Author: Adrian McKinty
Publisher: Amulet Books
3½ out of 5 stars
A guttural scream sliced through the frigid evening air, waking you with a start. What could that have been? Who would be up in the middle of the night? You tiptoe quietly to your bedroom window and peek through the blinds. Scanning the forest behind your house you think you see a glimpse of someone, but you can’t be sure. Setting your worries aside you decide to just go back to sleep and forget about it. But you won’t be able to forget it anytime soon, because in the morning you find out just what made that scream last night. It was a cat. The second in a row that was brutally murdered. This has to stop, and soon…
Danny Lopez is the new kid in town. After moving from Las Vegas to Colorado because of his mother’s job, he has to try and fit into this sleepy little town. But Danny doesn’t know if that’s possible with all of the strange things that set Colorado Springs apart. For one, his new neighbor, Tony, thinks that it’s okay for her to just barge into his bedroom unannounced. Second, his new school doesn’t allow any of the students to talk, and they must read from scripts. Oh, and don’t forget the cat murders.
Local cats in the neighborhood have been brutally murdered and left for the public to behold. The attacks have been steadily increasing and have become more and more horrific. The killer is getting bold, and Danny takes it into to his own hands to find out who the serial killer is, before his own cat, Jeff, falls victim to the murderer. Along with Danny’s new group of friends, the teens set off on a search for the killer.
But capturing the culprit, let alone finding him, is going to be much harder than any of them had thought. The few clues that are left behind are sparse and misleading. Are Danny and his friends pursuing the wrong villain? Will they be able to stop the murderer before greater things start to take place in this quiet town? All is revealed in Adrian McKinty’s eerie tale of one boy’s journey to unlock a town’s secrets in, Deviant!
Deviant is a read that had me guessing and pointing fingers in an effort to stop the killer. I was constantly led on a trial of false clues as I tried to piece together the evidence with Danny and his friends. Filled with the nostalgic feel of that of a small town, and mixed with some strange and out-of-place occurrences, Deviant is one unique read. I received Deviant from NetGalley*, and I recommend it for older teens as some of the descriptions can be a bit gruesome and intense.
There was such an obscure mix of elements that were thrown into Deviant that really made it stand out. Things such as Danny’s school, which required conformity, the grisly murders, and overall oddness that seemed to blanket the town made for some interesting incidents. However, all of these gave me a not-so-average reading experience and kept me hooked on Deviant. I just had to keep reading to see what Adrian McKinty would throw in next. Nothing was ever as it seemed, and one had to always watch their back.
This book can get slightly gruesome at times when the murders are described. Overall though, Deviant had a constant fear-factor that was always there in the back of my mind. The oddness of Danny’s situation freaked me out, especially when I got a chance to read the anonymous letters. Throughout the book there were periodic letters that were written to Danny’s neighbor, Tony. However, the letters focus on quite bizarre topics, and it was hard to decipher who the writer was. The letters did a thorough job of creeping me out, as did the chapters that were told from the viewpoint of the killer.
While the jumble of strange and quirky characters and settings made Deviant an enjoyable read, I would have liked to have seen things just be explained a bit more in-depth. The storyline seemed to be all over the place at times, deeply confusing me with where the story was going. Hopefully if there’s a sequel to Deviant then things will be explained more and I’ll be able to learn more about what’s really going on.
Deviant is a chilling read with twists and turns that I never saw coming. With a strange mix of everything, this book will surely keep you on your toes. Join Danny as he journeys to reveal the killer, before it’s too late in, Deviant!
-This is T.B. with Another Book back on the Shelf…
Until Next Time, Keep Reading!
Check out Adrian McKinty's blog at www.adrianmckinty.blogspot.com.