Devil's Kitchen (Crown Phoenix, 2) by Alison DeLuca, 2012. 293 pages. Published by Fantasy Island Publishing. Source: author for tour.
In The Night Watchman Express, Miriam and Simon were kidnapped and thrown on the strange train... Now in Book Two of The Crown Phoenix series, they arrive at the terrifying destination known as Devil's Kitchen.First Sentence:
There they will face human experiments in a laboratory known as The Infirmary.
Miriam will be forced to work in an underground factory.
Simon is held in a luxurious prison by jailers who are as beautiful as they are deadly...
And their courage will be tested to the breaking point.
The Night Watchman Express train swayed and chugged along through the countryside.Devil's Kitchen was so good and a great followup to The Night Watchman Express. It was definitely one of those reads where all you want to do is blaze through the pages so you can see how things will play out for the cast of characters.
The second book in the Crown Phoenix series was absolutely addictive. I could barely out it down because all of the characters were in dire straits for pretty much the entire book, which made some stressful reading because by this time I had warmed up to them and wanted to see that they survived to defeat the villains and in the case of Miriam, take back what was rightfully hers. Ms DeLuca did such a great job of building up the atmosphere in Devil's Kitchen and delivering one wallop of a punch as the characters went through the highs and lows of being captives, pawns, and finally free acting agents.
Devil's Kitchen just blew me away with how well Ms DeLuca brought all the threads of plot together into one whole piece, and how she was able to show the transformation that Simon and Miriam underwent throughout the book was just nicely done.
What really made the plot of book two more interesting then the first one is that, for example, Simon slowly started to see that what he thought was right was in fact not and finally started to see a certain lady for what she was. It also did not hurt that the well being of two countries were at stake and hanging in the balance as the MCs attempted to shut down the side business that the Marchpanes had help to start. I really want to say more on the Marchpanes and a certain brother and sister duo, but that would take all the fun away from those who have yet to read the series. I'll just leave it at this, they got what they had coming to them but also deserved so much worse for what they were doing to innocents.
Miriam's character development was definitely the highlight of Devil's Kitchen because throughout both books you saw her turn from a snotty girl who would scream, kick, and even bite to one that could use her words and refrain from acting like a spoiled monster. What also made her development so interesting was that turned into a strong, iron willed young lady who could get things done without causing a ruckus.
So, my complaint from book one is no longer valid since there was just the right amount of steampunkedness in Devil's Kitchen. While I am happy that the second Crown Phoenix book had more of a steampunk feel to it, which was definitely awesome, I am a little annoyed and confused by one aspect of this book.The characters ages. I am now two books into this really interesting series and yet I cannot tell how old the characters are and this is not sitting well with me because some times they seem no older then twelve, but at others you would think they're sixteen or seventeen years old. Take away my confusion over how old Miriam, Simon, and Neil, I thought that book two was an exceptionally good read.
Final Verdict: A trilling page turner filled with suspense, danger, and even a little bit of love.
Devil's Kitchen earns 4 out of 5 pineapples.
About the author:
Alison DeLuca grew up on an organic farm in Chester County, Pennsylvania. Her parents were British, so in the summers she went to stay with her grandparents near Dublin.
There was no stereo or TV there, so Alison, her sister, and her cousins spent the summer inventing stories and plays for each other. “This gave me the ability to entertain myself with my own imagination in any situation,” she says. “We used to be taken to tea with great-aunts, and we were expected to sit on an uncomfortable couch and not move or say a word. It was possible to endure it because I was watching my own little stories play out in my mind.”
After graduating from West Chester University, Alison became a teacher of English and Spanish, teaching students from kindergarten up to college level. She loved teaching, and it was with reluctance that she left the classroom to be a fulltime mom when her daughter was born.
While she was teaching and raising her daughter, Alison took every free minute she had to write. The Night Watchman Express and The Crown Phoenix Series were the result.
She is currently working on the final book in the series, as well as several other projects.
You can haunt Alison DeLuca at=