blo Teens Read and Write: The Devouring

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Devouring

The Devouring
by Simon Holt
pub: June 2009/Little Brown
256 pages

Teen Fiction/Horror/Urban Fantasy

When Reggie finds an old journal and reads about the Vours, supernatural creatures who feast on fear and attack on the eve of the winter solstice, she assumes they are just the musings of some lunatic author. But soon, they become a terrifying reality when she begins to suspect that her timid younger brother might be one of their victims. Risking her life and her sanity, Reggie enters a living nightmare to save the people she loves. Can she devour own her fears before they devour her?

I wasn't sure what to expect. The cover grabbed my attention. The summary sounded interesting so I gave it a whirl.

Glad I did!

The Devouring is a terrific horror novel without being over-the-top gross. The writing is great so when the gore is described, it's graphic. But I don't like to be super grossed out and while I went "Ew!" a few times, I was happy to "devour" this novel! (Sorry, couldn't help it. Can I ever?)

Here's the skinny. Reggie is a fourteen-year-old girl living in Podunk Town Nowhere. Reggie, her eight-year-old brother, Henry, and their dad trying are to deal with the recent loss of their mom/wife who just up and left. Reggie has taken on the mom role for Henry and she loves her brother but isn't thrilled about all the responsibility.

She's a big horror buff - movies, books, etc - and when she finds this old diary in the bookstore where she works, Reggie and her best friend Aaron decide to try the magic it describes. So on "Sorry Night" they try to conquer their fears (Aaron - water/drowning, Reggie - spiders) and conjure up the Vours.

Big whoops here, because what ends up happening is that a Vour possesses little bro Henry. Now Henry has become this lunatic deadly psycho messing physically and mentally with Reggie and Aaron, as well as killing beloved pets and old fragile folk. Reggie and Aaron put two and two together and get a super creeped out four. To save Henry, Reggie and Aaron have to unravel the puzzle, conquer their fears and outsmart the diabolical Vours.

I loved that Reggie was a smart, courageous heroine. How about Aaron? A clever and solid BFF. Theirs is a true friendship and they make intelligent choices. Holt did an excellent job with their behavior and reactions.

I really liked this one! It's creative, unique and inventive. If you like Stephen King's stuff, The Devouring is your kind of book. I'm not a big horror fan but I enjoy strong intelligent characters, fast plot, nail-biting action, good writing and an intriguing premise - The Devouring has all those things. It's sinister, it's creepy, it's gruesome, it's ghoulish, it's's FUN!

The Cover: Creeps me out - she looks scary - and I love it.

First Lines: On Sorry Night, just a few days before Christmas, you have to snuff the lamps, douse the flames in the fireplace, and spend the night in the cold and dark. If you don't, the Vours will get you.
Good - a bit menacing and I'm ready for more.

The sequel, Soulstice, is available now.

It's been six months since Reggie first discovered and fought against the Vours, malicious and demonic beings that inhabit human bodies on the eve of the Winter Solstice. The Vours still haunt Reggie, but only in her dreams-until one night, when an unexpected visitor turns her nightmares into reality.

The battle against evil continues in Soulstice, the second book in the thrilling
The Devouring series, which School Library Journal called, "Comparable to books by R. L. Stine and Stephen King....A must-have for horror fans."

Have some horrific fun!


ParaJunkee said...

Oooh sounds good. I haven't heard of this one before. Thanks for the intro.

Tales of Whimsy said...

A real friendship? Awesome! Great review :)

Curling up by the Fire said...

I enjoyed this novel. It was somewhat creepy. I haven't yet read book 2 yet but am looking forward to it.

Blodeuedd said...

I totally understand why you love that cover, it sure catches my eye. And enough gross things to go ewww, well call me intrigued

Aleksandra said...

Great review! Sounds like book I'll definitely enjoy!

Blueicegal ♥ said...

wow this sounds awesome, ive been thinking about reading this maybe i will, cool review :D

Splendibird said...

These look great - thanks for bringing them to my attention!

elaing8 said...

I really enjoyed the Devouring.Now just waiting to get Soulstice.

Nikki (Wicked Awesome Books) said...

I'm glad you seemed to like this just as much as I did. And I have to say that your review is awesome. The line about 2+2=creeped out true.

I hope you have the chance to read Soulstice as well.

brizmus said...

I love it when characters in books love books (and movies!). But I unfortunately find it happens all to rarely.
This sounds great! Like it might even actually scare me. Yay!

Jemi Fraser said...

Love these covers. I think I'm a bit too wimpy to try them though! :)

Donna (Bites) said...

Great review! I loved these two books. It makes me long for the YA horror of yore.

Sandy said...

I'm not a horror fan so that's why I've been avoiding this book for a while...but if it's got strong intelligent characters and good writing, then I'll have to give it a try! Thanks for the insightful review :)

Anonymous said...

I tried to read this the other day, and I thought it was a little dull ... maybe I just didn't stick with it until it got interesting, though. Reggie's bro was acting up, and she was all *hmmm, what could it be*, and I was like DUH! She just seemed a little daft, lol.

kay - Infinite Shelf said...

I really liked this one - it was scary enough! I haven't read the second one yet, but I can't wait to.

Gaby G said...

Sounds good. I don't read horror books but this one seems to be interesting :)

Thanks for the review!

Jenn (Books At Midnight) said...

Great review! Lol, my friend read this one and her opinions on it completely creeped me out... I'm glad there are solid characters and friendships, though I'll have to double-check before I check this one out. I'm a wimp, haha. Thanks though! :D

Kelly said...

Great review! I really want to read this now :)

There's also an award for you at my blog :)

Anonymous said...


EVA SB said...

This is a totally new series to me but it sounds good.

Nikki (Wicked Awesome Books) said...

I wanted to the thank the 3 of you for Dairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdock. I received it in the mail just the other day. :D

YA Book Queen said...

Awesome review! This book totally weirded me out...definitely wasn't the best idea to start reading at night ;)

Unknown said...

Adding this author to by TBB list, excellent covers, tasty sounding!!


Dottie :)

Unknown said...

I've read all three that are out and they are very good. I just hope Reggie realizes that Aaron is the one that actually loves her.

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