A Rogue Librarian's Reading List

{August 25, 2010}   The Devouring by Simon Holt

Plot: Reggie loves horror so when she finds an eerie old diary written by a madwoman and talking about monsters she is fascinated. The diary writes of Vours, monsters that will appear on the Winter Solstice or Sorry Night, steal your soul and inhabit your body. But when Reggie and her friend Aaron try to summon the creatures as a lark, things go horribly wrong. Her kid brother is suddenly different, cruel and inhuman. She suspects that he may have been taken over by the Vours and she will do anything to get his soul back.

This was a horror tale the way I like them: eerie and suspenseful without ever being gory. It is a story about facing your fears and about trust, in particular the fear that come from not being able to trust those you love most. It was also a quick, fun read that doesn’t give you the time to get bored.

Reggie is a very strong character, capable of facing her fears and protecting those she cares about in the face of overwhelming odds. Her friendship with  Aaron is also refreshing; as in Holly Black’s Tithe we find a teen boy and girl who are good friends without being forced into a romantic relationship. There is some romance in the novel though it is a minor element. The resolution of this romance will surprise, however.

The novel is well written and without any unnecessary elements. The excitement continues to mount until the climax of the story with barely a moment to catch your breath. And though the book comes to a satisfying conclusion, Holt leaves just enough suspense to sustain you until the next volume, Solstice.


[…] loved the first in the series, The Devouring, and the second didn’t disappoint. Holt’s horror is all about atmosphere and broken […]

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