Title: The Devouring Gray
Author: Christine Lynn Herman
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Source: Indigo Summer Preview
Release Date: April 2, 2019
On the edge of town a beast haunts the woods, trapped in the Gray, its bonds loosening…
Uprooted from the city, Violet Saunders doesn’t have much hope of fitting in at her new school in Four Paths, a town almost buried in the woodlands of rural New York. The fact that she’s descended from one of the town’s founders doesn’t help much, either—her new neighbours treat her with distant respect, and something very like fear. When she meets Justin, May, Isaac, and Harper, all children of founder families, and sees the otherworldly destruction they can wreak, she starts to wonder if the townsfolk are right to be afraid.
When bodies start to appear in the woods, the locals become downright hostile. Can the teenagers solve the mystery of Four Paths, and their own part in it, before another calamity strikes?
I loved this book! It’s spooky and suspenseful.
This story has been compared to The Raven Cycle and Stranger Things, and I was definitely reminded of both of those series while reading it. In this story, there is a place in the woods called the Gray. It is like an alternate version of the forest where time feels different. The Gray holds a beast that kills people in the town, so the founding families use their special powers to defend the town. This reminded me of the Upside Down in Stranger Things, which is also like an alternate version of their town.
This town felt like a real place because of all of the history it had. There were four founding families, each of which has their own special power, including seeing the future and bringing stone to life. There was so much history of the town that it seemed like a real place, though it would be a creepy town if it were real.
The characters were also well developed. They had intense histories, including losing family members. The three main characters have to do rituals to get their powers, if they have them. If they don’t have powers, the town looks down on them. The narrative alternated between the perspectives of Justin, Violet, and Harper. They are each in a different position in terms of their relation to the town and the Gray, so they have very different perspectives of the town.
I really enjoyed this story. The ending was open ended, so I’m curious to see what happens in the rest of the series.
What to read next:
The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1) by Maggie Stiefvater
Stranger Things: Worlds Turned Upside Down by Gina McIntyre
Have you read The Devouring Gray? What did you think of it?