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Reviewed by Christian Sia for Readers' Favorite
Stuart Duffelmeyer and the Masters of Plagues by Dewey B Reynolds is a young adult fantasy novel that is delightful, featuring a very sophisticated protagonist. Stuart Duffelmeyer is known as “the Whiz Kid”, an NYU student who has worked hard to become a perfect 4.0 student. But his secret is out — "he’d been a virgin throughout his entire teenage and young adult life." But something horrible is about to happen. Anthony Greenstein and fellow students (conspirators) decide to play a prank on him. It is in the most dangerous part of the city, and things quickly get out of hand, leaving Stuart Duffelmeyer deeply hurt. And he vows one thing: revenge on them! And when it comes, it is far worse than anything anyone might have imagined.
Dewey B Reynolds is a wonderful writer who explores the world of young people in very interesting ways, capturing what it feels like to be in college. The setting is beautifully handled, with vivid images. For instance, I enjoyed how the author writes about the South Bronx, a place infested with crime and where gunshots are common. It is here that Anthony Greenstein, Abdullah Tariq Muhammad, David Nguyen, Taylor Warwick, John O'Connor, and the others decide to play their prank on Stuart, making the worst mistake of their lives. The dialogue in the story is lively and well-written, a strong reflection of the characters and their environment. Stuart Duffelmeyer and the Masters of Plagues features very compelling characters and a protagonist who is a flawed individual who eventually unlocks his supernatural powers, harnessing forces that are mind-blowing. I found it easy to empathize with the underdog and found myself rooting for him. This is an engaging, fast-paced, emotionally rich and satisfying narrative.