Title: The Devouring Gray
Author: Christine Lynn Herman
Publisher: Titan Books
Source: Received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review – Thanks, Titan Books!
Branches and stones, daggers and bones,
They locked the Beast away.
After the death of her sister, seventeen-year-old Violet Saunders finds herself dragged to Four Paths, New York. Violet may be a newcomer, but she soon learns her mother isn’t: They belong to one of the revered founding families of the town, where stone bells hang above every doorway and danger lurks in the depths of the woods.
Justin Hawthorne’s bloodline has protected Four Paths for generations from the Gray—a lifeless dimension that imprisons a brutal monster. After Justin fails to inherit his family’s powers, his mother is determined to keep this humiliation a secret. But Justin can’t let go of the future he was promised and the town he swore to protect.
Ever since Harper Carlisle lost her hand to an accident that left her stranded in the Gray for days, she has vowed revenge on the person who abandoned her: Justin Hawthorne. There are ripples of dissent in Four Paths, and Harper seizes an opportunity to take down the Hawthornes and change her destiny-to what extent, even she doesn’t yet know.
The Gray is growing stronger every day, and its victims are piling up. When Violet accidentally unleashes the monster, all three must band together with the other Founders to unearth the dark truths behind their families’ abilities—before the Gray devours them all.
The Devouring Gray is a paranormal novel that follows four teens in a small town called Four Paths. The Beast is a dark legend in Four Paths and is starting to gain power, and fast. Mysterious things are happening in Four Paths and Violet, Harper, Isaac and Justin must figure out what is causing it.
I’ve been trying to write this review for a little while now and I’ve found that I’ve struggled with it. Why? I hear you ask. Well, it’s because I thought this book was just an ok read for me. I wasn’t blown away with it but I also didn’t not like it. I almost feel a little bit indifferent to it.
The Devouring Gray is a book that I was expecting to devour but that didn’t quite happen. As mentioned above, I felt that it was just an ok book. I did like reading it but that was it. The concept reminded me a little of The Raven Boys and Stranger Things, which I’m fairly sure it was compared to. Usually when books say ‘for fans of’, I don’t know how much to believe them but I can confirm that this one is definitely for fans of both of those things.
This book mainly follows the character of Violet who moves to Four Paths following the death of her older sister. Upon moving, she discovers the mysteries of Four Paths and that she comes from one of the four founding families.
The plot was quite easy to follow and whilst I wasn’t immediately gripped by it, I definitely did want to continue reading. I was intrigued by the monster in the Gray and the paranormal aspect of it. The Gray definitely reminded of the Upside Down in Stranger Things. It was definitely full of paranormal elements as well as superstition.
I think out of the four main characters, my favourite was probably Harper, closely followed by Isaac and Violet who I’d put at joint second. All of the characters are fighting their own battles within, as well as trying to protect Four Paths. These characters had flaws which is something I really liked about them because in this book, there is no ‘this person is our hero’. The characters are vulnerable but they’re also strong. I liked that Christine made her characters in that way so that they were more relatable.
I wasn’t a fan of any of the parents in this story. I found them frustrating and that they didn’t listen or value any of their children. Of course, that leads to scheming which was fairly vital to this story, but I thought it was worth mentioning that the parents in this book are fairly annoying. Other than the parents of the main characters and the main characters themselves, I didn’t really feel like there was much interaction with any other characters in this book. That’s not necessarily a bad thing but then the characters felt very contained within themselves and their group.
I liked Christine’s writing and felt that it suited the book quite well although I did think that the pacing of it was a little bit on the slow side. Although, it started to really pick up in the last 110 pages as things started to fall into place. I definitely think that those last 110 pages saved this book and made it more of a 3.5 star read for me rather than just a 3 star read.
I liked The Devouring Gray but after a month, I just feel a little indifferent to it. It was in no way bad as I did like it and the last 100 pages were a lot more fast paced but I just liked it. I didn’t love it and I definitely didn’t hate it, I just feel pretty ok about it. I feel guilty for writing such a short review, but I felt like there wasn’t that much for me to actually say about this book.