Disaster Boys and AI: My Devil in the Device Review

The twisty YA sci-fi Goddess in the Machine, about a girl frozen in time who wakes up a thousand years in the future to find herself being worshipped as a goddess, was one of my favorite reads last year. I've been waiting eagerly for the sequel ever since, and I was lucky enough to get a copy of book two from Penguin Teen!

I tried to temper my expectations for this sequel, since second books are hardly ever as good as the first. And ... well, I was shocked.

Book Title: Devil in the Device
Author: Lora Beth Johnson
Publisher/Year: Razorbill, 2021
Genre: Science Fiction
Number of Pages (According to Goodreads): 432
My Rating: 5 out of 5

Book description (from Goodreads):

The thrilling, much-anticipated conclusion to Lora Beth Johnson's Goddess in the Machine duology.

Zhade's power might be going to his head.

He's still getting used to wearing Maret's face, but he can't deny that the influence it affords him has its perks. But when the magic of Eerensed starts to turn deadly, Zhade must master the Crown if he's going to save his people, and Tsurina's destructive plans for Eerensed aren't going to make that easy. Worse, he's starting to see her point.

Meanwhile, Andra is in hiding.

Assumed dead by the people of Eerensed, she must stay underground if she's going to live long enough to build the rocket that will finally save the colonists from this dying planet. But when Andra hears voices urging her to destroy everything, she starts to dig deeper into her subconcious. What she finds leads her to question whether she's destined to be a savior after all.

Battling the dangerous forces buried within their minds, can Andra and Zhade truly decide their own fates? They must find a way to work together before two power-hungry leaders and a deadly swarm of rogue technology destroy humanity for good.

My Favorite Disaster Boy Is Back

Well y’all, I am officially eating my words about sequels never being as good, because this book was EVERY BIT AS AMAZING as the first — maybe even better! The new twists kept me turning the pages like lightning, and a couple of bombshell reveals totally blew my mind. And no spoilers, but if you like stories involving AI, you DEFINITELY need this one!

The characters continued to develop beautifully, but I will always have a soft spot for my favorite ambitious disaster boy Zhade, who was just as disastrous and brilliant as ever <3 Aside from him, I loved how Andra grew and learned new things about herself. And I even ended up with some sympathy for Zhade's scheming brother, Maret. Who'd have thought?

An Explosive Ending

The ending was beautiful and devastating and left me flattened in a puddle of my own emotions. I'm used to sci-fi and fantasy books where not everyone makes it out alive/in one piece, but DAMN this one got me! If you like having your emotions wrecked by a story, this duology should 100% be on your radar.

There was also an epilogue that maybe hinted at a spinoff novel or another sequel? I don't know, but I'm down for anything else set in this universe -- especially if Zhade and Andra are in it.

Trigger and Content Warnings for Devil in the Device

This book may not be for you if you're sensitive to discussions/depictions of violence, blood, loss of autonomy (mind control), child abuse/neglect, death of a loved one, grief, alcohol use, fatphobia (mentioned)

Final Thoughts

I think it's safe to say this book was an absolute bombshell! Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go pick the pieces of my heart off the floor and then make a bunch of content recommending this duology to everyone on the Internet.

Thanks to Penguin Teen for the ebook ARC and finished copy! Devil in the Device is now available everywhere, so check out the links below if you want to snag your own copy:

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1 comment

  1. Your writing style is engaging, and the content is spot on. Keep it up BizTrader