Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Devourers” as Want to Read:
The Devourers
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Devourers

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  2,131 ratings  ·  543 reviews
On a cool evening in Kolkata, India, beneath a full moon, as the whirling rhythms of traveling musicians fill the night, college professor Alok encounters a mysterious stranger with a bizarre confession and an extraordinary story. Tantalized by the man’s unfinished tale, Alok will do anything to hear its completion. So Alok agrees, at the stranger’s behest, to transcribe a ...more
Hardcover, 306 pages
Published July 12th 2016 by Del Rey Books
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Devourers, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Devourers

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.75  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,131 ratings  ·  543 reviews

Sort order
I can't honestly say that it is a completely unique experience to say that I've been consumed by a story, but I can honestly say that I've never consumed and been consumed by one in equal proportions.

This one hit me in the feels, and I can't quite say that I've ever really been taken in by the whole werewolf phenomenon, and although I have enjoyed the whole idea of burning life and and desperate death struggles, no particular novelization or film has quite done for me what this novel accomplishe
Heidi The Hippie Reader
A wholly original shape-shifter tale that also delves into identity, gender roles, and love. Alok is a college professor who is approached one night by a person who claims to be more than a man. Alok doesn't believe the stranger until an unbelievable vision, caused by the man's hypnotic words, appears in Alok's mind. Suddenly, the stranger's claims that he's a werewolf don't seem so far fetched. The stranger, who won't reveal his name, has a job for Alok, the transcription of an ancient narrativ ...more
Althea Ann
Aug 10, 2016 rated it it was ok
I really thought I was going to love this one. A story of werewolves and the mythology of India, from a graduate of the prestigious Clarion writers' workshop? Sign me right up!

Unfortunately, Indra Das' writing just didn't capture my imagination the way I expected it to. In style, this is more of a literary allegory on gender, relationships and identity than it is a fantasy or horror tale, so if that is up your alley, your mileage may vary accordingly.

As our story opens, a young college professo
Apr 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Devourers is a twist on Indian folklore that is an absolutely wonderful representation of different cultures, gender issues, bi-sexuality, unconventional love, masculinity, and even rape. This story has werewolf folklore from many different cultures, too. I think this book would appeal to many different readers that read my reviews.

I'm going to be rather vague in this review, because I think this book is probably be
Jun 04, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This was the most disgusting book I've ever read and I recently finished Dreamcatcher, King's ode to farts, diarrhea, and shit weasels.

This was worse.

I wanted to say nice things, like this is an interesting story somewhere between Interview with the Vampire and an LGBT Donna Boyd tale. Now all that's true but this is a male author and he's decided to literally PISS all over that story. Hot, asparagus, UTI level piss. Oh yes, he brought the stink.

This story was brought to you by the letter P
Jun 30, 2016 rated it it was ok
Honestly I picked this book up because of the cover. It is gorgeous and the blurb instantly caught my attention being compared to some big name authors.

I was hoping for something like Uprooted, it being a story of Indian folklore. However it was nothing near what I expected.

So let us start with the good.

The tale was alright. I did enjoy learning about werewolves in cultures across the world. It is so interesting that so many different cultures all have a word for these creatures, and their own
The Shayne-Train
May 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
I don't even know how to review this. This book is amazing, and unlike anything I've ever read.

Ostensibly a "werewolf" novel, it is so, so much more. First of all, the term "werewolf" is sort of a misnomer. Consider it more a shapeshifter novel, mostly told by way of flashbacks and journal entries. Secondofly, the POV changes often, letting you see all sides of the story. And when I say it changes, man, I mean it changes. Sometimes mid-paragraph or even mid-sentence towards the end when the pitc
Tori (InToriLex)
Find this and other Reviews at In Tori Lex
Actual Rating 2.5
I expected an action packed narrative based on Indian Folklore, however the pacing and excessive gore led to disappointment. Alok is a relateable protagonist, but most of the book is the battered notebooks he is transcribing. The tale describes gender fluid shape shifting beings, their way of life, powers and superiority over humans. The narrative is interesting but was presented slowly and didn't engage me. The character development do
CONTENT WARNING: This book, and by necessity this review, contains discussions of rape.

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. No outside considerations went into this review.
All quotes are taken from a galley copy of the book, and may differ from the final printed version.

It's been over a month since I finished this book, and I've been putting off writing a review for it because I just... don't know what to say. Partly this is because The Devourers deals with heavy
Arielle Walker
This was nearly so, so incredibly good.

I'm not much of a one for "werewolves", though shapeshifters when done right can be a whole other story. The Devourers really is a whole other story. I haven't read anything much like this before, though now that I think of it The Incarnations does come to mind. This is (a very small amount) less horrific, and (a very large amount) more beautifully told, however - not counting the fact that it's a different culture, different setting, different story entir
Aug 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
What a surprise this read was! When I first started this book and up to first 30% I didn’t thought even for a second that I’ll add this book to my favorite shelf. yah I am touched by this book!

Once in a far town called Mumtaz Abad a trio of shapeshifters each from one part of Europe walked past a young Persian woman sitting in a courtyard of a caravanserai!

Fenrir the shapeshifter, werewolf, monster who loves humans. He is a devourer who wants to create, to have a child, to love but love is forbi
Jun 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
I loved this book. In Kolkata, the narrator Alok, a middle aged professor at university, meets a man who professes to be half-werewolf, part of a population of shape-shifters that hunts down and kills humans, devouring both their bodies and their memories. The man gives the narrator a manuscript to transcribe, the story of shape-shifters Gévaudan and Fenrir; and Cyrah, a woman who gets raped by Fenrir, finds herself pregnant (to shape-shifters, an abomination not because of the rape, but because ...more
May 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, folklore
"I am the monster in your tale."
The Devourers is an utterly unique story, a lyrical, dreamlike, all-consuming experience. It's a story within a story, interwoven with metaphor and symbolism. On the most mundane level, it's a story of monsters, of shapeshifters, a story of rape, of what happens after, of how a woman victimized by a monster seeks to regain empowerment. The Devourers spans many eras, but the backbone of the story takes place in modern-day Kolkata, where a jaded historian meets a fa
Apr 21, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is not everyday that one comes across a delectable dish of a book which one eats up in a single go, impatient because it is so good, but sad at the same time because it would be over soon, and then can't get over its taste for months to come. One goes around town, asking every eatery if they have that dish, with its richness of texture and the amazing burst of every single ingredient that one can taste with each bite, and one is offered many a things, but never exactly that. One then sits dow ...more
If I could give this book six stars, I would. I did not remember the last time I feel shell shocked after reading a book. I found myself rather breathless at the end, I felt I was going to cry.

This book felt personal. Maybe because the setting - India and Indonesia are both colorful, lush, fragrant lands and the supernatural tales woven in this book remind me of my own childhood, with all the stories of those who hunt us, human, the weak ones.

At first, The Devourers looked like a rip off of Int
May 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Holy shit. This is the queer feminist genderfluid South Asian anticolonialist own-voices shapeshifter fantasy novel you didn't know you were waiting for. Remarkably well-crafted, imaginative, and moving.
Jun 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was a very interesting book to read. It wasn’t the best book I’ve ever read – I thought parts of it were forced – but nonetheless I’m going to be thinking about this one for a while, I can tell.

My thoughts on this are somewhat disjointed, so this review’s going to be a little scattershot.

* This book is set in India, alternating between present-day Kolkata and the 16th century Mughal Empire. I know very little about India, to tell the truth; this is the first book I’ve ever read set there, a
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Well, I think I’ve put this review off long enough, and it will be a short one, since our fantastic discussion in the CBR book club last month covered a LOT of ground.

The Devourers is certainly an original take on werewolves, I’ll give it that, but this book was just not for me.

I get intellectually what it was going for, and in parts I was engaged, but overall, I just didn’t care. At the beginning of the book, I actively disliked it. As many have said in their reviews, for me it got better once
Sam Thompson
Jun 05, 2016 rated it it was ok
As a whole, I have to admit that I did not enjoy this book. I can see and understand its compelling moments, but I found myself too often mired in the authors heavy handed metaphors on the nature of man, and the extreme and gratuitous violence (there's a pretty visceral difference between the gore in your typical grim-dark fantasy novel, and the overly detailed descriptions of the consumption of human bodies found here). I was also frustrated by the lack of variety the character interactions. Be ...more
Sep 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
A lush, wonderful novel that delves into werewolf folklore from several different cultures, while also managing to be topical about gender, rape, and the nature of love.

Longer review to follow later.
Emma Sea
Mar 21, 2017 marked it as dnf
Shelves: auckland-library
I tried. I really tried. The writing is gorgeous, but it just couldn't hold my attention. Reading it continued to feel like work. I only made it to page 43. I am a bad reader *hangs head*
Oct 21, 2016 rated it it was ok
What's with all the descriptions of urine? This is, for the most part, a beautifully written book, but for whatever reason, it feels like there is constant talk and description of piss. Once or twice, I could understand, but it's pretty gross and jolted me out of the narrative. And there are several narrators throughout the book, so it doesn't really make sense that every narrator would be like "and he pissed and this is what it smelled/ felt like." It made it seem more like a weird authorial ti ...more
Jun 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Literary supernatural. I'm having a little bit of, "What the hell did I just read?!?!" Wow. It was intense, mysterious, taut. The story is difficult to talk about without spoiler-ish consequences. It's a tale that's revealed slowly, one artichoke leaf dipped in salted butter at a time, sensual and slow - but eventually you do get to the heart. There are no huge twists, really - and I kept waiting for something to knock me off my feet. It's really more of a slow burn, but this isn't a bad thing.

Jan 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This... was a bit of a surprise. I feared that the beautiful cover and (mostly) rave reviews would hide a mediocre or even shoddy story, and I usually avoid werewolf stories because they are, for the most part, not scary, and I also kinda felt the trope has been beaten to death. But Das somehow manages to refresh things, using gorgeous baroque language to weave a continent-wide story of intermingled cultures (brownie points from Serbia for the vukodlaks) and identities. The detachment and othern ...more
Mar 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
3.5/5 I received this book last year as part of a Goodreads giveaway, and am just now getting around to reading it and reviewing it. I'm making a serious effort to reading and reviewing those review copies I get, and I feel like I read this at just the right time. I started it last year when I received it but couldn't get into it the way I had hoped. Sometimes we just have to wait for the right moment to read something!

Anyway, I was initially interested in this book because The Devourers draws c
This is a really good book. Much more literary than one would think a book about shapechangers would be. I find myself, days after finishing, thinking about the nature of self, of society, of what it means to break out of what culture expects. Questions of love, what it is, and how the fantasy of love is so different from the reality of love. It's not a desire - it's an action.

I loved Cyrah - her vulnerability, her strength, her rage and her love. And I loved Gévaudan, for reasons I won't tell y
Jul 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
When I was younger, I had a huge interest in vampires, mummies, and werewolves. I loved all the classic monsters, but in media today, I seriously dislike the changes and "sexing" up of these monsters. Monsters are by definition, monsters...they are not human, the feelings and thoughts and patterns of our mundane, short lives DO NOT apply to them.

The Devourers is a fever dream of beautiful, brutal and bloody language, a look into the inhuman lives of shapeshifters or "werewolves." I read this boo
Such a fantastic twist on Indian folklore with such diverse representations of gender and sexuality. Alok, a history professor, meets a stranger who begins telling him a story but doesn't finish. He does ask Alok to transcribe the rest for him. Intrigued, Alok agrees. Chapter switch between Alok's perspective and the tale he's transcribing. It's set in Kolkata which brings this book to life. Fantastic read. TW: rape (not graphic/romanticized)
Sukanya Venkatraghavan
Nov 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
What an utterly strange, captivating book. And this review is purely emotional, I wont go into the plot, story or characters. Once I fully got into it, I had trouble putting it down. Absolutely riveting stuff. Don't get put off by the mildly confusing first few pages. Keep going. It is totally worth it. I am gutted, amazed and enchanted.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
SciFi and Fantasy...: "The Devourers" Buddy Read 25 56 Apr 15, 2018 10:48AM  
  • The Winged Histories
  • The Gilda Stories
  • Ariah (Ariah, #1)
  • The Witch Who Came In From The Cold: Season One (The Witch Who Came In From The Cold #1.1-1.13)
  • The Descent of Monsters (Tensorate, #3)
  • Everfair
  • Speak Easy
  • In the Vanishers’ Palace
  • Summerlong
  • Hinterkind Vol. 2: Written in Blood
  • The Very Best of Kate Elliott
  • A Dead Djinn in Cairo
  • Sister Mine
  • The Sea Is Ours: Tales from Steampunk Southeast Asia
  • Mandelbrot the Magnificent
  • Sorcerer to the Crown (Sorcerer Royal, #1)
  • The Steel Seraglio
  • She of the Mountains
See also Indrapramit Das.

Indrapramit Das (aka Indra Das) is a writer and artist from Kolkata, India. His fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in several publications including Clarkesworld, Asimov’s, Strange Horizons, and, and has also been widely anthologized. He is an Octavia E. Butler scholar and a grateful graduate of Clarion West 2012. He completed his M.F.A. at the University of Br
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“Intimacy lies in the body and the soul, in scent, in touch and taste and sound. A man whose name you don’t know can tell you a tale to move you to tears, just by filling and emptying his lungs, by moving his tongue and lips, his fingers. Even after, you might never know him.” 3 likes
More quotes…