Author: S.F. Henson
Publication Date: September 5, 2017
Nate was eight the first time he stabbed someone; he was eleven when he earned his red laces—a prize for spilling blood for “the cause.” And he was fourteen when he murdered his father (and the leader of The Fort, a notorious white supremacist compound) in self-defense, landing in a treatment center while the state searched for his next of kin. Now, in the custody of an uncle he never knew existed, who wants nothing to do with him, Nate just wants to disappear.
Then he meets Brandon, a person The Fort conditioned Nate to despise on sight. But Brandon’s also the first person to treat him like a human instead of a monster. Brandon could never understand Nate’s dark past, so Nate keeps quiet. And it works for a while. But all too soon, Nate’s worlds crash together, and he must decide between his own survival and standing for what’s right, even if it isn’t easy. Even if society will never be able to forgive him for his sins.
Devils Within is my kind of book; potentially controversial and mind-bending. I enjoyed it in large part because the main character isn’t safely sympathetic, his problems superficial. No, our protagonist, Nathaniel, just got out of the KKK like hate cult he had been raised in by murdering his father, the leader. Sound a bit far fetched? This book is loosely based on very true, very messed up events. More on that later.
Devils Within follows Nate as he struggles to adjust to a world with diversity and little violence. He’s a good guy, and the author tries very hard to balance out his unintentionally racist remarks with sympathy and understanding. After all, how would Nate know the proper word to call someone of Asian decent in a creepy hate cult? He wouldn’t! And here in lies the part of this book that bothered me.
The author wasn’t daring enough.
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