Book Cover
Title The Devil in America
Series ---
Author Kai Ashante Wilson
Cover Art Richie Pope
Publisher Tor.com - 2014
First Printing Tor.com - 2014
Category Fantasy
Warnings None


Main Characters


Easter, Brother

Main Elements Demons, witches
Website Tor.com Originals




Scant years after the Civil War, a mysterious family confronts the legacy that has pursued them across centuries, out of slavery, and finally to the idyllic peace of the town of Rosetree. The shattering consequences of this confrontation echo backwards and forwards in time, even to the present day.




The devil is everywhere. In Africa he was a trickster but in America, he is something else...

As is often the case with me and short stories, I didn't quite get it. We have our little girl Easter, who has inherited the ability to talk to "angels", though it isn't clear if they are truly divine as opposed to demonic. Anyway, one day she does something that causes the angels to retract their protection over her father's farm and she is forced to make a deal with the devil, one she must pay many years later, in blood.

Also, her family claim to descend from a dog that took human form after falling in love with a human woman, but over the generations the ability to shapeshift has been lost, leaving them with the ability to take canine form once, and to remain that way forever after. A kind of cautionary tale about losing touch with your roots.

Taking place in late 1800's America, racism is rampant, and the devil's hand is everywhere.

Now I'm sure there are some metaphors in there about innocent farmers mistakenly shooting dogs and the KKK massacres, and Easter spontaneously coughing up a snake (literally out of nowhere, she was fine two minutes before, didn't get that at all), as well as references to modern day events, but I didn't quite see how everything tied in together so that left me more confused than anything, feeling like I missed some key important thing. At least a point other than "racism is evil" which is too blatant to be the only comment this story is trying to get across.




Posted: April 2017

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