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The Devil's Only Friend

John Cleaver, Book 4
By: Dan Wells
Narrated by: Kirby Heyborne
Series: John Cleaver, Book 4
Length: 9 hrs and 28 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (281 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

John Wayne Cleaver hunts demons. They've killed his neighbors, his family, and the girl he loves, but in the end he's always won. Now he works for a secret government kill team, using his gift to hunt and kill as many monsters as he can...but the monsters have noticed, and the quiet game of cat and mouse is about to erupt into a full-scale supernatural war.

John doesn't want the life he's stuck with. He doesn't want the FBI bossing him around, he doesn't want his only friend imprisoned in a mental ward, and he doesn't want to face the terrifying cannibal who calls himself the Hunter. John doesn't want to kill people. But as the song says, you can't always get what you want. John has learned that the hard way; his clothes have the stains to prove it.

When John again faces evil, he'll know what he has to do.

©2015 Dan Wells (P)2015 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"Top-notch writing and well-structured suspense elements keep the story moving briskly." ( Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Crazed narrator for a psycho protagonist

Currently going through those episodes of Writing Excuses Season 10 which I missed, and I decided to read this book before diving into the Project in Depth episode focused on The Devil's Only Friend. I was happy to find a pitch perfect supernatural thriller that really tears into its characters. Plenty of tense scenes paired with fragile morality and broken lives. Now I'll be reading the first three books to get the lowdown on all that damage haunting the protagonist. Narrator for the audio was great - screamed and shouted and whimpered when the dialogue called for it!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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fantastic continuation of a great series

In a nutshell, this series is Dexter with an element of the supernatural. John Wayne Cleaver is a killer of nasties in the night, a dangerous psychopath with a valid moral prerogative and something of a hero complex.

He is NOT a sociopath, whatever he says. He's extremely high functioning on the Autism Spectrum Disorder, is highly obsessive compulsive, and has cripplingly low self-esteem. The fact that he calls himself a sociopath is a testament to how round his character is: he WANTS to be a sociopath, because its easier than caring. Instead, he cares deeply about people, can't seem to connect with them, feels crippling anxiety that only releases when he hurts something or sets something on fire, then tells himself he's a sociopath so he doesnt have to feel guilty about wanting to hurt people.

If you're sick of boring heroes, you might want to check it out. He's a real nut job, but surprisingly relatable.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Fantastic Book!

Dan Wells does a fantastic job of capturing the human condition, through the eyes of a sociopath, demons, and humans. All the joys and sorrows. All of this buried in a psychological mystery and thriller. Awesome!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great start to a second trilogy

What did you love best about The Devil's Only Friend?

John is one of my favorite fictional characters of all time. His inner thoughts both terrify and entertain me.

What other book might you compare The Devil's Only Friend to and why?

Dexter for the serial killer with a conscious aspect. The Steelheart series by Brandon Sanderson for the team aspect of taking down supernatural forces.

What about Kirby Heyborne’s performance did you like?

His reading of John is so spot on. The first books narrator is awful. The second I heard Kirby's voice I knew they had nailed it.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

For sure! It is entertaining throughout and the mystery will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Any additional comments?

I hope the producers of the audiobooks make a decision to go back and re-record the first book with Kirby as the narrator. That first book can be a chore to listen to because of how awful the narration was done.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Jumped the shark; the first three are really good, though.

The first three of these books (especially the first) had me wanting to listen straight through without a break, buying one after the other, & are even a little fun/humorous, though in a black, black humor type of way. The first has an interesting, unexpected twist that gets the whole series rolling & kept me listening even though this is not normally my kind of book. I highly recommend them.

This fourth in the series, however, is a brick wall the rest of the series can’t stop in time for. It is as if the author suddenly saw himself as a Serious Writer (say that to yourself in a deep, movie announcer voice...), & so to fulfill that conceit he decided he needed to suck any playfulness or hint of humor from Number Four. No explanation how we got from book three to book four, moral pronouncements, drudgery, more moral pronouncements, roll your eyes scenes, drudgery, a jerky supporting cast, & one final moral pronouncement. Do yourself a favor & skip this.

(The narrator is excellent, & I feel sorry that his name had to be connected to this book; I hope he was paid VERY well.)

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great

I love the series. When I'm on the go I plug in the AUX in my car and go ahead and listen. The narrator does such a great job at making you feel like you're right there with the characters. 10/10

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Well done, Mr Wells!

If I had to say something bad about this book, it would be the fact that John had little to live for making the dramatic moments less climactic. having said that, the story was rich with new characters, new challenges, and new Demons! Not to mention a complex plot with 'clever' ways to figure out puzzles! One heck of a book!

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Flat Narrator

The main character is a psychopath, but did the narrator have to sound so monotone? He had range, as evidence by the shouty bits at the end.

I'm not sure if it was the narrator AND the storyline, but I struggled to finish this one.

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John Cleaver finds his voice

The previous John Cleaver books were great, and we'll worth reading. This Join Cleaver book was phenomenal: something an order of magnitude beyond the earlier stories. If this is evidence of Dan Wells growth as an author, I can only say that the next is yet to come.

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Wow Great fourth book in wonderful series of book

Any additional comments?

If you have not read the three books in the series before,Do So Now!No point of going any farther if you have not.It is with profound and ever lasting thankfulness that this fourth book was written.This book is about a Anti hero serial killer.but to tell anymore just would give it all away.It may sound Dexterish.But it has alot more going for it than that.Thank you Dan Wells for at least one more romp in your demented world.