At our reading mentors meeting last week Barrie from the publishers Barrington Stoke spoke about how they go for direct impact in their books; using renowned authors, engaging covers, punchy first lines and not avoiding edgy subject matter.
Inspired by this I looked for the edgiest Barrington Stoke book I could spot on my shelf. I went for Devil For Sale by E. E. Richardson. It was certainly unsettling with a certain menace, but I was a little disappointed. It has a very straight-forward plot with only one key character who I didn't feel I got to know too well.
The evil devil of the title has a few moments of scariness. But with all horror or sci-fi books, I am put-off when fantastical happenings are just explained as magic or evil. It feels like a cop-out and I need to know a little more.
Devil For Sale is the first Barrington Stoke book I have read that does not have any illustrations. They may have been going for a more adult feel, but I would have liked to see a smart illustrators take on the story.
It is, of course, a well produced, gripping read, it just didn't hit the spot for me; diet Darren Shan.