Plot/Idea: The pace is breathless from the first pages and builds to an agonizing crescendo, culminating in an ending that leaves an opening for future books in the series. Readers will be swept into the story’s history, a history that ripples with beauty, fear, and decay, and the plot’s twists are so skillfully delivered that readers will sense them before they haunt the pages.
Prose: Grindle is a gifted storyteller, evoking the visceral spirit of the novel’s setting and painting stark images with lyrical brushstrokes. The cadence changes when Grindle switches perspectives, but the transitions are executed almost flawlessly.
Originality: The Devil’s Glove is unique in the undercurrent of fear entwined with an unexpected devotion that runs through the novel. Grindle brings that unnatural attachment to a head by the end of the story, setting the stage for more edginess in future installments.
Character/Execution: Grindle’s characters leap off the page, made surprisingly relatable despite the novel’s time period. Abigail is both childlike and unnerving, a perfect counter to Resolve’s naivete and eventual awakening. Supporting characters fit their roles neatly, in perfect tempo to the story’s rhythm.
Blurb: A skillfully haunted tale illuminating the dark, and noble, side of humanity in the most unexpected ways.
Date Submitted: April 18, 2023
But, set a half decade before nearby Salem’s infamous trials, Grindle’s richly told tale doesn’t hold to the familiar beats of witch-hunt panic. Even as her mother explains to the town that a mysterious death was caused by natural poison rather than witchery, Resolve herself suspects a ten-year-old girl, Abigail, of being a changeling or demon. The suspense is multi-layered and provocative as Grindle deftly details the settlers’ fraught interactions with multiple tribes, their concerns that reports of potential deviltry might draw the attention of Boston’s brimstone-preaching Mathers, the question of how to interrogate a young girl, and the thrill and terror of civilization taking root among wild woods and coast.
Adding to the pervasive uncertainty is readers’ awareness of the superstitious injustice looming in the region’s near future, and the teasing possibility that, in spite of our rational understanding of history, something beyond our mortal realm just might actually be preying on Abigail—and others, too—all as Resolve and her mother themselves face the suspicions of the settlers. Powered by telling historical detail, vivid visions, and an urgent sense of empathy for its characters, The Devil’s Glove will dazzle readers who appreciate immersive, lyric historical fiction open to possibilities.
Takeaway: Gripping historical novel in the years before Salem’s witch trials.
Comparable Titles: Stacey Halls’s The Familiars, Alexis Henderson’s The Year of the Witching.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A