Seventeen-year-old Webb's abusive stepfather has made it impossible for him to live at home, so Webb survives on the streets of Toronto by busking with his guitar and working as a dishwasher. When Webb's grandfather dies, his will stipulates that his grandsons fulfill specific requests. Webb's task takes him to the Canol Trail in Canada's Far North, where he finds out that there are much scarier things than the cold and the occasional grizzly bear. With an Indigenous guide, two German tourists and his guitar for company, Webb is forced to confront terrible events in his grandfather's past and somehow deal with the pain and confusion of his own life.
Webb's adventures start in Barracuda, part of The Seven Prequels and continue in Tin Soldier, part of The Seven Sequels.
"This very well may be one of my favourite books that I’ve read this year. From the moment I picked it up, I knew I had my hands on something GOOD. A fast-paced book, Devil’s Pass gripped me from page 1 and didn’t let me go under after I read the last sentence in the book. I love the concept of this series—seven authors wrote seven books about seven grandchildren who are all affected by the death of their grandfather and the tasks he’s outlined for them in his will. I am definitely looking forward to reading more of these books, but I love that I don’t have to read them in any particular order, or that I don’t even have to read all of them if I don’t want to. This is a brilliant concept, and in the instance of Devil’s Pass was executed perfectly. It left me craving more."
"[Webb's] beloved grandfather has died, and his will sends Webb north to hike the Canol Trail and solve a 50-year-old mystery. Add grizzly bears and a psychotic local who has taken a disliking to Webb, and you have a strong, fast-paced survival story with a kick. Flesh it out with acoustic guitar riffs, World War II air shows, and an imperfect hero with a conscience, and the result is a thoughtful exploration of issues like love, trust, responsibility, guilt, and identity. This explores secrets on many levels and delivers handsomely with a resolution that satisfies but doesn’t simplify. Happily, there are six other titles in the series."
"[The] adventures are exciting and readers will be anxious to pick up the next book in the series. Great for middle grade boys who want realistic fiction with action and suspense."
"Brouwer weaves twin narratives to good effect...[and] a likable guitar-playing protagonist is a bonus. Unlike Webb, readers can face grizzly bears, wolves and psychopaths in the cozy confines of a good book."
"I enjoyed how Webb was able to focus his rage and hate to further his own ends, like learning martial arts and avoiding pursuers. The book was very redemptive, because Webb was able to accept his life, change things for the better, and also help his grandfather's friend to have peace of mind and comfort. It's a great addition to the series."
"A fast-paced adventure that will keep readers on the edge of their seats cheering on Webb while guessing what will happen next. Sigmund Brouwer has done a superb job maintaining suspense throughout Devil's Pass while assuring readers nothing will happen that Webb can't handle...Highly Recommended."
"Webb's journey will certainly inspire readers to seek out the other novels in the series, in the hope that they are as satisfying in terms of both intrigue and emotional veracity."