Book Review & Giveaway: Devil’s Wake (Devil’s Wake #1 ) by Steven Barnes & Tananarive Due

Posted August 2, 2012 by Melissa in Book Review | 24 Comments

Title: Devil’s Wake
Series:  Devil’s Wake #1
Author:  Steven Barnes & Tananarive Due
Reading level: Young Adult
Genre:  Science Fiction/Apocalyptic
Size: 288 pages
Release Date: July 31st 2012
Publisher: Atria/Simon & Schuster
Source: Publisher in exchange for an honest review
Find It: Goodreads | Amazon | BN | The Book Depository


–ongoing concerns over scattered reports of violent, perhaps drug-induced behavior in the Seattle area,” the newscaster’s voice boomed from the BMW’s Sony speakers, filling the car as trees and farmland zipped past on either side.

The first book of an exciting new paranormal series from two award-winning authors about what happens when an alien race brings Earth to the brink of the Apocalypse. The husband and wife writing team of Tananarive Due and Steven Barnes continue to achieve extraordinary literary feats with this first book in the exciting new Devil’s Wake series.      The eeriness of Devil’s Wake begins a week after tomorrow. An unprecedented infection has swept across the world, bringing an epidemic of mindless biting attacks from the infected that leave their victims “changed.” Society has broken down.      The victims are more than mindless zombies. They are the result of a sinister alien life-form in the wake of the aliens’ insidious plot, humanity ultimately becomes enmeshed in a brutal struggle for control of its home, planet Earth.     Part Dawn of the Dead and part Road WarriorDevil’s Wake is a testimony to courage, friendship, and the power of faith. Horrifying and heartbreaking, exciting and challenging, it is a compelling, brilliant story on the edge of what could be the end of it all.

This was my first “Zombie” read and I am so happy to report that I really enjoyed it.  Barnes and Due draw us in from page one as we experience an ordinary day that could be today turn into a horror story.  Some unknown infection is spreading across the country turning loved ones, friends and neighbors into zombie-like versions of themselves who spread this infection by biting their victims.

The characters, a group of juvenile “delinquents,” and a lone teen, come together to try to make sense of the new world that surrounds them and to find a way to band together and survive. I loved the interpersonal relationships among the teens, the way they each picked up tasks that benefited the group, and most importantly the way they trust and support each other through the ensuing chaos.

Initially, I was a bit disappointed by the lack of descriptiveness but by a third of the way through the book I was hooked on the story and had come to appreciate the authors’ writing style..It fits the tale.  There are probably more questions left in my mind than answers upon finishing Devil’s Wake but that is not a complaint.  I can’t wait to pick up the second in this exciting new YA series so that I can find out what exactly is going on, whether those infected can be saved and if romance will bloom between Terry and Kendra.

My only issue with this novel would be its marketing.  Apparently the blurb is for the series as a whole and not this book as an individual as there were no references to aliens or a struggle for the planet in this book. In book one we don’t know the cause of these transformations and it is assumed that it is some interaction between mushrooms and a flu vaccine.  I can only assume that such revelations are to come in Book 2 and I must admit that I’m a bit upset that the book’s own blurb would have such spoilers for the whole series.





Thanks to the publisher I have a paperback copy of Devil’s Wake to give to one lucky reader.  US Only.



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24 responses to “Book Review & Giveaway: Devil’s Wake (Devil’s Wake #1 ) by Steven Barnes & Tananarive Due

  1. Hmmmm. It would definitely be disconcerting to be expecting aliens based on the series blurb only to read this one and find none. Glad that despite that drawback, you liked the book overall. I’m not a huge zombie person, they scare the life out of me, but the potential for romance and all the interesting questions raised while reading make me want to give it a try. Thanks for the review Melissa!

  2. I wouldn’t have guessed this is YA and probably wouldn’t have picked this up without a review like yours that gave me a much better idea of what to expect. I’m not a big zombie fan, but I think that maybe it would work okay in this book (series). I may have to consider checking it out in the future!

  3. I love me some zombies. They were always so campy until the last few years, but a lot of the current stories are actually pretty good. Thanks for the chance!

  4. I haven’t heard of the authors or this book but it really sounds good, and I’m not a huge fan of zombie books (or alien books at all). It is weird about the blurb, it’s taken away some of the mystery!

  5. I LOVE zombie books, – ever since I read The Forest of Hands & Teeth I’ve been hooked 😀

    Thank you for the fun giveaway <3
    Mary DeBorde M.A.D.

  6. I’ve yet to break into the zombie craze. I don’t know if I’d like this one if it lacks description as you say. I don’t like Agatha Christie for much the same reason. Mostly dialogue and little detail. And I don’t understand why the blurb would have information not included in that book. Maybe she thought the series would look more appealing if there was that tease of future events?

  7. Ooo oo sci fi – why have I not heard of this one? must must have – yes yes givessss it to me *foams a bit at the mouth*….oh didn’t mean to drizzle spittle all over you hehe

  8. oh yes and zombies of course I love reading about – bit harder to watch though – but I do of course still watch as well as read about them haha.

    can we say 12 hour anxiety/panic attack while watching all of the first season of Walking Dead

  9. Good to read your review, I’ve read other good reviews of this book too. I can’t believe this is your first zombie book, Melissa!!! Wow! Seriously, if you liked this, you should try “The Forest of Hands and Teeth” by Carrie Ryan (a fellow North Carolinian and also educated as a lawyer!). It’s really not heavy on the gore, it’s more about how those who are left copy and live their lives with this zombie infestation all around them. The scariness comes more from what’s not said than what is, if that makes sense. I LOVE reading zombie books myself 🙂 And recently my 4-year-old said, “mommy, why do zombies eat BRAINS??” That’s one of those where you just say, “uh, uh, uh…how the heck do you know about ZOMBIES?!?!” sheesh 🙂 Anyway, I’m looking forward to reading this book, it’s been on my TBR list for a while, thanks for the chance!!

  10. hmmm what do i think of zombies…..well my autistic son (who is 13) is totally obsessed with them right now so I’m a little burned out with movies such as sean of the dead, zombieland, ahhhh zombies, ect….. but i love the walking dead and I love the Book dearly Departed By Lia Habel which is a zombie steampunk novel.

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