Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Printer's Devil by Paul Bajoria

The Printer's Devil

Author: Paul Bajoria

Publisher: Little, Brown and Company

3½ out of 5 stars

Being a printer’s assistant is tough work. It is not a job for the fainthearted. You have to stay up all night finishing posters, causing you to be dreadfully tired the next day. You must run around delivering bills to numerous customers, and you always seem to have a smudge of ink on your face. Not to mention that your nickname is “The Printer’s Devil.” But there are benefits to being a printer’s assistant. It’s not that the pay is great or that you get to learn how to work a press. No, no, no. For Mog Winter, the highest form of payment in his job is information. And being the printer’s assistant that he is, Mog happens to get tons of it.

Mog Winter is only twelve years old. He lives in the bustling city of London, where things are always taking place. Whether it’s a poster for an upcoming play or an official notice, there is always something new to print. Mog is an orphan, who ran away from the orphanage at a young age. Soon though, he found work as an assistant to the printer, Mr. Cramplock. He gets one shilling a week and is allowed to sleep in a small room above the shop, as long as he works diligently and sufficiently. So that’s just what Mog has been doing for most of his life.

One sweltering night, Mog and Mr. Cramplock are both up late printing numerous notices. Mr. Cramplock is working on a playbill, while Mog is hard at work printing copies of an escaped convict notice. Cockburn is the convict’s name, and he looks like the most dangerous man that Mog has ever set his eyes upon. Mog is intrigued by this wanted poster. However, Mog’s curiosity gets the better of him. After a strange incident while delivering a bill, Mog decides to investigate a little further. But Mog has gone too far with the information he has found. In a series of whirlwind events, Mog ends up coming face-to-face with a real criminal, and at the same time discovers that an illegal plot is brewing. What is really going on with all of the criminals in London and this mysterious escaped convict? Will finding out the facts endanger Mog even more, or has he got nothing to lose? And what has Mog himself, and his unknown past, got to do with all of this? All is revealed in Paul Bajoria’s felonious adventure, The Printer’s Devil!

This book had me pointing fingers! As Mog gets more involved with this criminal scheme it’s hard to tell who really is at fault. The Printer’s Devil had new developments around every street corner, literally! This was a fast-paced crime novel that’s great for kids and young teens. I was drawn into this underground world where people were definitely not who they seemed. I was guessing at every chapter at what was really going on, and who the real culprit might be.

What I really liked about this story was the twists and turns that were constantly popping up. Right when Mog thought that he had a trail of clues to follow, they would lead him down some other path, sending him off course drastically. However, this constantly kept the story moving and had me questioning all of the facts so far.

One aspect of the fast-paced storyline that I did not like, was the fact that there were so many characters introduced in this one book. Many of them stuck with me the whole way as I read The Printer’s Devil, but a lot more slipped my mind as I turned each page of the book. Some characters were introduced and then forgotten about completely. But there did seem to be many characters that I met, and had suspicions about, yet I couldn’t remember who they were most of the time. This was mainly due to the fact that there were just so many characters that I couldn’t keep track of them all. This left me bemused and perplexed.

There was one surprise at the end though that was not confusing at all. I was so taken aback by the secret surprise that I couldn’t believe what I was reading at first. No way, I thought! But, alas, I cannot reveal what happens at the end as it explains too many of the events that took place. I certainly hope that there are many more surprises to come in the sequel, The God of Mischief.

In the end, The Printer’s Devil is a suspenseful and heart-pounding book that will be hard to forget. By the time Mog realizes that maybe he’s stuck his nose too far into other peoples’ business, it’s too late. Join Mog as he searches for evidence and tries to identify the real culprit in this vigorous tale, The Printer’s Devil!

-This is T.B. with Another Book Back on the Shelf…
Until Next Time, Keep Reading!

Check out The Printer's Devil website at http://www.paulbajoria.com/.
The Printer's Devil is available from Amazon here.

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