Book Review: Devil’s Pawn by Kukogho Iruesiri Samson.


Review of Devil’s Pawn by Kukogho Iruesiri Samson.

When the Black Cats join their capone to “punish” a fellow student, they have no idea the terror they are about to unleash.

When Simon, a student at Buscan University, awakens from a dream covered in blood, he has no idea he has become a puppet in the hands of a vengeful spirit.
When the police are called to investigate heinous murders on a university campus, they have no idea they are up against something more sinister than their eyes can see.

Different worlds collide in this chilling novel that blurs the lines between justice and revenge.

My Review of Devil’s Pawn by Kukogho Iruesiri Samson.

I must applaud Samson for creating such a page turner, a masterpiece. This is the kind of book that will keep you on the edge of your seat, because it’s unputdownable. And it’s a typical story of what happens in Nigerian University campuses.

Review of Devil’s Pawn by Kukogho Iruesiri Samson.

In Buscan University, Black Cats, a secret cult group notorious for deadly criminal activities would meet its doom when the capone decides to punish a student, Ese Preston for refusing to go out with him. Emeka Ezeani, the leader of the cult group is as evil and hard-heartened as they come. He commands the respect of almost everyone who knows him in the school and doesn’t take no for an answer. So when Ese downright rejects him, he swears to make sure she pays, because who the hell is she?

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On the other hand, Simon Tyough, a second year mechanical engineering student would experience what it means to be a real cat. Being a rookie in the nefarious cult group, he hasn’t participated in any operation yet, and for that he is thankful. But he is anxiety-ridden because he knows one day he will spill blood, and that thought sends him shudders and makes him puke.

Review of Devil’s Pawn by Kukogho Iruesiri Samson.

He doesn’t want to be a cultist, doesn’t want to commit crimes. He just wants to be a regular university student, but the cultists in the school think otherwise. He gets into a fight with a member of The Blade, a rival cult group and the guy beats him black and blue.

As if that isn’t enough the guy tracks him days later and attacks him. In a bid to survive, Simon seeks help from Max, a renowned cat to help him out. But will the devil offer you gifts for free? There’s always a price for redemption, for freedom. And in this case it means Simon must be initiated into The Black Cats fraternity, then and only then would he be protected.

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But being a decent student, Simon rejects the offer and risks being attacked and even stabbed subsequently. He then knows he must make a decision, would he choose his principles or his life? He chooses the latter, because one has to be alive to fight back or walk according to their principles.

But once you have been initiated into the brotherhood, there’s no going back. Emeka, the capone has the final say. And if he says his subordinates must kidnap Ese Preston and rape the poor girl, then they must carry out the order to the last letter, no questions asked.

Review of Devil’s Pawn by Kukogho Iruesiri Samson.

The members, Emeka, Skulls, Kunle, Dave and Oche take their turns to rape the girl to Simon’s disgust. And when he is asked to, he refuses vehemently. It’s inhumane, he says. He cannot get himself to do it. But one thing leads to another and Ese gets shot and dies, but before then, she lays a curse on them, promising to kill them all and make them pay for every pain and hurt they cause her.

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But what can a feeble dead girl do? So the cats wave her threats by the side and go about their businesses. There is a saying that goes like this, ‘don’t touch a lion’ s tail, whether it’s asleep or awake.’

But the cats did not just touch the lion’s tail, they used a knife to cut it off and dared the king of the jungle to do its worst. But if there’s anything worse than the worst, that’s what the lion would do to the perpetrators of that heinous act.

How would the cats know that their battle would go from a flimsy physical one to a highly supernatural war? How would they know they messed with the wrong girl, they messed with a water spirit? Who dares defile the bride of the water god? Who? Since they have eaten more than they could chew, they must choke. Their wind pipes must be constricted.

And so the fierce battle starts when Ese’s spirit possesses Simon, the only innocent one among the bad guys, to get her revenge. One by one, Simon would hunt and take down the bad guys and not only take them down, but cut their penises.

Review of Devil’s Pawn by Kukogho Iruesiri Samson.

When ASP Kalu Manulife is informed about the cult clash, he doesn’t flinch. If anything, he is disappointed such a flimsy case is being assigned to him and not sent to his subordinates. Cult clashes are not new to him, and he’d rather work on a serious crime case than a measly student clash. But he doesn’t know the uniqueness of this very student clash, or the enormity of the case. When he starts digging, he finds out that the case is deeper than his imagination can reach and there are so many people in the higher echelons associated with it.

He doesn’t know the death of Dr. Morgan, a former gubernatorial candidate is connected to the case, or that Sylvan, the governor of the state has a strong tie to the cats fraternity and the case at hand.
While Kalu and his team work hard to get to the root of the problem, Simon, possessed by Ese, goes on a killing spree, killing and cutting off the penises of everyone associated to her death. But will he succeed in taking them all out? Will Emeka, the capone, be easily taken out? Will Kalu solve the case hitch-freely?

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Looking at the characters, I love how each of them is developed with their distinct roles. There’s Emeka, the ferocious leader of the dreaded Black Cats cult group. A little backstory on him reveals that he is a victim of circumstance.

Having grown up in an abusive family, watching his father beat his mother all the time, he desperately wants to end the man, to kill him and save his mother from the scumbag. But even when he achieves that, he does not save his mother or himself. Instead he is traumatized and deteriorates to the depraved monster he will later become.

I cannot sound this enough. The hate you give little infants, fucks everyone. Children should be raised with love and care. Violence and abuse mess a child up forever. If Emeka experienced love at home, he wouldn’t have sought it elsewhere, and better still wouldn’t have got it in the wrong hands.

But because he doesn’t know what love is, he develops his own way of protecting himself and feeling loved, by bullying others and flexing his supremacy. Inasmuch as I am not excusing his actions, I’ll say his environment plays a huge role in shaping him. He is not really terrible, the conversation he will later have with Kalu will reveal there’s a child locked in somewhere within him, begging to be loved, to be saved

Review of Devil’s Pawn by Kukogho Iruesiri Samson.

Then there’s Ese Preston. You never really can know who or what someone is, by observing them from afar, so it’s better you don’t look for people’s trouble. Who would have thought such a fragile young lady would possess supernatural powers? I believe these powers exist.

And though I’m not trying to shove this belief down anyone’s throat, but as an African, I believe these powers exist. Her character is that of a regular girl minding her business and facing her studies, till trouble comes knocking. And she would be damned not to supply troubles in wholesale to the ignoramuses desperately craving for some.

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Simon is the pawn in all of this. The puppet. He commits these crimes unconsciously. I do not really want to be in his shoes, because I cannot even imagine the kind of psychological effects the experience would have on him. He’ll be scarred for life, even if he survives the ordeals.

A remarkable character in the book is Zangif Hir, a distinguished journalist who writes extremely sensitive stories people run away from, and who wouldn’t trade his truth for anything. I admire his courage and strength. He doesn’t fear anybody. Even after going through mind-numbing tortures, he wouldn’t budge when he’s threatened to back down. He plays a huge role in the governor Sylvan case, and even though he gnashes his teeth, he succeeds at last. If all journalists in Nigeria would be as bold and unwavering as him, then the country would be a better place.

Devil’s Pawn is an action packed crime thriller that’s interesting with lots of moral lessons. It exposes the evils of cultism and strips the evil secret society bare. There’s not a single gain that comes with being a cultist, only losses. The protection you aim to achieve isn’t even promised, because if you’re not battling this rival group, you’re battling that rival group. And it only results to bloodshed and deaths. I enjoyed reading this book, it was a refreshing read. The characters are relatable and the plot, sizzling. I’d rate it as 4.5/5.

Have you read the book? What do you think about it? Please share your thoughts with me in the comment section. Don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter, follow me on all social media platforms and share with your friends. Thank you for visiting Bookish Pixie.

 Review of Devil's Pawn by Kukogho Iruesiri Samson.
Devil’s Pawn by Kukogho Iruesiri Samson.

9 thoughts on “Book Review: Devil’s Pawn by Kukogho Iruesiri Samson.”

  1. Great review. It sounds like a good book for anyone that enjoys that type of genre. A pageturner is definitely something that some authors struggle with but it sounds like this author got it just right.


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