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Review: The Devouring by Simon Holt

The Devouring (Book 1/3) 
Author: Simon Holt (@ Goodreads)
Release Date:9/1/08
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Age Group: Young Adult (14+)
Source: Borrowed (School Library)
Overall Feelings: Super!

"When Reggie finds an old journal and reads about the Vours, supernatural creatures who feast on fear and attack on the eve of the winter solstice, she assumes they are just the musings of some lunatic author. But soon, they become a terrifying reality when she begins to suspect that her timid younger brother might be one of their victims.

Risking her life and her sanity, Reggie enters a living nightmare to save the people she loves. Can she devour her own fears before they devour her?

Bone-chilling, terrifying, thrilling...what are you waiting for?"

Plot & Ending: Two words. So spooky. I haven't read a spooky-type book in a long time. I don't have the stomach for them. But, The Devouring was tastefully done, including those creepy parts. 

This story revolves around these creatures called the Vours, beings who steal your subconscious and take you over in mind and body. Pretty creepy, right? Yeah, that's not all. The person inside that was once there disappears into another realm called the Fearscape...*shivers*

I loved soo many things about this book. I loved how Holt created such a complexity behind the Vours, what the Vours actually are, their goals. My emotions were pulled and tugged, especially when Henry, the heroine's younger brother of eight years, becomes the target of these beings. Another great touch was the seemingly harmless, fictional journal of a mad woman who knew more about the Vours than most did.

More than that, there were so many scare factors. So many gruesome scenes, but it wasn't exaggerated or unbelievable. In fact, a lot of the scary scenes seemed so real I got goosebumps. There were points that I had to stop reading because it got so intense and I became too absorbed. This novel's definitely something you want to stay away from when you're in the dark.

The ending was nicely done. I didn't feel as though it was rushed. Instead, it tied up a few loose ends while keeping others open for a sequel. It is implied that there are more problems for the main characters to face in the nearby future, but the ending didn't disappoint. The Devouring is most definitely a novel I encourage you to pick up and read.

Characters: Regina...she is amazing. And I mean that. For a character who has yet to reach full maturity, a young adolescent, she has a surprising level of strength. Rather than succumb to her fears, she embraces them, faces them, takes them head on. A very admirable quality, if you ask me. Also the love and affection she possesses for her brother, that fierce protection she feels for him that pushes her passed what would be her breaking point and go beyond. I'm telling ya, she's an amazing heroine. 

Aaron, Regina's best friend, is also a lovely addition to the cast in this book. I'm envious of his loyalty toward Regina. It's something I wish I felt for a friend, and vice versa. And because of said loyalty, he overcomes his own fears to look out for his best friend and his best friend's little brother. An amazing person, I'd say. 

I liked Eben, Regina's employer though I was ultra suspicious of him. And Henry is also awesome. He seemed like my own brother and I was constantly fearful for him. 

Another superb thing about the characters is the villains. I don't want to name them, but they're too cool for words. How they creep up on you. How you'd least expect that person to be playing for the bad team. Radical, man.

Seriously, The Devouring has a great selection of characters, ones that any reader can relate to. 

Cover: What drew me in about this cover was the fact that the model didn't seem so perfect or ethereal. She seemed to possess this human frailty that lurks in the best of us. That vulnerability, that frightened look we are all capable of getting. She looked real. Therefore, relatable, in my opinion, at least. Plus it doesn't hurt that the swirling, I guess, mist is purple. (Purple's my favorite color.)