Stuart Duffelmeyer and the Masters of Plagues
by Dewey B. Reynolds
Author Reputation Press

"'Remember what your mother and I always told you?' 'Always be aware of your surroundings?' 'Always, son.' 'Crazier things go on in bigger cities.'"

Preparing to graduate from NYU with a degree in veterinary medicine, Stuart Duffelmeyer is the target of a prank taken too far that he is wholly unaware of. Eight of his classmates conspire to humiliate Stuart under the guise of helping him lose his virginity before he graduates. The entire experience is a nightmare for Stuart and leaves him scarred and seething for revenge. With the help of a talisman left to him by a rabbi that mentored Stuart in his youth, the wronged young man learns that the powers that be favor his crusade and grant him the powers to control animals and severe weather as long as he promises not to get carried away with his revenge to the point of murder. Armed with a list of his conspirators and the knowledge of their deepest fears, Stuart vows to turn the tables.

Anyone that has been bullied or teased has almost certainly dreamed of what it would be like to even the score, and this book follows that revenge fantasy to supernatural and satisfying heights. Stuart’s plan develops like a formula, with his powers and his fortune allowing him to travel around the world, inflicting fear and dread on his targets one by one. Though he sticks by the rules given to him by the rabbi, the unique narrative style and imposing figure of Stuart can lead the reader to perhaps root for the aggressors if they have a habit of supporting the underdog. It might not be the most morally sound message, and the details can cross the boundaries of what young adult readers should be comfortable with, but there’s something about a good old-fashioned revenge plot that can satisfy readers who want to see justice meted out however necessary.

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