Devil’s Paw is the fourth book in the Imp series by Debra Dunbar, and it’s both a fantastic read and a frustrating one as well. It builds on previous stories and makes Sam’s growth as the Iblis a major part of the plot. Angel Gregory shows up with another drained demon, and with more victims piled up, including an angel. Sam’s got her hands full trying to solve this mystery while at the same time dealing with problems with Wyatt’s “half-sister” Amber. Sam has also managed to swing a deal with the elves to find Wyatt’s biological sister, Nyalla, and free her from a life of slavery in Hel. On top of all this, she’s still got a stack of paperwork to fill out over the humans she’s killed in the past.
Most of these subplots fall by the wayside without resolution because the mystery of who is draining demons and angels must be solved before someone tries to frame Sam as the culprit. (These problems are actually covered in spin-off books in the series, but I haven’t read those yet, only the blurbs.) Sam and Gregory go globe hopping to track down a suspect, and while Gregory is satisfied to call it a closed case, Sam goes off on her own to keep looking for the real mastermind behind this plot.
This is where things get frustrating because there’s a recurring trait in that Sam never really takes anything seriously until she’s half dead. It’s all fun and games until someone’s soul is disintegrating, you know? That’s been the case several times before, but this time around, the way Sam stumbles into this mess and almost gets herself killed had me groaning, “how do you even survive a week?”
The book concludes with something of a cliffhanger, and yeah, I’m very much invested in seeing what happens next. But I sometimes wish Sam’s slow growth would eventually include an improved survival instinct.
Anywho, I give Devil’s Paw 4 stars, and I’m looking forward to Imp Forsaken.