**3.5-stars rounded up**
Cruella DeVil, like many villains before her, is grossly misunderstood. In Evil Thing, Valentino does a great job building a backstory for one of my favorite villains.
Beginning when she is just a young child, Evil Thing explores the key relationships in Cruella’s life, particularly that with her Mama, Father and Anita.
Through the examination of these relationships, the Reader begins to understand how Cruella developed into the person we come to know through the original-101 Dalmatians animated film.
In fact, there is even a portion at the end that overlaps with the timeline from that original movie.
The narrative is told from Cruella’s perspective, as if she is recounting her life story. The narrator, Susanne Blakeslee, absolutely nailed Cruella’s voice and intonation. It was an incredible voice performance; highly recommend the audiobook.
Having read previous books in this series, I was actually surprised by the level of depth this one had. Pleasantly surprised.
Cruella’s story is a tragic one, full of disappointments, neglect and heartbreak. I felt for her, but I also wanted to shake her. She seemed to be blinded by love a lot of time; unable to see people for who they truly were, to her detriment.
Overall, this is an engaging and fast-paced story. If you are a Cruella fan, I definitely recommend checking this one out.
Also, please do listen to the audiobook if you have the opportunity. It really is a stellar Cruella performance.
Thank you so much to the publisher, Disney Audio, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I really enjoyed my time with it!