Posted in Netgalley, Reviews

Devil’s Call – J. Danielle Dorn || Netgalley REVIEW

I have been trying to reconcile my relationship with Netgalley (see my post about this HERE) recently and have been carefully searching books to request that I won’t DNF. This book was under horror (my favorite genre duh), about witches, and was a western setting so I was immediately intrigued. Did I enjoy it? Let’s find out!


On a dark night in the winter of 1859, three men entered the home of Dr. Matthew Callahan and shot him dead in front of his pregnant wife. Unfortunately for them, his wife, Li Lian, hails from a long line of women gifted in the dark arts–the witches of the McPherson clan.
This diary, written to the child she carries, records her quest from the Nebraska Territory to Louisiana to the frozen shore of Lake Superior, to bring justice to the monsters responsible for shooting her husband in the back. Our long-rifled witch will stop at nothing​–​and risk everything​–​in her showdown with evil. — Goodreads

Rating – PG-13 (Some gore, some violence, some language)

Publication date – 6 / 18 / 17

The Good :

  • The witch aspect was interesting and since I don’t read much of this specific genre it was all pretty unique to me.
  • Since there are witches, I felt like the ways that the main characters got where they were going in a really interesting way.
  • I was afraid that the magic would feel like a cop out for the characters to get out of sticky situations, but these witches had a specific set of rules that prevented them of really using their magic to stay out of trouble.

The Meh :

  • So, one of the main reasons I picked up this book was the western setting to fill a hole while I’m not reading The Dark Tower series. If the author of this book hadn’t also read The Dark Tower series, I’ll drop dead because the similarities were so blatantly obvious. The main antagonist was called THE MAN IN BLACK FOR PETE’S SAKE! It was so distracting.
  • This book was marketed to me as a horror novel, but it was actually more along the lines of a fantasy or maybe even magical realism. This wasn’t a bad thing, but it also was pretty disappointing to me.
  • This book was written in letter format and sometimes I really like that format, but in this case it got really jumbled and confusing for me.
  • I only connected with one or two of the characters throughout the whole book which is always disappointing.

The Bad :

  • The beginning was SO slow. If you are friends with me on Goodreads you will have seen that I was bored through like 50% of this book and if I wasn’t so obsessed with not DNFing another Netgalley book, I would have put it down.
  • I honestly don’t even remember what happened at the end of the book and I just finished it like less than a week ago.
  • The main character is pregnant when she gets thrust into her journey and honestly pregnant main characters are starting to get old to me. In 2017 I have now read THREE books (this, Song of Susannah, and Bird Box) with this plot and it bothers me because I feel like it makes the climax so predictable.

  • STORY – 3/5 (I had a really hard time following the lore and it reminded me too much of The Gunslinger- Stephen King)
  • CHARACTERS – 3.5/5 (I did really like the main character and the man she traveled with. Other than them I had a hard time connecting with the characters)
  • WRITING – 3.5/5 (Was in a letter format but sometimes it became jumbled and confusing)
  • UNIQUENESS – 3.5/5 (pretty unique aside from the fact that it reminded me of The Gunslinger)



What’s your favorite novel about witches? I’d love to know!

Thanks for reading!


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Check out my last post on my review of The Vegetarian – Han Kang HERE!



Just a college student with an unnatural love for books and too many thoughts to keep to herself.

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