Young Adult - Paranormal
406 Pages
Reviewed on 05/09/2013
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Devon is a writer in the Durham, North Carolina area. She is originally from metro Detroit, Michigan. She is a mommy, a wife, a hobby yogi, photographer, painter, and foodie. She has been writing seriously since her very earliest brushes with literature, and has published articles, poems, and photography in literary journals and magazines. She received a bachelors in philosophy and was an assistant editor and freelance editor for 10 years, during which she wrote copy for and contributed to various research materials. She has been blogging since 2008, first with The Green Notebook and then with RealisticChef. She launched into her lifelong dream–to be a career novelist–with the independent release of her first novel, Benevolent, and is hard at work every day writing your next favorite novel, The Family Elephant's Jewels.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Christine Nguyen for Readers' Favorite

"Benevolent" is a story about the parallel lives of fraternal twins, Gaby and Annie, and their friends Melodie and Mikhail. There is great mystery and magic surrounding them as they grow into adulthood hearing wonderful, fantastical tales of The Queen, The Angel, and Jaden the Great. Storytellers John and Mercedes continue to spread the stories as the gift is passed down from generations. No one knows where fact and fiction begin as the story unfolds and the magic continues to grow throughout the story. Twins Gaby and Annie have an odd bond as they suffer multiple accidents simultaneously that will forever change their lives and no one knows why their destinies and fate are so linked. Mikhail has to gain his courage to declare his love for Gaby through years of unrequited love as their lives are somehow intertwined as Gaby’s and Annie’s, but Gaby is hell-bent on pursuing her ideals of wanting to save the world. Enter this quirky wonderful world that the author creates to enchant you!

Flaherty spins a mysterious tale of beauty and magic. Her characters are infused with lovable qualities and personalities that are truly endearing. Each of her characters burrows deep within your heart and stays there. She weaves layers and layers of parallel characters, plots, and subplots with great mastery that lures the readers in from the very beginning and captures their interest and heart throughout the book. Magic is infused throughout the whole book, drawing you into the mystery of The Queen and The Angel. Eventually, the reader will wonder why they never heard about these two mythical legends before and why their story was never told and brought to light before. This book will have you reading it throughout the night!

Natasha Jackson

So many coming of age tales deal with heavy material and life lessons learned, but Devon Trevarrow Flaherty’ "Benevolent" is, more than anything, a fun read. We meet Gaby LeFevre and her rag-tag crew which includes Mikhail, twin sister Annie, Mel and Afentra and follow them through a maze of adventures from childhood through young adulthood. Gaby is great. Instead of the popular mean girl every girl thinks they want to be, she is the kind and charitable girl always looking to do a good deed. And because of that, we love Gaby even more. Gaby’s life, as well as that of her friends, is truly an adventure from beginning to end. While most of us think of our lives as mundane, looking through the eyes of Gaby and Mikhail and even Afentra, we can all see how, if we live in the moment, there is truly no such thing as ‘mundane’. From Michigan to Israel and back again, this is a journey you won’t soon forget.

What is more is that this a wonderfully written story in which both adults and teens can find comfort. It is a coming of age story that truly shows characters who come of age due to life instead of due to a hard life. There are accidents, plenty of them, but there is also love and life and drama and everything that makes a truly fulfilling life. Flaherty does a fantastic job of weaving the tales together and keeping us informed on the lives of Gaby’s friends and enemies. By the end you won’t know who the better storyteller is; John and Mercedes or Flaherty! A must-read for anyone who loves a solid coming of age tale packed with emotion and life.

Kathryn Bennett

"Benevolent" by Devon Trevarrow Flaherty will draw you into its story and at times make you think it is almost a comedy of errors. Gaby LeFevre is a suburban Midwestern girl with a special spark to her. She is the center of the story and we follow her through the 80's and 90's as she shows us her intense way for life and the disaster that she runs into often. Gaby is, however, not the only character there is to pay attention to, as there are a wide variety of legendary and magical characters that draw you in.

Flaherty has created a world that is both real and magical and it is that combination of things that will draw you in. I will admit that I was not fully drawn in and committed to this book from the first pages, but after the first chapter I really started to get a feel for the format and the characters came to life for me. The magic part is perfectly drawn and it was for me the most compelling part of the book. Not that I did not enjoy Gaby and the larger cast of characters with her. But the way Flaherty creates and uses magic to enhance the overall story was spell-binding. If you like books with a large cast that integrate well you will enjoy "Benevolent" and its characters like Gaby, The Angel, and Jaden, to name just a few. It is a wonderland of creative prose that will keep your imagination active.