Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Review: The Devouring - Simon Holt

Published: September 1st 2008, Puffin

Pages: 217 pages, paperback

Acquired: Sent for review by Puffin

Summary (from Goodreads): When Reggie finds an old journal and reads about the Vours, supernatural creatures who feast on fear and attack on the eve of the winter solstice, she assumes they are just the musings of some lunatic author. But soon, they become a terrifying reality when she begins to suspect that her timid younger brother might be one of their victims. Risking her life and her sanity, Reggie enters a living nightmare to save the people she loves. Can she devour her own fears before they devour her?
Bone-chilling, terrifying, thrilling...what are you waiting for?

What I liked: When I received my review copy of The Devouring it came with a sticker on the front cover stating that I could get my money back if it wasn’t scarier than Darren Shan. Although I didn’t actually pay for this book, if I had I would definitely not be making use of this offer - I am a Darren Shan fan but The Devouring is much, much scarier.

I’m an absolute sucker for horror. I love it. Films, books, anything. Stephen King is my idol and I do wish there was more young adult horror. I find it’s either adult (which is fine by me but it’s not what I review) or a little too young for teens. Slight grumble aside, The Devouring is exactly what I’d been looking for. Perfect for teens, absolutely terrifying and brilliantly written. Definitely check it out - if you can stomach it.

The cover generated a lot of buzz on the blogs over the last few months and if you look at the picture I’ve included at the top of this review I’m sure you can see why. It’s bold, in your face and extremely graphic - lovely stuff. The cover does set the tone for the rest of the book, though, so if that freaks you out you may be best to avoid this one. It really is scary.

The Vours are horrible, horrible villains. Ruthless, hell bent on nothing but terrifying their victims and scarily intelligent, they’re fantastic to read about. Holt’s description is second to none and I almost had to put the book down a couple of times to calm myself before I carried on - all the signs of a brilliant horror novel.

I think this one would work brilliantly in film. The Vours are so visual and there are so many scenes that I really saw playing out in my head as I was reading them - lots of drowning and nightmares and that excellent scene at the funfair. Funfairs have always creeped me out - and clowns. Yes, both of there feature in The Devouring. Awesome.

If you’re not a horror fan and you’re easily scared then I would exercise a little caution before reading The Devouring. I loved it but then again I love being scared. If you’re prone to freaking yourself out then you probably will have nightmares to be honest - but a little scare isn’t going to hurt anyone. Be brave and pick up a copy of this brilliant book.

First line: ‘On Sorry Night, just a few days before Christmas, you have to snuff the lamps, douse the flames in the fireplace and spend the night in the cold and dark.’

Read if you liked…: Any of the old Point Horror books - fab

Plot: 4/5
Writing: 4/5
Characters: 3/5
Cover: 4/5
Total: 15/20 (B)


  1. Great review! I really want to read this one :)

  2. I have this one slated to read next month. After your review I can't wait!

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. *Phew*. I picked this one up with the US cover because it was gorgeous and I couldn't resist the swirling purple smoke. I made a mistake. Not because this book isn't brilliant, imaginative and well written but because I am a wimp and this book scared the living daylights out of me. I read it in one gruesome sitting because I was in too deep to stop and let my mind wander to what happened. You make really good points in your review. This is a horror through and through with a capitol H. I will never forget her brother whispering through the air vent. It still haunts me to this day! Thanks for the great review!

  5. Meep. *ducks under covers* Loved your review, but not be reading this one. Cover is creepy enough as it is - not sure if I could handle the actual contents of the book :)

  6. Here to explore as just met you via Book Bloggers Abroad. I do not normally read the genres you seem to review but you have a great blog.

  7. Looks like a very scary book, thanks! for reviewing.

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Thank you kindly for the comment, you sweet thing.