As the title suggests, this book is all about The Jersey Devil. He with the scary goat/horse faced visage and foul breath, who haunts hapless humans out there in the Jersey Pines. After reading this story, I do believe his name suits him just fine. He is a horrible beast and the things he does made me shudder in revulsion. It takes a lot to do that to me but this book delivered in that department.
This is a crazy, gruesome monster book where the monsters are truly monsters and not some poor little misunderstood, mistreated creature who has been wronged by mankind. These things are Evil. The framework is about a family seeking out and seeking revenge on The Jersey Devil who did them a big wrong many years previous. What they find deep in the woods is far more terrifying and depraved than they ever could have expected.
Be warned, lots of people die in the most gruesome of ways, perhaps a small town’s worth of people. I do not exaggerate. Okay, maybe I do, but not in this case. The body count here is out of control and no living thing is safe, that includes animals and children too. It is a death free for all that is often pretty gross and unrelenting. I say this not to spoil your day or the book but only so you’ll guard your heart going in. This one is most definitely not for the faint of heart. Characters, oh-so-many characters, are introduced, given a little backstory and just when you start to fear for their lives and are secretly screaming at them to get the hell out of the woods right-this-second-you-dummies, they become a little snack for a hungry monster. This happens time and again which is probably one of my only complaints. Somewhere around the last third I became a little exhausted at meeting yet more new people knowing their fate was sealed up tight. It started to get a wee bit repetitive and predictable there for a bit but the end made up for it as secrets were revealed. I do love learning secrets.
I’m giving this a four because there aren’t enough truly horrific monster books out there in the world that have decent people at the core of the story and this one does both most excellently.
I read this book for Netgalley who provided me with this free copy (thanks Netgalley!) and to complete my free square for our Halloween Bingo, check out the Bingo fun in our discussion here if you haven't heard of it yet.