The Devil's Court This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   This isn't a review of a CD or a video game. What this is is a review of the greatest book I have ever read. Until now I thought that Matt Christopher was the king of sports novels and was all I read. Until now! This book is an exceptional blend of fiction, basketball, and real characters, but wait there is more.

The Devil's Court's storyline is excellent because of the mix of the problems with the devil, the boy's homelife, and adds basketball to the already exciting plot. The novel consists of four parts that each have a different turning point. In the first, the boy, Joe, is forced to go to a private school because of the trouble he gets into when he is drinking at a friend's party. In the second part, Joe has trouble making the school's basketball team which he thought would be a breeze and ends up making a deal with the devil to do better and seemingly he does, or so he thinks. In the third part, he wins basketball games and thinks it is because of his pact with the devil, and then his father has a heart attack. I won't tell you what happens at the end of the fourth part so you will just have to pick it up to find out.

The most interesting parts of the novel are the characters and the use of basketball. The characters are not phony and perfect like in so many other books on the market today. All the characters have one weakness or another and problems at one time or another. The basketball scenes in this book are what made it for me, mainly because I am a basketball addict. With these elements put together, this book is a killer.

Another aspect that makes this book interesting is the fictional aspect with the novel revolving around the devil. It made the book interesting to have a bad guy other than the town bully or the opposing team like in many other stories.The devil always looking over Joe's shoulder turns this book from a sports story to a work of superb fiction.

All in all though, Deuker is no Matt Christopher. I am looking forward to Deuker's next novel which will hopefully be a step in Christopher's direction. I also hope that he can top this story. n




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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