This is the first installment in The Devouring series written by Simon Holt. In this book, we follow Regina Halloway, a teenage girl who loves reading scary stories and watching horrifying movies. Reading these stories helps to distract Reggie from the realities of her own life. Reggie’s mother walked out on her and the rest of her family over a year ago and they have not heard from her since. Reggie’s father is distant and hasn’t been himself in a long time, and Reggie is ultimately raising her little brother, Henry, all by herself. With her crazy life, Reggie finds time for something she enjoys, working part-time at a local book store. One day, Reggie discovers a journal titled “The Devouring” and just passes it off as an unpublished fiction book. She later takes it home and reads it. The book describes these creatures called “Vours” who inhabit the bodies of people on Sorry Night and control their every move. Naturally, Reggie shares this with her friend Aaron who is also a horror buff, and they cannot resist trying to summon the Vours on Sorry Night. Something strange happened that night, but neither Reggie nor Aaron ended up possessed. After that night, Reggie’s brother Henry was never the same. He was different — changed — evil. Soon after, Reggie realizes this story about the Vours was not fiction at all, and Henry has become a Vour. To save her brother, Reggie must devour her fear, before her fear devours her.
Continue reading for my full review on The Devouring by Simon Holt.
Synopsis: (from Amazon)
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 really enjoyed the writing in this book. It was really great and easy to read. The horror in this book was also written really well. It was very descriptive and some of the parts had me actually sitting at the edge of my seat. Also the fearscape aspect of the book was very well written and the idea seemed original in a way. If you have not yet read the book, fearscape will mean something to you later on. Overall, I really enjoyed the writing and thought it was perfect for the YA audience.
The plot in this book was so amazing! It is a very fast-paced plot with lots of adventure and horror. From the very beginning of the book, the plot took off. There were no “filler” chapters in this book, everything written had a purpose and it was truly exciting and kept you on the edge of you seat. The fast-pace of the plot really helped to keep me interested and it made it a page turner for me. A+ on the plot, Simon Holt.
The characters in this book were also very great. Usually there is one character in a book that I end up despising and find really annoying, but I didn’t find any in this book. Lets start with Reggie. Reggie is just an all-around amazing character. She has to take on responsibilities that not many teens are faced with and she does it with ease. The best way to describe Reggie is responsible. She manages to keep a balance between taking care of her family, working, and having fun. I also really like that Reggie has a sarcastic side to her as well. The next character I really liked was Aaron, Reggie’s best friend. Aaron is very similar to Reggie in many ways and the one thing I really like about him is the fact that he is so caring and will do anything to protect Reggie. Now that leaves us with Henry. Although Henry is evil in most of the book, I still find his character innocent in a way. Another one of Henry’s qualities that I enjoyed was his bravery. At some point in the book, Henry has to conquer his fears and because of this, his character really develops.
What I Liked:
I really liked the premise and plot of this book. Although there are many books and movies about people being possessed by evil entities, Simon Holt manages to put a new spin on it and makes it really interesting. One thing I thought was very original was the concept of fearscape. I don’t want to discuss fearscape in this review because I don’t want to spoil part of the book. Once you have read it, I think you will also enjoy the concept.
What I Didn’t Like:
There was nothing in this book that I didn’t like.
Buy The Devouring:
There are two more books in The Devouring series. Soulstice is book 2, and Fearscape is book 3. I will be reading both of these books and posting reviews on them at a later date.