Carolyn Storer's Reviews > The Devouring

The Devouring by Simon Holt
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's review
Sep 03, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: young-adult, book-list-2009, horror
Read in September, 2009 , read count: 1

The story opens up with a prologue, which definitely sets the scene and is one of my favourite sections of the book. The characters are well written and believable. I really liked Reggie and her determination to fight the Vours and save her brother from a life living in his worst nightmare. Aaron is also a good addition as you felt that Reggie had someone she could count on. I also like the twist with Quinn's character, which I didn't see coming.

The Vours are evil, children devouring demons, that feed on fear and are seriously scary. They are sinister and manipulative and really rather horrid. Younger horror fans will love the few gory sections in the book. I also loved the poems, such as the one on the back cover (above). These are the kind of poems that you would expect to be chanted around a camp fire.

The bulk of the story is creepy and suspenseful. My senses were heightened as I read this book. I don't think it helped that I was home alone, in a room that was barely lit except for a small low wattage lamp. The story has great atmosphere and the inclusion of spiders as Reggie's worst fear and drowning as Aaron's probably didn't help my nerves as they are my worst fears too. The scenes with the small spiders climbing over Reggie had me brushing my arms and jumpily checking my body for spiders long after I had read the scene.

The story kept a good steady pace, which had my attention from beginning to end and I read the book in one sitting. This is a fairly short book, with only 217 pages, so it's easy to do. The ending is satisfying, although you are left with a cliffhanger, which suggests a sequel. Can't wait!

I love both the UK and US covers, but now I've read the book I think the UK one is much more appropriate. The US cover doesn't really make sense or have any connection to the story itself in any way; it's far too demure.

Favourite Passages:

"She grabbed the spider with both hands. It wriggled in her grasp. We are the cure. Her jaw hurt from gritting her teeth. We devour your fear. She brought the spider to her mouth. Devour your fear."

"The surgeon rounded the corner. Her mask was gone, and beneath her eyes was only a black pit that billowed smoke. One of her rubber-gloved hands raised a bone saw, and the circular blade whirred to life."


Although this book is aimed at the Young Adult market, I would say that it's more suited to younger readers, 12-14, than the older teenage market as the writing is fairly simple and doesn't contain too much bad language or scenes of violence. However, it's still a great read for any age, especially if you are a horror fan; it had my skin crawling.

This is a definite halloween read, so if you haven't read it yet, I recommend that you do! It's just as creepy as hell!

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Reading Progress

09/07/2009 page 102
06/14/2015 marked as: read
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