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Reviewed by Susan Sewell for Readers' Favorite
When a young man takes his injured friend's place in his band, he gets caught in a mad world of murder, magic, mythology, and time travel in the urban fantasy novel, The Devil Pulls the Strings by J. W. Zarek. Boone Daniels inadvertently injures his friend Flynn when someone blows an air horn during a jousting contest at the Renaissance Faire. Due to Flynn's injuries, Boone agrees to stand in for him in his band, The Village Idiots. The gig takes place in NYC, and Flynn insists that Boone go ahead of the band and meet their contact, Professor Stone. When Boone arrives as instructed, a piano and a dead body falling from the balcony above him nearly crushes him. Things get worse when two thugs start shooting. While fleeing the bullets, Boone's life takes a drastic turn when floating taxis, disappearing doors, and altering realities save his life. Why are they chasing Boone? What do they want?
The Devil Pulls the Strings by J. W. Zarek is a brilliant urban fantasy enhanced with magical beings and time travel. It has a dramatic storyline with an action-filled plot, and I enjoyed every element of the story. The storyworld's imagery is incredible, transporting the reader between modern-day New York City to nineteenth-century Italy. A combination of the television series Warehouse 13, The Librarians, and The Magicians, the storyline flows swiftly and is spellbinding from the first page until the last. The story ends on the ideal place to segue into a sequel and is the perfect beginning for a sensational series. It is an engaging and exciting urban fantasy that promises to thrill everyone from twelve to a hundred.