. It leaves Jemmie's character open for so much darkness in book two. Also here for that.

Again, being such a short book the pace was pretty much go go go. It doesn't leave you much choice but to read it all in one sitting. Writing is easy and at most times the dialogue was spot on for the character. It got sloppy at times when it was a more serious moment. But honestly I wasn't expecting anything to blow my mind. I picked up Devils & Thieves expecting a troped up light and fun read. And that's exactly what I got.
Profile Image for Ashley (gotbookcitement).
710 reviews85 followers
March 25, 2019

I loved this!! A lot!! I was already a fan of Jennifer Rush thanks to her Altered Saga, which everyone should go read by the way, so I was really excited and interested in reading whatever she came out with next. I was not disappointed in the least by Devils & Thieves, it was great! Jennifer Rush has this writing style that I really enjoy, her books are filled with action and danger, and cute boys!
I really enjoyed the world of Devils & Thieves, the motorcycle gang mixed with magic was everything I didn't know I needed. I really liked how everyone had a different magical gift and it was passed through family lines. The magic consisted of really interesting and cool powers too, which was really fun to read. I will say that the way the magic was introduced and explained felt a little clunky. I really needed a graph or a chart that I could have looked at that explained what power did what.
Jennifer Rush also does a fantastic job of writing swoon worthy boys. Surly Nick stole my heart in her Altered Saga and Devils & Thieves introduced me to Crowe. Crowe is a pretty boy, he's got that danger factor, and he's powerful. Crowe is also a man, not some 15 or 16 year old boy, which means I can think he's cute and not feel guilty about it.
I was sucked in pretty quickly to the story. It was fun, fast, full of action. The romantic tension was everything. It felt dark, gritty, dangerous, and I loved it all. I feel like Jennifer Rush should write some New Adult, I think she'd be great at it.
I liked Jemmie. I wish she had opened up to people sooner instead of hiding away and trying to self medicate. I could also understand why she felt so hurt when it came to Crowe.
That Ending! I need to know what happens next! I need more of this world. I need the sequel and I better get one. I loved Devils & Thieves and I think you should read it.
Give Me More!!
Profile Image for The Blonde Bookworm.
298 reviews38 followers
October 19, 2017
Angsty Teens, Magic, Hot Guys, and a Motorcycle Club. Should I keep going or do you already want to buy this novel? You should probably just go ahead and get to your nearest book store and pick this bad boy up. But if that description didn't sell you, then keep reading. I LOVED THIS NOVEL! Did you already figure that out? Good. I've never read a novel by Jennifer Rush before, but I now know that D&T will not be my last!

I love fantasy novels in general, but something about this synopsis really stuck out to me. It had a lot of similarities to other YA fantasy novels, but it was also so different at the same time. I loved the biker gang feel, and I really enjoyed the fast pace of the novel. I didn't know what to expect and there were quite a few plot twists that kept me guessing!

In summary, I loved the characters, I loved the setting, and I absolutely loved the plot twists. Devils & Thieves did not disappoint and I can't wait to read more from Rush in the future. I huge thank you to Novl Books and Little Brown Books for Young Readers for sharing this book in exchange for an honest review. I would recommend this novel to readers who enjoyed the Beautiful Creatures series and readers who enjoy YA fantasy novels.
Profile Image for Christine Manzari.
Author 12 books1,109 followers
January 3, 2018
This book was great...gritty, dark, sensual, and impossible to put down. Can’t wait for the next book to see what happens next! This is perfect for fans of the Beautiful Creatures series by Kami Garcia and the Embrace series by Jessica Shirvington.
Profile Image for Brittany S..
1,485 reviews697 followers
January 29, 2018
Initial Impressions 11/2/17 & full review as posted on The Book Addict's Guide 1/9/18: Hm. HMMMM. 3.5 stars, I think
DEVILS & THIEVES was my first Jennifer Rush book and I was excited to read about motorcycles and magic. First, let's get this out of the way -- it's not about motorcycles. The different motorcycle clubs are various families and groups, usually specializing in certain powers (often because specific magics run in specific families too) but aside from riding in on a chopper, the mention of a garage, and general motorcycle attire, there were no motorcycles. It did capture the family, camaraderie, and tight-knit group of a club though.

Okay next, I actually did enjoy the book and at the same time, it felt like it was missing some good gravy. DEVILS & THIEVES was enjoyable, mostly light with some serious danger (like a lot of paranormal/urban fantasy YA), and had some interesting magical concepts. I'm always a sucker for different categories of magic and add in colors and/or scents to go with them and you have my mind immediately picturing and smelling everything! I loved the sensory concept and it also helped me pick up on the different types and remember them more easily.
And yet... I felt like it just didn't go as deep as I wanted it to. It wasn't even that I was missing a history or backstory like I often do for a lot of books when that "thing" is missing, but I just wasn't as engaged as I had hoped to be. I almost think there were TOO many different types of magic because even by the end of the book I didn't have them all straight and I guess I would have just loved to see more time spent between a few characters and building their relationships rather than a love triangle, which I actually didn't hate. Jemmie has a clear winner in her "triangle" but she also doesn't want it to be him. (I did.)

I actually didn't see the end coming, even though I really probably should have, but this was another fortunate case of reading the book and not reading too much into everything. I basically read it in 15-20 minute intervals on my lunch break at work so I didn't have time to sit there and think about what I just read and what might happen next so I don't pick up on clues and the like when that happens. The short reading time also probably hurts how much I enjoyed the book because it was so pieced up, although it was easy to hop right back in where I had left off.

I'm actually interested to see where the rest of the series goes because I thought it was interesting how it ended and I'm always up for a little twistiness! I would probably continue on audio because this book had a great light and easy feel to it with a delicious dash of darkness that would make for a great audio read (so long as the narrator is a good one).
Profile Image for Chels.
670 reviews102 followers
August 10, 2017
**I recieved an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This in no way influences my review.**

This book surprised me in a lot of ways. I wasn't expecting to totally fall in love with it the way I did. I'm always a sucker for a good urban fantasy but this is the best young adult one I've read in a long while.

Jemmie has grown up in this town that hosts a biker gang where the members all have magic. She has magic herself but is unwilling to use it (for reasons we learn later on). She also has a strange ability to sense magic. She sees certain kinds of magic as different colours and she even has certain smells associated with them. Nobody else knows about this ability though (because she's afraid) so she has a slight drinking problem because it dulls her senses. Eventually her best friend disappears and she teams up with her BFF's brother Crowe to find her. There's magic and deception and little mystery to keep you interested!

- Magical motorcycle gangs. That is all.
- I pretty much loved everything about this book. I was sucked in instantly because of the interesting magical world.
- I thought the plot moved at a really good pace. It started off slow enough to get you into the book and then it just took off with this interesting magical mystery! I honestly had no idea what was going to happen!
- Crowe was totally imperfect which is why I loved him so much. He had this bad boy vibe going on and he wasn't afraid to throw some punches but I really loved that he wasn't the typical "perfect" love interest we usually see!
- A lot of other reviews are complaining about a love triangle but I loved this book because there wasn't a love triangle. While Jemmie thought about being with Darek she knew that wasn't what she wanted and never made any moves to further that relationship. Good for her!
- Loved the friendship between Jemmie and Alex! They were a lot of fun and I thought they went well together. We all need a friendship like this.
- I really need the next book right away! This is going to be an awesome new series!

- My only real complaint is that Jemmie's parents weren't in the story enough. They were there, especially at the end, but I would have liked to get to know them a little more. Same with Alex! Sadly we didn't get to see enough of her!
- I also wish we got to see more about the motorcycle gang. I think it was really cool and would have loved to learn more about it!
Profile Image for Lisa.
852 reviews561 followers
July 7, 2017
If you're looking for a love-triangley biker gang themed romp with magic, then this is the book for you.

I wasn't completely satisfied with this story. It read like a mash-up of other stories without a truly original twist. The plot was pretty straightforward with few real surprises.

I think the danger in offering a tough, badass type of story is that it sets its readers up for disappointment when it can't meet that promise. This book felt like a watered down version with weak dialogue and forgettable characters.
Profile Image for L.
226 reviews27 followers
October 23, 2017
I kind of knew from the moment this book made no effort to explain why, of all things, the entire magical community decided to organize into motorcycle gangs that it probably wasn't for me. I mean, I know it was the premise but a premise like that bears some explanation as to... why? But we got none of that. What we got was a predictable plot with predictable alpha male posturing and romantic drama featuring a heroine who made quite frankly inexplicable decisions and a magic system I still don't entirely understand. Just, overall, I didn't enjoy this book and I'm sad about it.
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