The Devil’s Backbone by Kim Wozencraft – book review

A friend recommended this to me and I’d say this is the strangest book I’ve read for quite a long time. It’s no doubt interesting but it still left me with a couple of questions and I’m not satisfied. Nonetheless, it’s easily a page-turner that kept me on the edge of my seat.

The story is centered on Kit, a woman who works as a stripper for a living. Her past is full of certain experiences that left her traumatized and it’s caused her to be uneasy of the present. She tries to forget it with all the booze she consumes but it doesn’t cease to haunt her day by day. As the ghosts of her past progressed, so does the secrets and surprises unfold.

The characters, Kit especially, felt kind of flat. They weren’t given any background; it was all snippets or indications on what must have been a bittersweet childhood. The dialogue seems kind of forced, it just seemed like they should say it because they portray a bitter cop or a terrified businesswoman. I just didn’t see any development in the characters; they all portrayed the same emotions in practically all chapters, hence, I couldn’t connect to them.

However, the fast-paced plot made up for the mediocre characterization. The introduction started a bit slow but the action quickly escalated that each page felt like the climax of the story. I really enjoyed the build-up–it was consistent and it kept me curious to know how it ends. Although, when I did reach the end I didn’t expect to be disappointed. It only made me question myself if the book was even worth my time because I ended up with more questions. It was an open ending that usually would be all good for me but it felt as if there is still a missing chapter Wozencraft got lazy to write.

I’d still recommend this to anyone looking for a quick–though quite heavy–read. I liked how the characters could be, at times, relatable. Also, major points to the plot; it swept me and all I could do was keep reading.


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