Author: Simon Holt
Title: The Devouring
Publisher: Penguin Books
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?
My Thoughts (spoiler alert)
The Devouring is a young adult story set in today’s world, except Vours are real and they take over people’s bodies by sending their subconscious into another realm called the Fearscape. We follow Reggie as she fights to save her brother Henry who becomes the target of these wicked beings. The story is spooky, including a freaky clown and circus, but not in the terrifying scared out of your wits kind of way. It’s done tastefully with creepy scenes interwoven amid a strong plot driven by Reggie’s urgency to face her own fears before time runs out. Though, there’s a really creepy spider scene that had me squirming.
Holt’s main characters are believable and easy to relate to. Reggie is inspirational as she never gives up the battle against the Vours. Henry’s transformation is really what drove the story forward and held my interest. I admired Reggie’s dedication to save her brother, though I felt the secondary characters were a bit flat.
In Reggie’s world, everything is not as it seems, and the unexpected continued to surprise me. There are so many things to like about this book, from the unique Vours who hated the cold, to the intriguing diary of a mad woman who wrote about the mysterious Vours. The only part that I skimmed through, no matter how much I tried to read through it, was when Reggie entered Fearscape – I found the circus a bit cliché and it just didn’t do it for me.
Otherwise, the ending was perfect, with all ends tied. I’d definitely give book 2 – The Soulstice, a go.
The Devouring is great for anyone wanting a fast paced plot, a heroin who lets nothing stand in her way, loves unexpected turns and villains, sprinkled with a bit of scariness.