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March 10

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(Illustrated) Review: The Devouring by Simon Holt

by Ann-Katrina

The Devouring Cover

Title: The Devouring
Author: Simon Holt
ISBN: 978-0-316-03573-6
Story Length: 231 pages
Genre: Young Adult

Back Cover of The Devouring

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…

Three Quick Points About The Devouring

  • Point 1: A bit chilling. At least, the beginning was. What would you do if some dark creature offered to eat your fears?
  • Point 2: Mmmm, cheesy cliché filling. The entire middle section of the book is devoted more to shock value than fear factor.
  • Point 3: Curiosity inducing. If I didn’t know better, I’d say I’ve been brainwashed because I’m anxious to read the next installment.

My Thoughts on The Devouring

(Below are my thoughts on the book. If you want a full rundown of the story, you can read the story summary, but be warmed: it includes spoilers.)

Some parts were good, and some parts were lame, but something must have been done right because I have a burning desire to read the next book.

The story unfolded well. We get the back story on Regina and her family. Her mother left her along with her brother and father. No one knows what happened to her and their family hasn’t been the same since.

One way Regina copes is by drowning herself in scary stories and she’s managed to rope her little brother Henry into it by reading him scary bedtime stories. One of the stories was about entities called Vours.

Then, on Sorry Night, when Regina and Aaron, her best friend, decide to call a Vour, their plans go awry while Regina’s little brother is possessed.

I have to say, the unfolding of Henry’s devouring was downright chilling—that makes up the first quarter of the book. I was hoping the momentum would continue, but it petered out and the story became something straight out of a B horror movie.

Henry's Devouring

Although Henry is acting differently (like people and pets dropping dead in his presence), neither Reggie nor Aaron wonder whether he’s possessed until well after any clear thinking person would have. But I was willing to forgive that.

What I had difficulty forgiving was the gore-for-scare effect filling out the story, some of the dialogue was pure cheesy cliché, and character development left much to be desired.

Call me jaded, but anyone who’s ever watched more than a few classic horror movies would see right through it—in fact, I laughed a couple times. I truly wish it had more of the creepy ominous effect displayed in the beginning, but if wishes were pennies, I’d be a millionaire.

But what has my panties in a bunch is the fact that I really, really want to read the next book. The Devouring ended at the beginning of a bigger mystery. It’s not to say that The Devouring wasn’t a full story in and of itself—it was—but the story left me wondering: Who is Eben really? What are the Vours? And what is their plot?

That’s why this book was so difficult to rate. On one hand, a chunk of the story I would consider lame in the horror department, relying more on gore than suspense with gore, but on the other hand, it did an amazing job of painting a larger story and piquing curiosity. So, with that in mind, I’m middle of the road.

Rating: Get It Used [solid C] (?)

Comments on (Illustrated) Review: The Devouring by Simon Holt

  1. # BTT: An Illustration is Worth 993 Words - Today, I Read… wrote on March 11, 2010 at 7:27 pm:

    [...] around here (especially considering I just published a book review featuring my own illustration), you might have already figured out my answer, and for the most part you’d be right. But the [...]

  2. # cassie wrote on July 25, 2010 at 4:18 pm:

    Nice review…I didn’t like the first book either, the second one was better, and the third’s coming out…in OCTOBER >.< major cliffhangers are not good!
    hey…do you think Aaron has a crush on Reggie? I noticed a lot more hand-holding than in the last book…

    PS- I love this comment box! it's so pretty!

  3. # Ann-Kat wrote on July 31, 2010 at 6:58 pm:

    Thanks Cassie. I haven’t read the second one yet, but it’s definitely on my Wishlist. And now that you said there’s another one coming in Oct. I’m getting a little giddy about getting the second one.

    As far as Aaron having a crush on Reggie…um, yes. It was a bit on the obvious side, at least for me, in the first book so I’m sure it’s only going to build in the subsequent books.

    Thanks for the compliments on the comment box. I’m due for a redesign, but I’ve had so many people comment on the comment box that now I don’t want to change it. ^__^

  4. # A Barrage of Books (Hooray! Happy Dance) wrote on August 16, 2010 at 8:20 am:

    [...] long this book was sitting in my shopping cart just waiting to be bought. Finally, I thought about The Devouring and how badly I want to find out about Ebon which broke me down. I’m trying to save this read until October, but I don’t think I’ll make [...]

  5. # Dane wrote on October 23, 2010 at 2:14 pm:

    This book was amazing!!! Very funny drawing.

  6. # niila wrote on April 11, 2011 at 7:11 pm:

    nice pictures!! i like them!! and read the book its really fun and interesting! Simon Holt is a really nice and cool author! usually im not a reading person but, when i read this book i loved it so much that i read the whole book in just one day! and then for my birthday my parents bought me all of the books meaning all three novels and i read them all!! thank you Simon Holt for writing this wonderful book i loved it!! :)

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