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The Devouring (Devouring (Paperback)) Paperback – June 1, 2009
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From School Library Journal
Grade 7 Up—Comparable to books by R. L. Stine and Stephen King, The Devouring will keep readers on the edge of their seats. Reggie is a horror fanatic. When she finds a journal in a box of used books at the bookstore where she works, she "borrows" it. It tells of the Vours, black smokelike beings that possess humans who can't conquer their fear on Sorry Night (the eve of the winter solstice). Reggie and her friend Aaron attempt to make the Vours materialize but instead they possess her little brother. In a fight to the death, Reggie joins the battle of humanity against the Vours. This story contains classic elements of the genre: a horrific monster, fusion (where two different entities are fused into one), and the process of discovery. The book has some graphic content, blood, and gore, which only add to the chills. A must-have for horror fans.—June H. Keuhn, Corning East High School, NY
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Comparable to books by R. L. Stine and Stephen King, The Devouring will keep readers on the edge of their seats. Reggie is a horror fanatic. When she finds a journal in a box of used books at the bookstore where she works, she "borrows" it. It tells of the Vours, black smokelike beings that possess humans who can't conquer their fear on Sorry Night (the eve of the winter solstice). Reggie and her friend Aaron attempt to make the Vours materialize but instead they possess her little brother. In a fight to the death, Reggie joins the battle of humanity against the Vours. This story contains classic elements of the genre: a horrific monster, fusion (where two different entities are fused into one), and the process of discovery. The book has some graphic content, blood, and gore, which only add to the chills. A must-have for horror fans.―June H. Keuhn, Corning East High School, NY, School Library Journal
"When the dark creeps in and eats the light, / Bury your fears on Sorry Night," begins this creepy tale that reads like A Nightmare on Elm Street with a dollop of demonic possession. Reggie Halloway, a mousy girl and avid horror fan, discovers a strange journal while working at an occult bookstore. Upon investigation, she learns about the Vours, horrific demons who feed on fear and take over the body, morphing its host into a cold, cruel creature. When, as a prank, Reggie and her friend Aaron attempt to summon a Vour, things go horribly awry and a Vour takes over the body of her little brother, Henry. Reggie then must battle the Vours to try to get her brother's soul back into his body. In this introductory volume, cinematic in its scope, Holt borrows conventions from many horror films, including a Stygian carnival complete with killer clowns and dreams in which injuries can manifest themselves in the real world. A scary yarn spun at breakneck speed, perfect for those chilly winter nights.―Kirkus
Reggie is a horror junkie who can't get enough of creepy movies, stories, and books, so she is naturally thrilled to stumble upon a mysterious old journal that describes the Vours, demonic beings that can enter fearful human bodies once a year. Although Reggie initially assumes the journal to be fiction, it quickly becomes clear that her timid younger brother, Henry, has actually been possessed by a Vour. Suddenly, Reggie is faced with a brother who kills his own beloved hamster and threatens her life, but she is certain that the Henry she loves is still there underneath. Although the diary gives few clues about how to actually exorcise demons, Reggie is determined to save her brother, even if it means facing unberable fears of her own. The fear-created world where Henry is stuck is remarkably creepy, built out of the most alarming imaginings of a young boy (murderous clowns, abandoning mothers, grotesquely dying children make up a few of the obstacles through which Reggie must travel to get to her brother). In addition, the intriguing local roots of the Vours, presented mostly through snippets of the desperate journal entries, add a layer of historical depth to this otherwise straightforward, modern novel. Horror fans will likely find the crsip writing, effectively relentless pacing, and haunting concept irresistible.―The Bulletin
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Top Customer Reviews
The Devouring centers around Reggie who finds an old book and reads a story about the Vours who devour souls on Sorry Night. Reggie reads this story to her younger brother and assures him it is just a scary story. When Henry, Reggie’s younger brother, begins acting strangely though she must confront the fact that her brother has been taken over by a Vour and race to save his soul.
The strongest part of this story was Holt’s writing. The poetry surrounding of the Vours and the descriptions were well written and full of emotion. The story was very fast paced and featured a multitude of different scary elements. These included a haunted fairground, a deserted old farmhouse, and children being possessed. Random fact: possessed children scare me more then anything else.
I also liked Reggie well enough. I thought she was rather inconsistent though and because the story was so fast paced there wasn’t a lot of time for us to get to know her as a character independent of the events surrounding the Vours. She does go through character growth though and it was interesting to watch her try and master her fears.
Overall, The Devouring wasn’t a bad book it just wasn’t my thing. Aside from the “creepy” parts there wasn’t much to this story. It was very basic. I wish there had been more depth to both the Vours and Reggie. I know this is a trilogy though so I assume there is more depth and development in the latter books in the series. If you are looking for something creepy that will keep you up late, I would recommend The Devouring.
The Devouring #2 left us with Reggie being taken to a mental ward. A cliffhanger extraordinaire that had me anxiously awaiting Fearscapes release.
A quick side note on the Vours. The Vours are evil demons that have existed since time began; they can only take possession of a human body on `Sorry Night', the night of the winter solstice. A person who is possessed by a Vour retains all of the memories but the person is left in a place called a fearscape. "Fearscapes are unique, landscapes crafted from a victim's deepest darkest fears. Here the victim would live in torment, while the Vour lived a human life in the human world, with no one the wiser" It turns out that they are highly organized and plan to take over the human race.
We find Reggie moved to an unknown location being tortured by the sadistically evil, yet human Dr. Unger. She is forced to go into others fearscapes again and again, wondering if this will be the one that will break her. Her stay at this facility is tortuous to say the least. She is withheld food, water and all the basic necessities. Along with this, she is forced to endure horrific tests. But, Reggie doesn't let us down; she endures and she discovers all the torture she's endured has left her with her own power. A power that many fear and covet. This makes Reggie most wanted by many powerful organizations; alive or dead.
During Reggies absence, Aaron, her best friend, has been searching wildly for her. He has become aligned with some ex-Tracers who left the rigid organization when they found out there was another way to save those that have been possessed by the Vours other than murder. He has learned to fight, to think like a warrior and is no longer the skinny nerd. His sole mission is to find and save Reggie and he'll stop at nothing to accomplish this.
What happens throughout the book is both heartbreaking particularly when Reggie encounters an important loved one from her past, horrifically chilling, and a spine chilling nail biting page turner.
Reggie has enemies where she least expected; friends where she least expected and an inner strength that she never realized she had.
The character growth in the book is fantastic; I love how flawlessly the story flows, the vivid descriptions of fearscapes and the depth of the characters personalities. This is one of my favorite series and I do hope to see some more in the future.
READ THIS BOOK!!! I recommend starting with the first two books, you'll be happy you did!
*I didn't want to put in to many spoilers, I don't think I did? If so, my apology.