Review: The Devil You Know By Jesse Young

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devil you knowJessie Young has a new short on his site this week. We’ve covered several of the writer’s short stories the last several months as Young continues to churn out material that impress in 10-pages or less. Today’s story is an 8-pager called The Devil You Know. The story has an interesting origin. Artist Jason Copland posted some unlettered pages on his website and said any writer that wanted to use them to build a story could do so. Young took the challenge and chose a few pages to craft a crime story. Joining Young on Copland’s art is letterer Thomas Mauer. Young has done a lot of different types of stories, but how does his first venture into the crime side of things fare?

The story is involves a gang member fearing for his life because of a mysterious and shady figure he calls Death. The unnamed narrator describes a botched job that led him and some of his compatriots into their current predicament. There’s a price to pay, and that price is everyone’s life.

Young writes a quick, surprisingly layered, and dramatic story. It has crime noir elements with a dash of the possibly supernatural. It feels like the type of story you’d see included in an anthology series that gets in, tells the story quickly, and leaves you wanting more. There’s a clear beginning, middle, and end, but you want to know more about this world and the handful of characters included. Copland’s art looks like sketches that are a little rough around the edges. The characters and scenery pulls you in, but it feels rough and seedy, much like the story itself. As odd as the story’s origin is, everything works together fantastically well.

Bottom Line: Young dabbles in different genres, but each story has the same result- a great story that pulls you in and leaves you wanting to see even more. Most of Young’s shorts would make for interesting long-form stories, but this one may be at the top of my list. Read it for yourself by clicking right here.

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