When six year-old Evan is kidnapped from his foster home, he is dragged into a world of shadows, monsters, and fire. At first, all Evan can think about is how to escape from his violent captor, a man who calls himself Rook; but Evan quickly learns that Rook is the only person with the power to protect him against a host of more horrible dangers. As Rook's true nature is revealed through mysterious, magical acts, Evan must wonder if Rook is indeed a person or rather a monster himself. Pursued across the wintery Southern Ontario countryside, with the baying of police dogs at their heels and deeper horrors lurking in the woods, the orphan boy and the roguish man begin to understand each other. Evan admits that he also has mysterious, magical powers, but doesn't know how to control them. Rook becomes more intrigued with the boy, and Evan, a child that has never felt at home, begins to believe in a place where he belongs—with Rook.
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About the Author
Stephen Michell is a freelance writer and editor based out of Toronto. His writing has appeared in The Good Men Project, as well as in the Exile Editions speculative fiction anthology Those Who Make Us, with his story "As Worlds Collide." He has also written many entertainment reviews for Step On Magazine. Only the Devil Is Here is his first novel.
What People are Saying About This
"This novel by Canadian author Steven Michell is a sparse allegorical tale about a six-year-old boy, Evan, who is violently snatched away from his foster parents by an unnaturally powerful man known only as 'Rook.' . . . How Rook acquired his superhuman strength and came to accept his unholy mission are just two of the many revelations Michell has in store for readers. Better still is the poignant father-son relationship that slowly builds between Rook and the orphaned Evan, who is also gifted with supernatural powers. A very promising debut from a new author to watch."
James Grainger, The Toronto Star
". . . Michell subtly upends expectations with a genuinely insightful examination of the essence of good and evil. By the novel’s end, Michell delivers an invigorating chase story, a suspenseful horror-action hybrid with memorably warped characters, and terrific B-movie cinematic flair."
"You think you know where Only the Devil Is Here is going . . . and then it goes somewhere else. Super-creepy northern gothic with terrific pace and scares."
Andrew Pyper, author of The Only Child and The Demonologist
“I burnt through Only the Devil Is Here in one fevered night. Stephen Michell is the real, raw deal: a fierce young writer with chops and heart.”
Nick Cutter, bestselling author of Little Heaven, The Troop , and The Acolyte
“ Only The Devil Is Here is a gripping, cinematic supernatural thriller, shot through with unsettling imagery and startling insights into the nature of good and evil. Suspenseful, scary, and unexpectedly moving, it’s a wild ride from start to finish.”
David Demchuk, Giller-longlisted author of The Bone Mother
“An outstanding literary horror debut, the lean, muscular prose of which barely contains the bursting, profoundly human heart of the novel. Only The Devil Is Here is the work of a natural storyteller at the start of what will doubtless be a very long, very promising career.”
Michael Rowe, Shirley Jackson Award-nominated author of Enter, Night, Wild Fell , and October
“With Only The Devil Is Here , Stephen Michell announces himself as a new and powerful presence on the literary horror scene. This is curt, violent, poetic storytelling, a Cormac McCarthyesque journey from darkness into even deeper darkness, suffused from moment one on with gothic nighttime awe and terror yet also shot through with the slimmest threads of hopeintimations of numinosity, if not of salvation. For all you probably won’t like where it takes you, it’s just so damn hard to turn away.”
Gemma Files, Shirley Jackson Award-winning author of Experimental Film
"The central relationship is engaging, the action relentless, the carnage gleeful. We care enough about Evan and Rook that the inevitable confrontation with their enemies is genuinely tense, and the final scene surprisingly moving. . . . This is an accomplished debut, and I think Stephen Michell is a name to watch."
The Ginger Nuts of Horror