Wednesday, January 6, 2010

My Take On The Devouring by Simon Holt

"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?

I braved the Vours on Sorry Night, and I survived! It was the perfect read for those long, pre-Christmas nights when the wind is throwing itself against the walls of your house, trying to find a way in to rend your soul and leave you forsaken. Okay, enough poetry.
This is one case where the cover really sealed the deal for me. I'm not big on horror1, but the cover was just s'darn pretty that I couldn't pass it up! Good thing I don't live in the UK, because I wouldn't have picked it up it for lovin' nor money! And not only is it eye catching, it also captures Reggie perfectly. Another thing about this book; going into it, I thought it would take place in rural, mid-twentieth century America as the prologue indicated, so I was quite shocked when the story transitioned from that to the present. At first I was dissapointed, but the story was really better suited the now, I think, so I got over it fairly quickly.
Reggie was a very capable protagonist. She's been forced into a demi-mother role ever since her mom walked out without so much as a backward glance leaving her, her little brother, and her father. Her dad's a bit of a flake in the emotional department, so her home life leaves a bit to be desired, though it was interesting to read about. As a means of escape, Reggie's taken up reading as many gruesome horror stories as she can get her hands on. The story really gets going when she snags an old journal from the used book store she works at, and she and her best, and only, friend, Platonic Boy of Similar Social Rank and Questionable Headwear2, unwittingly bring the Vours down on her family when they perform a fear ritual on Sorry Night. But who better than a horror buff, who's faced every fear imaginable whilst traversing the realms of fiction, to fight the demonic parasites? But what Reggie discovers is that the world is more full of darkness than she'd ever imagined.
I was bit confused as to how the Vours were psychic parasites yet still had a corporeal form, but that asside, they were excellent monsters. I especially enjoyed reading about Reggies battle royale against them and seeing whether she would be brave enough to devour her fear4.
My favorite part of the book was by far the Fearscape; a place where all your fears are real. I don't want to give too much away, but it did manage to raise some goosebumps.
I'd rate The Devouring PG13 for scenes of creepy gore. For a complete content rating of this and other books, head on over to Rating Reads5.
I give The Devouring...

...Four Zombies
with a fear factor of 3. It wasn't as scary as The Forest of Hands and Teeth, but a book's FF depends greatly on the reader's individual fears. Turns out psychic fear monsters aren't high on my list.

Happy reading,
Zombie Girrrl

1  A highly debatable statement, if ever there was one.
2  And what social rank would that be? you wonder? Hey nodders. It means that while walking down the halls of their beloved high school, Reggie and Aaron will recieve a hey,  a nod, or any combination of the two from the general populace. I really loved reading about those two. It was sooo nice that they were just friends! You could tell that they were never going to be anything but friends because Aaron wore a stupid hat. It's the law of headwear that any boy wearing a dippy hat has no chance with the leading lady3. At least not in this book. Who's to say what'll happen in Soulstice, though? ;)
3  Case and point: Sixteen Candles. Ducky, anyone?
4  Does anyone else find the title funny? I mean, De-vour. Like to get rid of a Vour? 
5  Rating Reads is place where books will be rated on their content by me, Dahlia, Orchid, and Holland. Contributions are welcome as we're hoping to rate as many books as possible to aid our fellow readers.
**This book was obtained through a contest held by a fellow blogger. I have recieved no compensation for this review.**


Adriana said...

I also really like the pretty cover, I just wasn't so sure about the book. Definitely going to add it to TBR pile now.

Alyssa Kirk @ Teens Read and Write said...

Looks like fun. I'll put it on my list!

miss cindy :) said...

it sounds really good :)

pirate penguin said...

LOL, love the sixteen candles reference... you know that originally she was supposed to end up with Ducky? But they changed it. Personally, I thought Ducky was waaay better for her. But that's just me... Anyways, fabulous review ;)!

Zombie Girrrl said...

Okay, I'll be honest; I've never seen 16 Candles. I drew that conclusion from Not Another Teen Movie. You know, the part where everyone was yelling at the dorky friend that he didn't have a chance and that she didn't see him that way? XD I loved The Breakfast Club, though.

Misty said...

I keep going back and forth on whether I want to read this; reviews are so conflicting. I think it will be a library read, if anything, not a buy. And HOW have you not seen 16 Candles??? Ducky is GOD! You must watch it ASAP.
Also, I didn't find The Forest of Hands and Teeth all that scary (though it probably would be, in movie form), but I did like it quite a bit.

Orchid said...

Loved The Devouring. Its definitely one the best creepy books I've ever read. :)

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