Book Review: Devil's Night Series by Penelope Douglas (Spoilers) (2024)

Introducing one of the best friend groups in the history of fiction.

Michael, Kai, Damon, and Will. The Four Horsem*n of Thunderbay. The golden boys.

This series became an instant obsession for me. Stand alone books that seamlessly weave together to form an overarching plot are an insta-buy for me. Brownie points if they happen to be a sexy friend group of boys dealing with individual trauma and battling inner demons.

This series isn't for everyone so please check TWs before buying. Also, minor SPOILERS ahead.

Make sure to vote in the poll at the bottom of this post!

Book 1

Corrupt by Penelope Douglas

Book Review: Devil's Night Series by Penelope Douglas (Spoilers) (1)

Erika

I was told that dreams were our heart's desires. My nightmares, however, became my obsession.

His name is Michael Crist. My boyfriend's older brother is like that scary movie that you peek through your hand to watch. He's handsome, strong, and completely terrifying. The star of his college's basketball team and now gone pro, he's more concerned with the dirt on his shoe than me.

But I noticed him.

I saw him. I heard him. The things that he did, and the deeds that he hid...

For years, I bit my nails, unable to look away. Now, I've graduated high school and moved on to college, but I haven't stopped watching Michael.

He's bad, and the dirt I've seen isn't content to stay in my head anymore.

Because he's finally noticed me.

Michael

Her name is Erika Fane, but everyone calls her Rika.

My brother's girlfriend grew up hanging around my house and is always at our dinner table. She looks down when I enter a room and stills when I am close. I can always feel the fear rolling off of her, and while I haven't had her body, I know that I have her mind. That's all I really want anyway.

Until my brother leaves for the military, and I find Rika alone at college. In my city. Unprotected.

The opportunity is too good to be true, as well as the timing.

Because you see, three years ago she put a few of my high school friends in prison, and now they're out.

We've waited. We've been patient. And now every last one of her nightmares will come true.

Corrupt lays the foundation for the entire series. We get introduced to the four horsem*n of thunder bay and why they are dead set on hunting down Erika Fane. Probably my least favorite of the series simply because Michael and Rika pale in comparison to the other couples. I will say though however, Rika grows on me throughout the duration of the series. "And from Michael—as well as Damon, Will, and Kai—I learned to breathe fire. I learned to walk as if the path were carved for me and me alone, and to treat the world as if it should know I was coming." Rika is a badass.

"Three years ago, curious little Erika Fane wanted to play with the boys, so we indulged her, and she betrayed us. There was no way we’d forget. Once restitution was paid, my friends could have peace." This quote gave me chills. I still can't quite believe Rika took back Micheal after all the things he did to her but they're toxic so it makes sense.

“You’re here, because you’re like me, Rika. You’re here, because there are enough people who try to tell us what to do and try to keep us in a box.”

3 words.

Steam. Room. Scene.

Book 2

Hideaway by Penelope Douglas

Book Review: Devil's Night Series by Penelope Douglas (Spoilers) (2)

BANKS

Buried in the shadows of the city, there’s a hotel called The Pope. Ailing, empty, and dark, it sits abandoned and surrounded by a forgotten mystery.

But you think it’s true, don’t you, Kai Mori? The story about the hidden twelfth floor. The mystery of the dark guest who never checked in and never checks out. You think I can help you find that secret hideaway and get to him, don’t you?

You and your friends can try to scare me. You can try to push me. Because even though I struggle to hide everything I feel when you look at me—and have ever since I was a girl—I think maybe what you seek is so much closer than you’ll ever realize.

I will never betray him.

So sit tight.

On Devil’s Night, the hunt will be coming to you.

KAI

You have no idea what I seek, Little One. You don’t know what I had to become to survive three years in prison for a crime I would gladly commit again.

No one can know what I’ve turned into.

I want that hotel, I want to find him, and I want this over.

I want my life back.

But the more I’m around you, the more I realize this new me is exactly who I was meant to be.

So come on, kid. Don’t chicken out. My house is on the hill. So many ways in, and good luck finding your way out.

I’ve seen your hideaway. Time to see mine.

Hideaway was so much better than Corrupt. We get to see Kai's and Bank's POV which was hella more interesting than Rika and Micheal. I loved Kai and Bank's backstory and how much Kai and Banks better each other. They are my 3rd favorite couple but that's not to say I still don't love them.

I really enjoyed seeing the boys (minus Damon) dynamic now with the acceptance of Rika and how it changes Michael. I liked seeing Kai vulnerable around Banks and Banks realizing how much of a bad ass she is after being hidden for so many years.

“Keep looking at me like that,” Kai spoke up, “and we’re going to have problems.”

At this point in the series, I was not a huge fan of Damon because of all the crap he made his "friends" go through and how he treated Banks growing up. I can't lie, I was really excited for his book.

Book 3

Kill Switch by Penelope Douglas

WINTER

Book Review: Devil's Night Series by Penelope Douglas (Spoilers) (3)

Sending him to prison was the worst thing I could’ve done. It didn’t matter that he did the crime or that I wished he was dead. Perhaps I thought I’d have time to disappear before he got out or he’d cool off in jail and be anything but the horror he was.

But I was wrong. Three years came and went too fast, and now he’s anything but calm. Prison only gave him time to plan.

And while I anticipated his vengeance, I didn’t expect this.

He doesn’t want to make me hurt. He wants to make everything hurt.

DAMON

First thing’s first. Get rid of her daddy. He told them I forced her. He told them his little girl was a victim, but I was a kid, too, and she wanted it just as much as I did.

Step two… Give her, her sister, and her mother nowhere to run and no fuel to escape. The Ashby women are alone now and desperate for a knight in shining armor.

But that’s not what’s coming.

No, it’s time I listened to my father and took control of my future. It’s time I showed them all—my family, her family, my friends—that I will never change and that I have no other ambition than to be the nightmare of their lives.

Starting with her.

She’ll be so scared, she won’t even be safe in her own head by the time I’m done with her. And the best part is I won’t have to break into her home to do it.

As the new man of the house I have all the keys.

I absolutely LOVED Kill Switch. This installment in the series played like an actual movie in my head. I was utterly enthralled with the story of Damon and Winter. It was messy, complicated, dark, twisted, yet completely enthralling and mesmerizing.

"You may not be the happiest wife, Arion, but I’m told this is why God invented Saks and Xanax.” - Damon Torrance. I died.

Damon gets his redemption arc in this novel which was about time and we finally get to see inside his head to see what he was thinking when he betrayed the boys in Corrupt.

Damon is known as the psychotic one in the friend group. "People assumed I behaved strictly on impulse, when actually, it required quite a bit of strategy being this f*cked up." I think this quote perfectly sums up the fact that Damon is just an abused, traumatized boy who takes out his frustrations on other people in games.

“Abuse can feel like love.”

“Abuse can feel like love…Why?”

Damon remained so still it didn’t look like he was breathing. He looked at the teacher, unwavering. Starving people will eat anything.”

While at first, I didn't like him, at the end of the book he became my favorite horseman.

His and Winter's relationship is hateful in the beginning because of their past but slowly they fall back into love. I'd also like to add that I've never read a book from the POV of someone who's blind and I think Penelope Douglas did a fantastic job of portraying Winter's POV without her being able to see.

I almost cried at the end. Damon & Winter in the fountain. Like so many years before. Something about the imagery and symbolism. "He was still the boy, promising to kiss me again someday, and I was still her, never wanting to leave whatever little private world we created when we were together."

God, I love them so much.

"Will, Michael, and Kai were my friends, and I’d walk through fire for any one of them. Will was the only one, though, who I was sure would walk through fire for me." AHHHH. Lowkey, Damon and Will should've been endgame. They are the best out of the horsem*n.

Another notable scene in this book...

Damon, Winter, & Will in the catacombs. I screamed.

Book 4

Nightfall by Penelope Douglas

What happens when it's five against one and nowhere to run?

Book Review: Devil's Night Series by Penelope Douglas (Spoilers) (4)

EMORY

They call it Blackchurch. A secluded mansion in a remote, undisclosed location where the wealthy and powerful send their misbehaving sons to cool off away from prying eyes.

Will Grayson has always been an animal, though. Reckless, wild, and someone who was never bound by a single rule other than to do exactly what he wanted. There was no way his grandfather was going risk him humiliating the family again.

Not that the last time was entirely his fault. He might’ve enjoyed backing me into corners in high school when no one was looking, so they wouldn’t catch on that Mr. Popular actually wanted a piece of that quiet, little nerd he loved to torture so much, but…

He could also be warm. And fierce in keeping me safe.

The truth is… He has a right to hate me.

It’s all my fault. Everything.

Devils Night. The videos. The arrests.

I’m to blame for all of it.

And I regret nothing.

WILL

I never minded being locked up. I learned a long time ago that being treated like an animal gives you permission to act like one. No one has ever looked at me any other way.

Their only mistake is believing anything I do is an accident. I can sit in this house with no Internet, television, liquor, or girls, but I’ll come out of here with something far more frightening to my enemies.

A plan.

And a new pack of wolves.

I just didn’t expect one of my enemies to come to me.

I don’t know who smuggled her in or if they meant to leave her here, but I can smell her hiding in the house. She’s here.

And as the security detail leaves the supplies, the gates close, and the door to my gilded cage opens, giving me free reign of the house and grounds for another unsupervised month, I remember with a smile…

Blackchurch houses five prisoners. I’m only one of her problems.

“Why’s he going after the gazebo?” I asked Michael. “Because he’s in love with the girl who built it,” he replied, “and she can’t stand him.”

WILLIAM GRAYSON III. I love this man. Probably the least messed up of the horsem*n although that's not saying much. I really enjoyed Will's story and its not what I was expecting at all. He is an absolute simp for Emory and I ate it up.

“But you’re going to be f*cking mine someday,” he growled. “Come hell or high water, Emory Scott. You’re my woman, and you’re going to come home to me every day and sit at my table and warm my f*cking bed.” He kissed me. “And you’re going to give me a Will Grayson IV. Mark my words.”

Best quote of the whole book. I threw it across the room.

In this book we get to see Will's conflicting emotions about his future and his feelings about Damon, his best friend. He had a hard time in jail and he struggles in the real world. We see his addictions in full force and his obsession with Emory Scott in high school. At black church, we get to see how much Will has changed but his feelings for Emory are unwavering even though he tries to hide it. “Loving a guarded girl, I had realized, was a pyrrhic victory. The rare moments of happiness came at too great a cost.”

I liked Emory a lot too. I think she needed a chance to embrace her darkness and when she did, she loved Will even more.

I think this book ultimately tied up the Devil's Night series very well and it makes me nostalgic even thinking about it. There are also 2 novellas within the series which are worth the read.

Overall I give this series a 5/5. Highly recommend for those who like reading about twisted characters and dark themes.

Who is your favorite Horseman?

  • Micheal

  • Kai

  • Damon

  • Will

Happy reading,

Sara

Book Review: Devil's Night Series by Penelope Douglas (Spoilers) (2024)

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