Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Devouring by Simon Holt

Release date: June 1, 2009
Publisher: Little, Brown
Format: Paperback
Pages: 256
Buy the book: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository
Ebook available from: Barnes & Noble | Amazon
"When dark creeps in and eats the light,
Bury your fears on Sorry Night.
For in the winter's blackest hours,
Comes the feasting of the Vours,
No one can see it, the life they stole,
Your body's here but not your soul..."

THE VOURS: Evil, demonic beings that inhabit human bodies on Sorry Night, the darkest hours of the winter solstice.

When Reggie reads about the Vours in a mysterious old journal, she assumes they are just the musings of an anonymous lunatic. But when her little brother, Henry, begins to act strangely, it's clear that these creatures exist beyond a madwoman's imagination, and Reggie finds out what happens when fears come to life.

To save the people she loves, Reggie must learn to survive in a world of nightmares. Can she devour her own fears before they devour her?

The Devouring is an engrossing tale of terror that will have you wondering: what if your worst fears became your living nightmare?

CREEPY. That was the general feeling I got while reading The Devouring. I am in no way a fan of anything scary. I don't watch horror movies and I hate people who try to scare me. Scary books don't quite have the same effect on me, but I still can't handle much. That being said, The Devouring was a fascinating read. The intro made me think it was an altogether different book from what it ended up being, and while at first I was disappointed, I ended up enjoying the read.

We follow Reggie, an average teenager with a penchant for horror. When she finds an old journal detailing the "Vours" in a local bookstore she shares it with her little brother, who is not so keen on the macabre. Soon she suspects he is a victim of the story's villains, realizing that the journal might be based more in fact than she could have imagined.

For the most part, I liked the characters and found them believable. Reggie and Henry, her little brother, seemed to have realistic reactions to their mother's leaving, and their relationship was a good one. I found Aaron to be entertaining and hilariously awkward and thought Eben was fascinating and would love to know more about him in subsequent books. The only character that irritated me was Reggie and Henry's father, though I don't know that he was supposed to really be likable. I couldn't respect him for anything he did, and it detracted. Blerg.

Honestly, the story itself is not something I can say I liked, per se. I don't like scary things, as I've said, so this is not something I will be rereading. At the same time, I do want to read the sequels and did find the story to be interesting and worth the read.

Risk a paper cut? This would definitely be a must-read for horror fans. For the rest of us, I could go either way. The story itself is fascinating, if not a bit freaky.

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