Robert Beveridge's Reviews > The Devouring

The Devouring by Simon Holt
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's review
Mar 29, 12

bookshelves: 2011-goal-list, cuy-co-pub-lib, finished
Read from July 24 to 29, 2011, read count: 1

Simon Holt, The Devouring (Little, Brown, 2008)

The first in (as of now) a trilogy, The Devouring is an effective little YA horror tale that takes a surprisingly intelligent approach to its subject matter—one which started appearing in the eighties but oddly never really seems to have caught on (it SHOULD be a cliché by now, but isn't).

Reggie, our heroine, loves horror in all its various forms. (This is what I'm talking about above—someone who knows the genre well enough to act with intelligence when something extraordinary occurs.) When she stumbles across an old' handwirrten journal in a box that arrives at the used bookstore where she works, she sneaks it home and reads it. It turns out to be the ravings of a lunatic, or so she thinks, about the Vours—an evil, non-corporeal race of beings bent on taking over the world, but who can only escape from the plane to which they were banished long ago on Halloween night. All well and good until the day after Halloween, when her little brother Henry starts acting strangely... and in order to get her brother back from the beast that has possessed him, Reggie must go into their world and face Henry's deepest fears.

YA horror fans should be enchanted by this, and adult horror fans won't find too much wrong here, either. Fast-paced, straightforward, with a sensitive eye toward tough issues without coming off like a dysfunction-junction “self-help novel”, The Devouring is a worthy enough beginning that I'll be dipping into the other books in the series. *** ½

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