Book Reviews by Today, I Read…

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Summary: The Devouring by Simon Holt

This is a summary of The Devouring by Simon Holt and it contains spoilers (including the ending). If you wish to read my thoughts with less chance of having the story spoiled, please read the review.

The DevouringAfter Regina’s mother up and leaves her family, it’s up to Regina to take care of her younger brother, Henry, while their father runs his construction business.

Some of the rituals shared between her and her brother are reading scary stories. The current story happens to be the journal called The Devouring written by a seemingly insane woman about a creature called a Vour who possessed her brother on Sorry Night.

Regina and her best friend Aaron decide it would be fun to call a Vour. On Sorry Night, they get everything ready and frighten themselves silly. But instead of possessing one of them, it goes after Regina’s brother. And for a while, no one knew that the thing in Henry’s body wasn’t Henry at all.

When strange things begin to happen—Henry’s babysitter dies of fright, he plucks the fur off of his favorite toy, his hamster is found clogging up the toilet with all of its bones crushed, and during the hamster’s funeral, Henry starts a fight with Aaron—suspicions arise.

Aaron and Regina decide to confide in Eben, Regina’s employer and the man from whom Regina borrowed the journal (without his knowledge or consent), and through careful sleuthing they figure out who the author of the journal is and where she lived. They all pay a visit to her home where they discover a Vour trapped in the basement.

After learning they are susceptible to cold, Regina crafts a plan and heads back to the home by herself armed with a fire extinguisher. She breaks the glass, sprays the Vour, eats a chunk of it, and becomes one with her fear.

She returns home and takes on the Vour possessing Henry. Before she can figure out what’s going on and rescue him, she’s pushed out of the nightmare carnival featuring depraved evil children and a hatchet-handed killer clown.

Then with the help of Aaron, they come up with another plan to rescue Henry involving a frozen lake. But there’s a snag in their plan when Regina is intercepted by the cute quarterback at their school named Quinn—at first he seems like a knight in shining armor, but it turns out he’s a Vour too—and Aaron is forced to rescue her once again.

Finally the plan gets underway. Regina has dunked Henry’s body in the ice cold water and while the Vour was subdued, she jumped into its fearscape again and went through all the torments that Henry needed to endure—killer carnival, a grave site, a hospital, and a mall—and coached him in facing his fears so they were able to make it out alive while killing the Vour at the same time.

While that was going on, Aaron was busy facing Quinn who was dragging him slowly into the icy cold lake. Thank goodness Eben showed up and saved him. Then, in a mysterious roundabout way, explained that there was more to the Vour story and the fight was far from over.


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