Customer Reviews for

The Devil's Alphabet

Average Rating 3.5
( 23 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(8)

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(3)

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 23 Customer Reviews
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  • Posted November 9, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    This is a terrific evolutionary science fiction small town horror thriller

    Teenager Paxton Martin fled Switchcreek, Tennessee to avoid the impact of a deadly retrovirus that either killed people or changed them into grotesque creatures and to never see his father again. The disease never went beyond the small town, but Pax vowed to never return to "Pandemonium".

    However, thirteen years after he left, he learns of the suicide death of his friend Jo Lynn so he comes home for her funeral. She had been changed by the virus into a seal skin baldie beta as opposed to becoming a towering argo or an obese Charlie like others became. His plan includes avoiding his dad, but he alters his scheme when he learns that Jo Lynn may not have hung herself and that a small town in Ecuador has suffered the same fate. He begins the investigation even as his brain tells him leave immediately.

    This is a terrific evolutionary science fiction small town horror thriller that as its underlying basis asks the audience to define human. The story line is fast-paced throughout as Paxton returns home to a town that has evolved into four distinct races in a survival of the fittest scenario. The key, which makes The Devil's Alphabet enthralling is each of the key characters representing the four primes seem genuine, which makes their race appear realistic. Although the father-son relationship seems to ramble, fans will enjoy Daryl Gregory's strong tale.

    Harriet Klausner

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 7, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    The Best Book of the Year

    Like his first novel, Pandemonium, The Devil's Alphabet has a strong, unique voice that does not fail to live up to it's potential. Daryl Gregory is one of those authors that is able to create a realistic alternate reality that the reader will not question. He is able to, in minute detail, map out a world that is so like our own that when he throws in a unknown cause of genetic mutations that completely change a town's inhabitant, you don't question the realism of it. You will really think, for the time you are reading the book, that this actually happened and could happen again.


    He delves into every aspect of lives of these 3 new "races". From their reproductive needs to their moral imperatives, every thing changed for these people and those changes are even more evident in the lives of the first generation of children actually born into these clades (the author's word not mine). These changes are explored in depth and make the story even more realistic.


    Pax was an interesting character to me. He was a teenager when the change happened and his whole adult life has been defined by those events in ways he doesn't realize. He is a drifter who lives life without really connecting with anyone on a truly emotional level. He will tell you himself, that he rarely finds himself attracted to women or men and when he does it only lasts for a few hour. That the few men and women who stuck around long enough to want something more from him than a quick fling, find themselves dealing with a emotionally closed off person who can't or won't deal with them. When he comes back to his hometown for the funeral of his childhood friend he doesn't even want to walk into the church during the service. He is so scared by what happened that it takes the death of someone he did care about to force him to deal with others on a emotional level. He reconnects with the father he thought didn't love him anymore, though do to certain circumstances, this is not a healthy bonding for him. He goes from not wanting to connect to being unable to disconnect from theemotional ties to his father. He becomes an addict, in more ways than one.


    Even the way he relates to Jo Lynn's two daughters is an interesting incite into the man. These are children he though could have been his at one point in time until it was discovered that beta women reproduce without sex. When he first comes back to town he tries to talk to them but doesn't get very far. By the end up the book he looks at these two girls in an almost paternal way and protects them when he discovers the truth about what happened to their mother.


    This was a interesting take on a coming of age story. It was the story of a young man who loses himself due to horrific events then years later has to go home again in order to find himself and become the man he needs to be.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 26, 2011

    Enjoyable

    Really did like reading this book. Felt good and intense thru most of it. It is great sci fi.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2012

    Excellent story

    Excellent story, great characters. I couln not put it down and found myself dreading the end, because I did not want it to be over.

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  • Posted March 24, 2011

    Great in theory but never develops

    I loved the idea but it was like the author read a brief explanation of quantum teleportation and genetics. there was the feeling of standing on the cliff but never reached the climax. it is a book i would rather borrow from the library then pay for. too bad for me.

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  • Posted May 15, 2010

    Highly enjoyable

    This was a very entertaining book with a clever plotline. I enjoyed it enough that I will seek out other works by this author. Give it a try!

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    Posted February 11, 2010

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 23 Customer Reviews
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