Thursday, 10 March 2016

THE D'EVIL DIARIES by Tatum Flynn: Reviewed by Tamsin Cooke

One of the funniest middle grade books I've read in a long time!

Most parents would be pleased if their child’s school report said that they paid very careful attention, obeyed all their teachers, and worked extremely hard. But not Jinx’s dad. He is furious. 

‘What kind of half-term report do you call this, hmm? I wouldn’t mind if you failed because you were playing truant, or chasing girls, or trying to set fire to your teacher with a flame thrower.’

Then again, Jinx’s dad isn’t just any old dad. He is Lucifer. And poor Jinx is a red skinned two-horned demon, who wants nothing more than to win his dad’s approval. But however hard he tries to be bad, good things always happen. He’s sent away to be corrupted by the vilest creatures found on earth – Blackbeard and Dracula – but somehow his goodness rubs off on them.  Fearing for his future and feeling like an utter disappointment, Jinx runs away. Soon he finds himself in the middle of a fantastic adventure where the whole of Hell is at stake.  

The D'Evil Diaries is possibly one of the funniest books I’ve read in a long time.  I was laughing from start to finish.  But Tatum Flynn manages to incorporate all this witty humour without once detracting from the adventure story. There are heart stopping moments, twists and turns, and treachery.

The characters are well thought out. Jinx is incredibly likeable. Tommy, a girl he meets (who shouldn’t be in Hell) is strong, brave and feisty. There’s Loiter – the Patron Demon of Sloth or Laziness who might actually be my favourite character. I even like Lucifer – something I never thought I would say!

The D’Evil Diaries is the sort of story you can read together as a family. There is something in it for everyone. Children will love seeing how badness is rewarded and goodness is frowned upon. And grown-ups (if they are anything like me) will love the witty asides and pop culture references. Just to give you a taster – 
To set the scene: Jinx is listening to Lucifer on the phone to God. 
‘I wondered absentmindedly what the voice of God sounded like. A thousand angels singing? Thunderbolts and lightning, very, very frightening? Morgan Freeman?’

There are fabulous black illustrations throughout the book that bring the story even more to life.

Book two, Helles Belles has just come out, and it is definitely on the top of my TBR pile!

Tamsin Cooke
twitter: @tamsincooke1


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