Summary: It seems Webb is least affected by his grandfather David McLean’s death. Though he has fond memories of his grandfather, since his mother’s remarriage after the death of his father, Webb has been distancing himself from those he loves. With a step-father who physically and psychologically abuses him, taking everything and everyone important to him away, Webb has learned the only way to protect what he loves is to give it up on his own terms. Webb’s task from his grandfather upon his death is to go on a wild goose chase that takes him all the way to Norman Wells, Northwest Territories figuring out a mystery of his grandfather’s past.
Number of Pages: 237
Age Range: 14-16
Review: I learned the least about David McLean in Sigmund Brouwer’s addition to Seven the Series, but I loved Webb’s development. Webb is a tightly wound character who is always watching his step, something he has learned to do thanks to living with a highly abusive step-father. As a result he and his grandfather aren’t as close as McLean is to his other grandsons, added to the fact that the task McLean sent him to complete was not really about McLean himself, but his friends.
But McLean still maintains his wise-from-beyond-the-grave ways by having insight into what he determines is Webb’s true situation. While he couldn’t do anything about it in life, his task gives Webb the confidence and self-reflection to stop himself from becoming like Elliot, his step-father.
Despite all of the tragedy in his life, I enjoyed his connection with music as a way to ground himself. Brouwer even wrote a song called “Monsters” as Webb, but though it is supposed to be on the seventheseries.com I couldn’t find it. I have tweeted Brouwer to ask where I can find it.
Webb’s inner conflict interspersed with flashbacks to his childhood kept me reading. He seems to run into more than his fair share of bullies, but each time he faces his fears and is determined to stand up to them. He’s a character I’d like to read more about, which I will have the opportunity to do since Brouwer just came out with his Seven the Sequel and plans a third book as well.
“Then, without warning, his grandpa had held Webb’s shoulders, looked him in the eye and said, ‘Life is difficult more often that it is not. To live means to face difficulties. It’s what you learn from those difficulties that matters. And Webby, I want you to remember what a German philosopher named Friedrich Nietzsche once said: “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.”‘
It had been a quiet, serious moment. Then, like he did so often, his grandpa had given Webb a big grin, to relieve the seriousness of the moment.” – David McLean from Devil’s Pass by Sigmund Brouwer, page 40
“Webb realized he wasn’t afraid of Elliott hurting the soles of his feet. Webb had learned he could deal with pain, and Elliott had just said they were past anything physical. He was terrified, though, of losing what he loved. His dad had been taken unexpectedly and unfairly. Niblet was gone. That left only his mom.” – Webb from Devil’s Pass by Sigmund Brouwer, page 98
“George closed his eyes and Webb could see that he was making sure to tell him word for word what his grandfather wanted to pass along. ‘He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.'” – George giving Webb a message from his grandfather from Devil’s Pass by Sigmund Brouwer, page 149