The Devil's Cradle by Kate Stewart

(No Series)

Determined to bear a child of her own, Dorothy Kite makes a pact with the devil, and soon the forces of evil are hovering over New York, waiting for their new arrival and their coming reign of terror.

A young woman, Dorothy Kite, has led a pretty depressing life. After her mother's death (who she has taken care of throughout her ill days), she realizes she is now middle-aged, completely alone, and nearly barren. Suddenly desperate for a child of her own before it's too late, she and a friend embark upon a journey to give her own. After a defeating trip to the fertility clinic, she is offered what she sees to be her only chance.

A mysterious man approaches her and, despite the feeble warnings of her friend, Dorothy soon signs an ominous contract. The deal is simple. She is now pregnant and in nine months will deliver twins, in the choice of her gender, but the catch is she must give one of them up to the man who has given her this chance. On this eventful night, when faced when the choice, she figures one child is better than one.

Soon, however, mysterious things start unfolding and through research she discovers this was the worst mistake of her life. She has literally signed one of her children over to a man working for the dark forces, and now must work like mad trying to figure out how to stop a supernatural legacy that has continued for centuries.

The plot plays out kind of like a fairy tale would, filled with a strange quality in a story we've all heard about in myths and old wife's tales. The atmosphere in one way comes across as whimsical and dreamy, while being overshadowed by depressing realism and consistent dread. It sure is fun though. :)

Dorothy Kite started off a bit stiff and two- dimensional but quickly imprinted herself into my psyche. She gets to be someone real, someone I cared about, someone I was rooting for. All characters are strongly written and only there if the plot needs them to be. There's not a whole bag full of people to keep up with.

Action starts pretty much at the beginning but everything is done is relatively slow method due to the authors unique style. Kate Stewart's prose is a little old fashioned. In a way it's like novels of an earlier time, but easy to digest like the novel's more modern kin. In short, sophisticated but not confusing.

The Devil's Cradle was full of creepy scenarios. I especially loved how the book started, and ended. With a pre-word concerning the devil himself, a type of narration, not told through the eyes of any of the characters. These words were chilling, particularly at the end, because it's so true. Even if you're not one who believes in Satan and all the deep, dark stuff, one cannot deny the truth written about human nature and its destructive tendencies. In a way, the book wraps up not only as a lesson, but as a warning that deserves to be well noted.

While The Devil's Cradle does have it's faults (for one thing the font is printed a bit small), this can be overlooked. A treat for sure, people fascinated by the occult or horror in general will eat this one up.