Thursday, February 3, 2011

Review: The Devouring by Simon Holt

Published: Little, Brown Young Readers (September 1, 2008)
Pages: 240
Format: Paperback
Series: This is the first in a series.
Source: I purchased this book.

GoodReads Summary: "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?

My Thoughts: Well then. That was better than I expected.

This was a ridiculously fast, entertaining read. I read the whole thing at work. It reminded me of Goosebumps for a more mature crowd, combined with Are You Afraid of the Dark? The Midnight Society would give this all thumbs up, for sure. I've heard miscellaneous things about The Devouring. I've heard that it's a horror story that is deeply disturbing and tells of nasties that go bump in the night. Well, there were nasties, all right. Do yourself a favor: if you are afraid of spiders, you should probably avoid this book. But if you're afraid of spiders and are a glutton for punishment, by all means dig in.

I probably would've been more frightened if I was reading this in the dark, at home, rather than in my cubicle with a headset attached to my noggin. But the Vours are quite frightening, regardless of pitch dark or fluorescent lighting. Can you imagine having the world around you transformed into your absolute worst fear, not being able to distinguish what's legit and what is fake? Anything demonic just straight up scares the pee out of me, so that immediately got under my skin.

Our fearless heroine, Reggie, definitely hopped upon the TSTL trolley a few times, but it was all in the name of brotherly love. Her personality and her interaction with her brother, her BFF Aaron, and especially the Vours were enjoyable. There's one part where her actions actually made me queasy. How, you ask? If you read it, you'll see. OH YES. There's no question about it. There were even a couple scenes that made me want to tear up. Those Vour bastards really know how to make one TRULY question one's sanity. I was thankful for the readability of Simon Holt's writing. The storytelling was effortless and basically laid it all out for you. There was no thinking cap required, which is perfect if you're looking for something quick and entertaining. Which just so happens to be exactly what I wanted out of this book.

The ending obviously leaves the story open to further development, which I appreciate. I love series, you guys. These books are like a White Castle cheeseburgers: there are absolutely no essential nutrients within--and your stomach will likely churn as a result--but you cannot stop devouring (BAD PUN! BAD PUN!) one after the other. DELISH. Before you know it, you're thanking God that you wore the big belt today and you feel HELLA content.

Wait, where was I going with this?


  1. Ugh, spiders? *shivers*

    I haven't heard much about this book, but if/when I do read it I'll make sure I am in a well lit, public place.

    And are you saying I need to eat a cheeseburger while reading this, or that I need to wear stretchy pants? :P

  2. Hahaha... yeah I'm not actually sure where or why that came up, Linds. I just write stuff as it comes to me :P

  3. That bad pun made me smile. BUT SERIOUSLY? the world transforming into your worst fear? how do people come up with these mid blowing ideas!! And now I am trying to think what my worst fear is and if I was trapped in it I would FAHHHHHHREAK OUT so freakin much! oh and I love the cover to this one. Fab review my lovely :-)