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Pillows & Blankets

I'm a social geography student from Paris, and a contributor for a new blog dedicated to pop culture & intersectional feminism called Critical Writ. I'm particularly interested in lesbian fiction of every genre.


I have a preference for romance & Fantasy/sci-fi, and will pay a lot of attention to gender roles, healthy/unhealthy relationships and consent in stories I read.


Goodreads Account



The Devil You Know

The Devil You Know - Marie Castle Wow, what a disappointing sequel. All my fears from the first book came true : none of the plot holes from the first book are answered (yet), none of those useless secondary characters that clog the narrative so much are gone, we're treated to even more unnecessary characters and skippable side-plots while our quarter-witch, quarter-demon, quarter-solenoidwhatever, quarter guardian hero stumbles around without aim.

I'm disappointed that Jacqueline and Catherine's romance still hasn't developed further— the weight of the secrets they keep makes them shuffle awkwardly in an IMPRESSIVE rendition of a terrible couple with so little communication it's bound to die. What little chemistry they had in the first book seems extinguished as the extent of their scenes together is them holding hands and wondering what the hell the other is hiding. This could have been resolved a book ago but we're still sitting on it and it's getting OLD.

The plot of this book... Well, I couldn't care less about it. It all relies on stealing some dude's body and there is absolutely no stake in this— and by the half of the book, Cate still hasn't done anything about it (but then again for a private eye she doesn't do anything of the sort). More problems come this way : some random enemy will appear 30 second but will be dealt with next book, the actual villain dies at the end of the first half, and demon-dad sends his mom make the acquaintance. We're also treated to some uninteresting side-plot set in 1722, which could happily have been a free #1,5 short story considering how skippable it was.

What little plot there is is so messy I still don't understand what the hell happens, it's so weak the emotional high point will be some weird disgusting magic-rape (which we totally could have done without, really, but it's not like this book had stellar gender politics) and then, nothing being able to measure to that scene, will deflate into nothingness. You'll spend the remainder of the book waiting for something to happen and SURPRISE nothing will (just a small 15-page adrenaline spike at some point).

Nothing makes sense. The first third of the book features Cate stumbling here and there without us understanding why. Why do people speak only in cryptic nonsensical stuff? Why do all the characters have the same personality, or none? Every time we feel like we're going to get answers, something happens and the plot will skip to something else. After half a book of the treatment, you're sitting there shaking in despair, wondering WHEN WILL SOMETHING HAPPEN? When will the narrative make sense? Why are random deus ex machinas the only driving (and I should really say crawling) force of the plot?

I really wish the author had made her characters a little more complex— the big problem with the first book being that there are so many side characters that they all look the same iteration of funny badass person cardboard cutouts. Nothing is expanded on, and every thing seems so shallow— yet the story has such potential you know? I can see how it would be good and complex and pretty cool. If you could take the first and second book, remove all the filling, make sense of whatever is left, and make a whole separate book with it. As it stands, I'd be surprised this book was edited.

Also I'm still trying to understand whether Cate has no self awareness and thus doesn't understand that the woman in the mirror is her of if said woman is actually a separate entity.