Monday, September 19, 2016

Tag Team Review - The Jersey Devil

I want to welcome everyone to my very first Tag Team Review.  When my friend Stormi realized we were both planning to read Hunter Shea's "The Jersey Devil" she suggested we create this new feature for our blogs.  Stormi got the idea from Laura from FUONLYKNEW and Sherry at Fundinmental who graciously allowed us to create out own tag as well.  Thanks guys!  So once you see what I thought of "The Jersey Devil" be sure to check out Stormi's post at Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh My! and see what she thought too.  It will be fun to see if we share some of the same thoughts or if we totally disagreed.

TITLE: The Jersey Devil
AUTHOR: Hunter Shea
PUBLISHING DATE: August 30, 2016

Everyone knows the legend of the Jersey Devil. Some believe it is an abomination of nature, a hybrid winged beast from hell that stalks the Pine Barrens of southern New Jersey searching for prey. Others believe it is a hoax, a campfire story designed to scare children. But one man knows the truth...

Sixty years ago, Boompa Willet came face to face with the Devil—and lived to tell the tale. Now, the creature’s stomping grounds are alive once again with strange sightings, disappearances, and worse. After all these years, Boompa must return to the Barrens, not to prove the legend is real but to wipe it off the face of the earth...

It’ll take more than just courage to defeat the Devil. It will take four generations of the Willet clan, a lifetime of survivalist training, and all the firepower they can carry. But timing is critical. A summer music festival has attracted crowds of teenagers. The woods are filled with tender young prey. But this time, the Devil is not alone. The evil has grown into an unholy horde of mutant monstrosities. And hell has come home to New Jersey...

All the time I was reading "The Jersey Devil" I couldn't help but feel I was caught up in the middle of a B-horror film (only better) and it was a fun feeling. "The Jersey Devil" tells the story of the Willet family, who has been obsessed with the Devil for years and for good reason. The grandfather, Sam, also known as Boompa (awesome grandpa-nickname by the way) and his family run a rural farm. When individuals start reporting sightings of perhaps the Devil himself in and around the Pine Barrens of New Jersey, Sam and his family decide to head out in hopes of putting an end to the Jersey Devil once and for all. Also in tow is Norm, a famous monster hunter, who has known Sam for years and who is anxious to find out more about the Willet family's desire to track down and kill this elusive entity, while perhaps solidifying his name within the monster hunting community.

Shea has packed a lot of action into this book and it is pretty much non-stop from the start. He also does a great job of combing history with present time events while disclosing the reasons the Willet family has spent much of their spare time tracking down an urban legend. This is not a book for the faint at heart as there is lots of death, blood and gore but if you read a lot of horror, I doubt that will deter you. Even though on the outside this book appears to be a straight up gore-fest creature feature, what really makes it click for me is the characters. I LOVED Boompa! He was an sometimes-grumpy old man, but the love he has for his family is intense. I spent a lot of the book afraid he was going to have a heart attack, and EVERYONE kept asking him to slow down but Boompa is an extremely driven individual. I must admit, he reminds me a lot of my Grandpa, who is even older than Boompa, and you can't convince him to slow down either so I could definitely relate to the Willets. I also enjoyed April, Boompa's granddaughter, who sounds like someone I might enjoy hanging around with during my down time.

Shea's "The Jersey Devil" isn't perfect. I believe some people will and actually have found it to be in poor taste and extremely crude. And that's OK, everyone is entitled to their own opinions and I respect them all. However, I didn't take read too seriously and if you love campy, action-packed creature books/movies, then you might what to give this quick fast-paced book a try. I see myself checking out more of Shea's works in the future.



  1. Great review! I was so curious to see what you thought of this one! I am glad we both enjoyed it. I thought it would make a good syfy creature I can see how some might think it was crude but well it's :) I loved Sam too!


  2. Hi Barb. Laura from fuonlyknew here. Sure wish we'd had time to all four of us link up. You gotta watch out for Hunter. He pulls no punches. LOL Montauk Monster was a fun one also. I really enjoyed The Jersey Devil. I do love horror and creatures.

  3. Thank you so much for the wonderful review! Good to see there are folks out there who appreciate a fun monster novel. :) Keep up the great work.

  4. Ohh great review! This is actually the first time I heard about this book and now I really want too check it out because I am from NJ and I have heard about this myth before when I was a kid. Thank you for the awesome post Barb.

  5. This sounds like one I would really like. I don't mind campy horror movies so I probably would enjoy it. Fantastic review!