Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Devouring by Simon Holt

Published: September 2008
Publisher: Little, Brown
Pages: 240
Copy Provided by: bought
Summary: Goodreads

Summary:

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 her own fears before they devour her?

Bone-chilling, terrifying, thrilling...what are you waiting for?

Review
Now this was a creepy book. I read this last week while on vacation, sharing a room with my young daughter. Sure, reading via flashlight in the middle of the night might have added to the creepy ambiance but still, this was an enjoyable read ranking high on the scare factor.

Reggie, the main character of the book is such a brave character. She does ridiculous things in order to save her little brother from a Vour, a demonic being that takes over her brother's body. Half the time I wasn't sure if Reggie was incredibly brave or incredibly stupid. There are a couple other characters who work with her to research the Vours. Holt has set up the story nicely to continue onto the next book in the series. I found the flow of the book to be steady, initially starting out with a prologue that really grabs the reader's attention and holds it until the end of the book. My copy included the first two chapters of Soulstice so of course I'm dying to read the next book in the series.

The author played up on a couple things to make this story so scary. First of all, demonizing an innocent child is hard to watch. Think of movies such as Poltergeist and the Exorcist. Watching a child turn into something evil really tugs at your emotions, especially if you have children of your own or small brothers and sisters. The second element in this novel that brought the story alive were the descriptions of the Vours. There was enough to give you an idea that it was an evil demonic being but it is the reader's imagination running wild that made the story scary.

The poem at the front of the book says it all -

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 store,
Your body's here but not our soul.... (pg. 4)

If you are looking to up the scare factor, you might even want to try this book in audio if it is offered. I imagine listening to the story would be very creepy.

Still looking for more on The Devouring? Check out the trailer on this page.

The second book in this series is called Soulstice and I will definitely be looking to read this one. Book 3 called Fearscape just came out on October 5th. Perhaps I'll try it but this time with the lights on....

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