Arielle Walker's Reviews > The Devourers

The Devourers by Indra Das
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really liked it
bookshelves: fantasy-unusual, pūrākau, gorgeous-covers, gorgeous-writing, post-grad

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 entirely. It's more of a tonal thing I guess.

The tales within the tale are rough and raw, so vivid I can still feel the grit and grease and spice even a few days after finishing. If I was rating this only based on those stories, this would be a solid five stars - but at the same time, for all the relative weakness of Alok's scenes, they are essential, glue to hold the rest together. It just felt like a let-down each time, re-entering the "real" world (Alok's world), and in the end... well I don't think it's a spoiler to say it doesn't really go anywhere in particular. Which is actually ok, but that uncertainty needed a little more toughness to really be worthy of the rest.

On a purely grammatical note, I wish there had been some tighter editing - so many phrases had clumsy repetitions, and with writing so mesmerising each one felt like an electric shock.

But wow. This is Indra Das' first novel? Because when it was good it was fucking magical (yes, both words are necessary in that description). Plus that cover is yet more proof that illustrated books are hugely underrated.
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Reading Progress

November 7, 2016 – Shelved
November 7, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
November 12, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read-next
December 3, 2016 – Started Reading
December 4, 2016 – Shelved as: fantasy-unusual
December 4, 2016 – Shelved as: pūrākau
December 4, 2016 – Shelved as: gorgeous-covers
December 4, 2016 – Shelved as: gorgeous-writing
December 4, 2016 – Finished Reading
December 9, 2016 – Shelved as: post-grad

Comments Showing 1-1 of 1 (1 new)

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Leah Meyer Great review, I also felt like Aloks scenes were good vehicles between the scrolls’ content but it could have ended when Izrail left him in the Sunderbans. That said, if shapeshifting was an allegory for gender exploration, I can see why the ending was more drawn out but then Das should have done more to establish gender and sexuality fluidity among the shapeshifters earlier. It just felt tacked on to me because we don’t really know Alok.

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