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Book Reviews
January 21, 2009 posted by Nikki

The Devouring – Simon Holt

As far as covers go, The Devouring is pretty spectacular. In fact, it’s so good that I picked it up off the shelf in the store and decided I was going to buy it even before I looked at the blurb. Apart from being visually stimulating, it manages to capture the real essence of the story without giving too much away.

The blurb is pretty enticing as well. Check this out:

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

This isn’t how the horror ended for us –
This is how it began.

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?

Sounds awesome, right? Well, I thought so anyway. Unfortunately, now that I’ve finished reading it, I’m not quite sure what to think. Firstly, let me just say that I didn’t think it was bad. Not at all. But there is just something about it that isn’t sitting right with me.

The characters are all likable enough, yet they don’t seem individual enough, there is not a whole lot that separate them from each other in my mind. For me to consider a book astonishing, the characters really need to jump off the page and present themselves as independent, unique individuals. That doesn’t really happen for me with The Devouring. However, I’m not prepared to say that I don’t like the characters, because I do. Or maybe it’s just that there isn’t anything exceptionally unlikable about them, I can’t quite tell. Either way, they didn’t leave a huge impression.

Everything happens pretty fast, too. There isn’t a whole lot of build up, which for some, might be a good thing. I, however, am a big fan of the build up. I love anticipation and surprise. Although it’s not predictable, per se, The Devouring didn’t have me sitting on the edge of my seat. Yet, at the same time, I didn’t want to put it down.

Can you see what I’m saying here? It wasn’t bad, not by a long shot, but it wasn’t outstanding either, you know? I do think that it would make a really awesome film, however. Visually, I think it would be a real creeper. But as words, well, it falls a little short of creepy.

Give it a go. I’m interested in your thoughts!

Rating: : ★★★☆☆

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42 Comments

  • Are you going to read the sequel?

  • To be honest, I havn’t read this book yet, but because I too am a big fan of “build up,” I think this would be a good book. I’ll probably try to find it as soon as I am done with “Elijah’s Coin” by Steve O’Brien. If you liked the suspense and mystery in “The Shack,” you will love Elijah’s Coin. So far it is amazing.

  • I’ve had this book sitting in my shelf for months now, actually since about a week before it was released. I won a contest somewhere hehe I still haven’t read it because it just doesn’t seem that great, I guess I was right. I will give it a shot though, just not right now.

  • Lis, I wouldn’t go so far as to say it wasn’t worth reading, but even after writing my review I still can’t quite pinpoint what it was about the book that didn’t sit well with me.

    Carol, am I going to read the sequel? I don’t know. I suppose I probably should, huh?

  • And has anyone noticed the little smiley icons next to the comments always look sad or angry? I wonder why that is?! hahahaha, its odd!

  • Yes, you should read the sequel. Maybe the character’s will be more individualists. 😉

    And yes, I noticed the “smiley” faces. Can they be changed?

  • Have you read the sequel? I cant find anything about it. I’ve even looked on Simon Holt’s site about the series and it’s got nothing…

    Looking into the upside down, angry smileys. Lol.

  • Hey guys, yaReads webmistress here. The smiley can be changed if the email addy you’re using has a Gravatar. Check out this site to know more about them:

    http://en.gravatar.com/

    The current smileys are randomly generated. So sometimes it looks angry lol

  • Great review :) this books sounds interesting and I will have to move my book up to the top of my TBR pile.

  • Very on spot review Nikki.
    The cover is amazing.
    And your absolutely correct, this would make an amazing movie.
    But as a book, it’s just okay.

  • I happen to liked the book :] Typically I think that the first book in a series is never really that good, it’s just to give you a small taste of what’s to come.

  • Im glad you liked it Yan. I’m not usually a huge fan of the book to film adaptation but I’m sort of hoping this one makes it onto the screen. Visually I think it would be amazing.

    As I said up in the review, I didn’t NOT like it, it just didn’t blow me out of the water.

  • does anyone know where theres any information on the sequel?

  • Can’t say I do – I’ve been looking but can’t find anything.

  • Hi!!..
    I haven’t read this book yet but I will read in this week ^^ … the Simon Holt’s site is very vague :( I wanna know if the book has a little romantic history or in the sequel will have romance…. before going to read it

  • I rly liked this book and think the next one will be even better ^_^
    And if you check out http://www.thedevouring.com/
    It notes that book 2 will come out on Sept. 1

  • My site isn’t published yet, but I still gotta do somethings, and I’ll be back to say when it is up! I finished THE DEVOURING yesterday, and got it four days ago! I got book two in the series yesterday as well SOULSTICE-THE DEVOURING Book 2- and I gotta say WOW! I didn’t really notice the stuff you noticed, cause I dont really look for the correct stuff in a book like OMG THEY MISPELLED THIS AND FORGOT TO DO THIS unlike some people-which isn’t a bad thing, but I look past that to the main thing/idea-I look straight at the……………………artistic design and originality of the story. I gave it a go in the book store and felt really bad that I couldn’t buy it cause I got CITY OF ASHES (book 2 in the MORTAL INSTRUMENT SERIES-which you have book three at the top of your page!) And I kept thinking about it ever since, I was so obsessed I tried to find a way to read it online, but nothing! SO then I got it on a Wednesday, last Wed. and finished it in three days! I am on Chap. Four (PAGE 30) of book two and I am gonna finish it buy this Tuesday! I hope you read the second one, cause I am so in love with book one, and I can’t wait for book three coming out next fall 2010! Another book series that is good, is THE HUNGER GAMES trilogy by SUZANNE COLLINS, THE HUNGER GAMES book one, and book two: CATCHING FIRE are both out now! Book three coming next year!

  • i tried reading it but got bored

  • I read the first and the second book can’t wait for the third one to come out when you let your imagination go with this one you can really visualize whats going on and thats personally what i liked about it i would recomend it as a good read to be honest take it off your book shelf lis lol

  • ive read the books and they pwn……………theyre AMAZINGGGGGGGGGGGG!

  • Was the book like… phsychological?

  • i love simon holt maybe as much as i like darren shan!

  • justi are u a girl or a boy im a girl and yes i think the book is bad or mysterialy good for ur brain because u see i hav awee sis called isla thats only eight and im 13 and it frightened me and brought me back to reality and to relize how much my sister loves me!

  • Girl. And i was just asking cause i don’t really like books that confuse the brain but this one looks really good so i was just wondering whether i should read it or not…

  • i think u should read it because its good but be careful if u read it at night time because u cant put it down! justi are u from america and how old r u . im from glasgow in scotland

  • justi are u there

  • do u have yareads? contact me? im justi there too

  • wat r yareads

  • oh, like the ya reads forum? could u make a user and then we could U2U eachother (send messages)

  • i read The Devouring and it was freakin awesome… i am 13 years old and this is the first chapter book i have ever read =P

  • Let me say that i freaking loved this book! i couldnt stop reading it or its sequal! My anticipation for the third one coming out next month is so high its ridiculous! I love this author and his book! :)

  • If anyone knows if/when a fourth book in the devouring series will be released please email me, I’m a big fan of this series. My email is yelibear@hotmail.com thanks :)

  • I honsetly really enjoyed this book, it was well written, as you mentioned the plot build up was intense. I’ve also finished the second book to Devouring called Solstice, if you read the firt one and liiked it I have a feeling you would love the second one.

  • I agree what you said about the characters not being individual enough. But other than that I really enjoyed this book. I like the refreshing decrease in romance and the increase in thrilling horror. I read the sequel too and I liked it. :)

  • Best book series i have ever had the pleasure of reading i loved every minute of it

  • Hey i read the first book last year when i was 11 and i loved it i am now currently on the 3rd book and i wanted to know if there will be a 4th becuz i am in love with this series so if anyone knows if therre will b a 4th please email me at fantasygal456@aol.com thank you
    Rachael

  • This is my favourite series ever…I have read the 2nd book Solstice and the third book Fearscape are they are all AMAZING

  • These books are amazing!
    I just finished Fearscape, literaly…
    do you know anything about a fourth book?
    or atleast an email to ask Simon Holt about it??

  • XD =3 think i might just read all the book every1 recomended

  • Is there going to be a fourth?

  • ok i completely disagree with you nikki i just picked this book off a shelf didn’t even look at the summary and fell in love with the series the characters were astounding . I hate when books are to slow its boring. I love the pace of these books. I’ve owned grace for a year now and i’m now just getting into it because the beginning was SO slow. and the devouring series has to be the best book i’ve read so far. I still enjoy other styles of writing but Simon Holt’s way is the best. just when you think you know what’s going to happen he takes you by surprise and leaves you shocked. I’m hoping he writes a fourth. he left it off to where he didn’t have to but he could if he wanted to like most writers do but they usually dont like twilight or the summoning series

  • Wow. I read this series a while back. It was amazing. Its all in the kind of book genere you like. One book can’t please everyone. But since im fiction horror fantasy type of reader. I enjoyed this book very much and would highly reccoment it to anyone!

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