Stuart Duffelmeyer and the Masters of Plagues

Young Adult - Fantasy - Epic
318 Pages
Reviewed on 12/22/2019
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

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.

K.J. Simmill

Stuart Duffelmeyer wasn't dissatisfied with his life. He had found his calling and was about to graduate NYU with his veterinary medicine diploma. It was an event he had eagerly awaited until a cruel and hurtful prank ensured he wouldn't be able to show his face at his own graduation. He swore vengeance, and his old Rabbi had given him just the tool to further his agenda. An old talisman connected him to the powers of earth, air, fire, water, animals, and spirits. He was given a higher purpose, granted powers beyond his dreams, but first, he would ensure that the egocentric eight who had shamed and humiliated him so completely would know true suffering by his hand. Building his army, he sets forth to exact his revenge on those who oppress and abuse with their power.

Stuart Duffelmeyer and the Masters of Plagues is a supernatural story by Dewey B Reynolds. It focuses on the main character as he discovers his new ability and forges armies. The third-person perspective of the writing allows for great descriptions to be presented, giving the reader a feel of their surroundings. While the pace is slow, it is fun to see those who wrong others get their comeuppance. I liked the human aspect of Stuart. He had been given great gifts and powers, and while he did utilize them for the good of others, he also used them to further his own plans to have the eight who had shamed him face their most terrifying fears until they repented. There are some great ideas and thought-provoking passages, and whilst the characters didn't develop as much as I personally would have liked, it was still an enjoyable read.

K.C. Finn

Stuart Duffelmeyer and the Masters of Plagues is a work of fantasy fiction penned for young adults and was written by author Dewey B Reynolds. In this fascinating twist on heroes, villains, and modern teen issues, we meet titular character Stuart when he is a student at NYU. Stuart is truly gifted in many areas, but this draws some ill favor from his classmates and they prank him with truly disastrous results. Recovering from his trauma and humiliation, Stuart’s brilliant mind turns to think only of revenge. What follows is a dark and magical adventure to seek retribution through cosmic and cataclysmic powers.

Author Dewey B Reynolds has produced a fantastic homage to classic fantasy novels whilst also working out a great new twist for the anti-hero. Stuart Duffelmeyer is an interesting character to follow through his journey, in equal parts empathetic and desperate in his quest for vengeance. The prose is fluid and well constructed for the YA audience and beyond, and the descriptions and lore of the magical constructs which Reynolds has created hold together well throughout the dynamics of the plot. The powers and adventures which unfold have plenty of atmosphere, thanks to excellent descriptive techniques, well-drawn characters and lively dialogue to keep events moving forward. Above all else, this is a truly unique fantasy novel that is very apt for the modern world and moving at times despite its darker nature. Overall, Stuart Duffelmeyer and the Masters of Plagues is a recommended read for YA fans seeking something new and original.

Romuald Dzemo

In Stuart Duffelmeyer and the Masters of Plagues, eight NYU graduate students promise one of their classmates the best sex of his life just before the big graduation day. Of course, it’s a prank. And their victim is none other than the “Whiz Kid,” Stuart Duffelmeyer, the soon-to-be proud owner of a doctorate in veterinary medicine, and it is not surprising that his secret of being a virgin has become common knowledge. Anthony Greenstein and his mates succeed in piquing Stuart's interest and finally set him up for the best sex of his life. The only problem is that the beautiful and witty girl they have set him up with isn’t real and things go south quickly, leaving Stuart deeply hurt. They have played the wrong guy and what Stuart prepares for his revenge is unimaginable.

Stuart’s mysterious powers coupled with his focus and intelligence become allies to bring down the classmates who hurt him so deeply. He is the master of the plagues and he is about to make them pay. As the reader turns from page to page, they easily connect with the protagonist. The author introduces the key characters in the opening chapters, outlines the malicious plot against the backdrop of a seedy town, and creates a compelling premise. Stuart is the kind of character that readers like immediately. Apart from his nerdy side, he is presented as genuine, which is why it is wrong for his mates to have singled him out for ridicule. The plagues that Stuart creates and sends the way of his enemies are ingenious, from giant bees to huge bats to natural elements like winds and hurricanes. The prose is gorgeous and crisp, punctuated by well-written dialogues. The conflict in Stuart Duffelmeyer and the Masters of Plagues by Dewey B Reynolds is strong and it grows with emotional tension, building up to an explosive climax.

Rabia Tanveer

Stuart Duffelmeyer and the Masters of Plagues by Dewey B Reynolds is the story of a young man who is trying to right the wrongs inflicted on him. Stuart Duffelmeyer is the epitome of a good guy; he is caring, understanding, kind and happy in the happiness of other people in his life. As a college student, he doesn’t have much to fall back on but himself. So when his classmates play a mean prank on him, Stuart is devastated and burning with the need for revenge. It all became easy for him when he got his hands on a talisman that granted him power over nature and animals. This is his chance to get his revenge in the most satisfying manner. However, he soon realized that what started as revenge for himself turned out to be a curse for the whole of humankind. Getting his revenge is not so satisfying anymore, now that he has put the lives of countless people on the line. Can he do anything to cancel all his actions?

Bullying is bad; it is one of the worst things that could happen to a person. The author has very carefully tackled this subject and allowed the reader to find little hints of their life in the story. Stuart is a very relatable character. Anyone who has experienced bullying will be able to connect with him and get a sense of satisfaction with his actions. The pace is fast and allows the characters to grow and nothing is rushed. The plotline is very well managed and developed so that the reader has enough time to become invested in the story. The dialogues were fun and Stuart's growth was very intense. This is an enjoyable novel and really good for young adult readers.