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SoulStice (The Devouring, Book 2) Hardcover – September 1, 2009
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From School Library Journal
Grade 8 Up—Fans of The Devouring (Little, Brown, 2008) will eat up this chilling sequel. Six months earlier, Reggie saved her younger brother from the demonic Vours, evil spirits that possess humans on the winter solstice. Now Reggie's uneasy life is disrupted by the ghoulish reappearance of Quinn, her Vour-possessed past crush back from the dead, who seeks her help in stopping the Vours from taking over on the fast-approaching summer solstice. Reggie's ability to enter the "fearscape," or personal hell, of one possessed by a Vour and bring the human spirit back to life pits her against the Tracers, who simply kill the person to exterminate the Vour. Nightmarish imagery and unexpected plot twists move the story along as Vours and Tracers are continually revealed among the population of Reggie's rural Massachusetts town. Fear and tension will keep fans of the first book turning the pages right up to the cliff-hanger ending, despite weak character development and workmanlike prose, but those who missed the earlier volume may feel lost.—Joyce Adams Burner, National Archives at Kansas City, MO
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Simon Holt's writing career began with a horror fanzine in high school, the publishing of which overheated the school's photocopier. Undaunted by detention, he's continued to pursue writing ever since. Holt supported himself as a hotel night clerk and a handbag salesman before becoming a full-time novelist. A comic book collector and amateur musician, he makes his home in
Top customer reviews
When Reggie - number one good gal - and Aaron (her faithful sidekick) decipher a journal's cryptic messages, Reggie determines how to turn the tables and defeat the Vours in her personal dilema. However, in doing this, Reggie opens her brain and body to their influence. This particular essence, however, was not controlling Reggie as they do other humans - her control over "her fear" enabled her to enter their territory (fearscapes) while they were still in control of their hosts.
Going in and locating the lost souls of those that have been invaded brings her ability to the attention of the Vours. Their one rule - the Winter Soulstice was the only night the fear spinning vours could take over their human hosts. When Reggie broke rules by entering their "domain" and to find the hidden soul of the host, she opened up all kinds of possibilities. The Vours want to understand this in order to break their single rule and start entering humans during the opposite time of year - the Soulstice. Their take-over of humanity would be much easier if they were not limited to one night pr year!
This is a good tale, a scary tale and in my opinion, much better than the 1st, The DeVouring. Reggie teams up with a previous character and begins keeping secrets from her sidekick Aaron. The addition of this character is a fantastic twist and was needed to ignite that spark of interest for me. The story deepens and Reggie insists she cannot let human souls reside in fearscapes to shrivel and die. She will not let the Vours win. Everytime she enters a fearscape, it's like going into a haunted house full of rooms. She loved horror of all kinds at one time - now she "vacations" there, living through and deciphering the fearful hell of the hosts. The problem, however, is when in the fearscapes she can be injured, killed or stuck there forever, leaving her physical body to die.
The Soulstice gets a little confusing during this particular venture in finding the lost soul (approx. 3rd quarter area of book). The ending - well the author throws in one quick blurb that opens up a whole can of worms for the next book. The DeVouring series deepens in this second book and I know I will continue to read the series as they are published....the increased depth of the second installment leads me to believe there is much to come from Simon Holt's mind.
Reggie and Aaron are buried deeper than ever in nightmares that have begun to contaminate every element of their lives - home, school, family, work - their peaceful existence is a thing of the past. It's one thing for them to suffer terrifying hallucinations (Reggie has a *doozey* at school in the opening), and another to suffer them while being dragged off by police for questioning, or strapped in and shipped to a psych ward by well-meaning family members. Such deliciously unsettling things happen to the characters in their real lives that the Vour's fearscape has to dial it up to keep pace - and it does! But chin up, the worse things get, the deeper Reggie and Aaron are able to dig to find hidden strengths.
The plot is expanding in fascinating directions, broadening the world of The Devouring books, complicating the plot, and fleshing out already great characters. In particular, Aaron gets to shine in this book, which is well overdue and comprises some of my favourite moments by far. I think fans will find themselves repulsed and morbidly fascinated by Vour Quinn -- the monster keeps stealing the good lines! The conflict between Vour Quinn and Aaron drips smoky Vour disdain, and Vour Quinn is actually frightfully insightful about Reggie. The simple statement that Reggie likely doesn't know what her worst fear is comes across as positively chilling. I can't wait to see where that little lump of coal leads us.
Holt really hits his stride in these books. I am so enthusiastic about the next in the series, and am hoping for a long run on these characters. This series is absorbing, original, and well done! I'm crossing my fingers Simon Holt can maintain the respect for the characters, and high quality for a long time to come.
Most recent customer reviews
UGH!!! this book did NOT turn out the way i thought it would!Read more