Title: The Devouring Gray
Author: Christine Lynn Herman
My Rating: 3.5/5 stars
Release Date: April 2, 2019
What a strange book. Not in a bad way necessarily, but with some definite haunting, atmospheric vibes.
The premise is intriguing: Violet, our MC, moves to a new town called Four Paths where she discovers herself to be the descendant of one of the four founders. What’s more, the founders possessed special abilities that allowed them to keep a vicious beast prisoner in a mysterious place called the Gray.
So down the line, the children of Four Paths’ founders are tasked with protecting the town and keeping the monster imprisoned. Except now the founder families are struggling to contain the Gray and its beast, and the town’s death count is rising fast.
I’d compare this book to How to Hang a Witch by Adriana Mather, another story in which a girl moves to a town where she’s the descendant of the man responsible for witch trials in their city. I also saw that another reviewer compared this to a CW show, and I think feel like that’s the perfect way to describe it. It’s just got the feel of a supernatural teen drama.
There’s nothing wrong with CW shows, per se! And if you like them, I’m sure you’ll find The Devouring Gray entertaining.
The way the author introduced each of the characters was very deliberate, and I appreciated the time she took to help us get to know the cast instead of just throwing a bunch of names out there. All of the founder children were complex and fascinating, shocking us with secrets and causing us to feel their pain along with them.
It took me a bit to understand what was happening and for the author to explain what exactly the Gray was. As I’m writing this review, I still don’t know if I quite understand it, but I get the gist. The magic system here was interesting; Herman kept it fresh and original.
The Grey itself and the beast within were both rightfully creepy. I’m home alone and reading some of these scenes caused me to actually shudder, and I had to continue the book with my back to the wall. Don’t judge me.
Overall, I think many people will enjoy this. The Devouring Gray was too weak for my taste, but I bet you Herman has many more stories to tell; I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next.
An e-arc of this book was provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!