Lil and Verne have only one choice. They must use each of the colours in the Devil’s Paintbox before all of the mayhem, misery and murder can end. But at what cost? As the resident witch of Whitby, Cherry Cerise does her best to guide and protect them from the Lords of the Deep and Dark, but they have no idea what they are truly up against.
No spoilers here…
Continuing my Robin Jarvis obsession, of course I bought The Devil’s Paintbox as soon as it was released. I was a tiny bit disappointed that there wasn’t a hardback version this time around, purely because my low-levels (or not so low-levels) of OCD commanded it. I do enjoy when a series of books all look the same, but in life it is worth learning that you can’t always get what you want (try not singing that, I dare you.) Nevertheless, the paperback is a beauty. I love the cover. Once you have read the book, the cover makes all the more sense. There are images throughout too and I loved these little nuggets.
The Devil’s Paintbox is a sequel to The Power of Dark and in so many ways this is a lesson to all writers about how to write a sequel. I was very happy that the reminders of what happened in The Power of Dark were precise. They weren’t lengthy passages describing the events of the first book. I often dislike those parts in sequels because they slow down the narrative of the new novel, and there is no slowing down here! The Devil’s Paintbox plunges straight into the action and there is no stopping.
This book pulls no punches. From the very start there are surprising moments where Jarvis reminds you that in his world of witches, evil apparitions, robots and cats-with-wings, there are real consequences. Our actions decide our fate, and sometimes our fate decides our actions.
The Devil’s Paintbox is very fast paced – and tense! I had several moments where my body swarmed with goose-bumps as the gravity of Lil, Verne and Cherry’s situation dawned. Jarvis has this way of turning an ordinary moment into an epic one, and this spin is so fast that you never see it coming.
From teenage girls with obsessions with boys they would be seriously better off without, to mothers jealous of their daughters; amongst the paints-from-hell and the scourges they bring, there are real relationships with complex emotions. The stakes are high in Whitby this time around and nobody is safe.
Time Of Blood is next in the series and after that cliffhanger I for one cannot wait for the next volume.