The Devouring Gray

The Devouring Gray

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...

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Title:The Devouring Gray
Author:Christine Lynn Herman
Rating:
Edition Language:English

The Devouring Gray Reviews

  • ELLIAS (elliasreads)

    I devoured this book in one sitting and it has devoured me.

    I honestly heard a couple good things surrounding this book; there wasn't much hype to it— there still isn't, too some extent. But what I'm going to tell you is:

    t h a

    I devoured this book in one sitting and it has devoured me.

    I honestly heard a couple good things surrounding this book; there wasn't much hype to it— there still isn't, too some extent. But what I'm going to tell you is:

    t h a n k g o d.

    I first heard this book pitched as

    WTF. How can two godsblessed and just perfect aspects of my favorite series be a thing??

    Well let me tell you.

    It

    can.

    Granted,

    can come close to,

    , for me but this book comes as a close runner up in third place. In second place is

    (

    )

    This book does share similar aspects of TRC and ST but I think it's equally distinctive and unique— standing overtly strong on its own. I don't think I've read anything like it in any book before so that was amazingly refreshing.

    The characters were the strongest aspect of the book. And most important. I fucking love Violet. Granted my lease favorite character was Justin (annoying) but he grew on me later. The writing in of itself wasn't really anything special but I think its ordinariness elevated the story itself into something better and spectacular.

    I don't think the blurb does a good job explaining what the story is about but I think that's a good thing. I expected something different and got something better instead. I want the sequel.

    . Honestly I just really love books with little sparks of magic in a place of our world. It's grounding and realistic. Hidden. A fucking gem.

    Ultimately, this was a story about

    Another favorite of mine. And also can we just agree that the UK cover is waayy better than the US cover?

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    this almost sounds to good to be true. Anxiously waiting for 2019.

  • Tucker

    Mark my word. This will be the fantasy breakthrough of 2019! This is the next Harry Potter. When I grow old, I talk to my grandkids about this book. I'll ask them if they've ever read

    and when the answer

    , I'll show them my rare first edition, ARC. They will be speechless.

    This book has ruined me for any other fantasy novels. It was so well put together.

    Mark my word. This will be the fantasy breakthrough of 2019! This is the next Harry Potter. When I grow old, I talk to my grandkids about this book. I'll ask them if they've ever read

    and when the answer

    , I'll show them my rare first edition, ARC. They will be speechless.

    This book has ruined me for any other fantasy novels. It was so well put together.

    I have to admit that when I read the synopsis I assumed that the Gray would be a discount Upside Down (from

    ). It was and it wasn't. It definitely had its differences and its similarities. I honestly wish that it had been focused on a little more in the book. Even though the title is

    , the Gray didn't get much action which was a bit disappointing. As a long time sci-fi fan, I was ready to sink my teeth into the weird science of a magical realm. While I got enough to leave me semi-satisfied, I left the book wanting more. Hopefully, I'll get that in book two!

    :

    For me, reading a book is like making a new friend. And just like making a new friend, you have to spend time with them, get to know them before you truly get comfortable with them. It's that way with book characters for me. It took me a little bit to connect with Violet's character because I was worried that she would just be a "depressed new girl" cliche. Fortunately, she wasn't. Overall, even though she was a bit bland at times, I enjoyed Violet's character.

    :

    To be completely honest, I really did not like Justin at first. He was whiny and a bit stuck up. Because of this, I was constantly rolling my eyes every time his POV rolled around. Towards the end I was finally able to forgive him for his annoying-ness.

    :

    Harper failed her ritual and hates Justin (I don't blame her.). I was mainly frustrated because it took forever for me to learn why. I hate when books allude to things but don't actually straight up say them. I know that it's a way to keep a reader reading but for me it just annoys. I did enjoy reading Violet and Harper's friendship. It was very heartwarming to see two girls be friends in the midst of chaos. I wish I could do that.

    :

    Oh my god. I hate that b*tch.

    :

    Of all the books I've read (and I have read

    ), only a few do mystery well. Of course, that opinion is obviously subjective for each book. Different books need different styles.

    had a very intersting style of mystery. With a very slow build up for the first 75% but then the last chunk was just plot twist after plot twist. I felt like I was getting slapped in the face. I loved it.

    I really enjoyed the Beast as a villian. The book didn't delve into what the Beast is or where he came from but I still was fascinated. I'm not sure if it was intended but the beast almost reminded me of my own insecurity. The voice that whispers lies while I'm trying to rest or socialize.

    All in all, I really great book. I really enjoyed it. I can't wait for book two.

    Bottom Line:

    4.5 Stars

    Age Recommendation: 14+

    Cover: 3/5 ~ Plot 4/5 ~ Characters: 4/5

    Buddy read with

    !

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  • Chelsea Humphrey

    My first book of 2019 that's giving me quite the challenge in reviewing it!

    In all seriousness, I've been sitting here for days wondering just how to talk about th

    My first book of 2019 that's giving me quite the challenge in reviewing it!

    In all seriousness, I've been sitting here for days wondering just how to talk about this book, and not even because of spoilers or ruining the plot. Our most anticipated reads can be difficult to wrangle; sometimes trying to rein in our thoughts isn't as simple as "I liked this book" or "I did not like this book." I knew this book sounded like everything I could ever desire on paper, but I haven't read

    series yet, and upon finishing this I don't really know that a comparison to

    is accurate, as the feel here is so different. While reading this one, I kept getting hardcore

    vibes, and if you enjoyed that novel as much as I did, I think you'll enjoy

    as well.

    There are many POVs shared throughout TDG, and many more side plots as well, but I never felt it was confusing or difficult to follow. We have Violet, who has moved to Four Paths with her mother Juniper, and is part of one of the four founding families, although she has no clue what that means. Justin has recently failed his ritual and is masquerading around town to hide the fact that he has inherited no powers. His mother is the sheriff of the town and his sister has inherited powers, making him the "weak link" in this founding family. Harper is a member of founding family #3, and former best friend of Justin's until an accident during her ritual left her stranded in the gray for 4 days and missing her left arm from the elbow down. Isaac Sullivan is the only remaining member of founding family #4 in the town of Four Paths, and arguably the most fascinating and appealing character in the story (although Harper is a close second for me). We get to see pieces of the story, past and present, from each of these characters, which makes for a well-rounded view of the strange happenings in their tiny town.

    Here's the deal; I actually struggled for the first 100 pages due to the massive info-dumping amongst the characters and lack of action of any kind. While I wholly respect the world building and characterization that went into the intro, I think it could have used a few flashbacks or suspenseful inserts to keep the reader engaged and stave off the stale feeling inserted. However, once things get going, it's impossible to put the book down. I found myself desperate to find out what was going on, and while my focus was such that I expected the giant lead up to be to the night of the equinox, I was pleased to find out that it was a minor portion and a greater emphasis was placed on things happening beyond that.

    All said, this was a solid, well written debut, and while at times it felt like a giant prologue to the real start of the series, I'm appreciative of the time and effort put into making this story feel so developed and intriguing. The ending was superb; I'm dying to know what happens now that all the pieces are in play.

    ;)

  • Emma Giordano

    Review to come! (Listen I know I say this a lot but I have two weeks left in the semester, I promise I'm working on updating all my reviews XD)

  • Melanie

    This is a really hard review for me to write, because this book had some of my favorite things of all time; lyrical and beautiful writing that I could nonstop highlight, an atmosphere setting that gives me goosebumps even just thinking about, a mystery all surrounding

    This is a really hard review for me to write, because this book had some of my favorite things of all time; lyrical and beautiful writing that I could nonstop highlight, an atmosphere setting that gives me goosebumps even just thinking about, a mystery all surrounding what hides in the dark depths of the forest, and a very diverse cast of characters. Like, damn. But if this isn’t the first review of

    you’ve read, yes, all the

    and

    comparisons are all valid. I kind of think

    one is a bit of stretch, but I can kind of see it. But this debut novel really impressed me, and I can’t wait to see what the author does next.

    But

    follows four teens in upstate New York, all living in a little secluded town called Four Paths. And in this mysterious forest town, four families are held to a higher standard, because their descendants were the reason the town is protected from the Beast who hunts them. And all the descendants are able to harness the powers that should be passed down through their bloodline, but only if they survive a ritual pertaining to their ancestor. But now the town is under attack, and all hope is with four teens who are the descendants that are needed for survival, yet they might not be ready to provide protection for themselves, or anyone else, just yet.

    - Missing one arm from the elbow down after her ritual to harness her powers went wrong, and holding a grudge over someone who used to be her best friend but wanted nothing to do with her after her accident. Also, her father is a predominant figure in the safety of the town. Also, also, a warrior babe who can wield many weapons.

    - Bisexual, just moving to Four Paths after the death of her sister and trying to learn to live with an astronomical amount of grief, while also learning that she has a hidden bloodline she never knew about. Also, piano playing goddess.

    - Bisexual, living on his own after the rest of his family died in an accident. He is also Justin’s best friend, a broody reader babe, and he has the best and most scary power of them all. Also, he was easily my favorite character.

    - The popular boy, who has the most powerful family in town, even though he feels like he must always do what his mother (also the sheriff of the town) wants, even though he is keeping a very big secret from her. Side note, I would die for his sister, May, my tarot card reading baby.

    Yet, even though these are the four main characters, we have so many side characters, too! And this, in addition to the fact that the story jumps points of view a lot, I just feel like I never truly cared about any of the characters, even though I didn’t have a problem with any of them. I mean, it really is a strange feeling, because I can mentally break down that these are the four main characters, but while reading the chapter switching just makes me feel like I’m reading

    or something else that feels like we are given so many different points of view. I feel like this was the biggest factor that kept me from loving this book; I never truly got to know any of these characters because of the way the story jumps around.

    Also, if I’m being honest the Beast and the Gray felt too much like

    to me, but also with not enough explanation. I obviously am here for a good mystery, but I think seeing more of this parallel world, the mysterious creature and its powers, would have really benefited the story by filling in some much-needed gaps and made the situation feel scarier and more high-risk. Like, I was honestly convinced that some type of humans or other beings were going to reside in this world! Or we were going to fully understand the powers and what this thing was capable and not capable of! I don’t know, the concept is just so amazing, but I felt really let down by the biggest risk factor of the story.

    But I still loved watching all these teens learn how to find their powers and learn how to use their powers. I loved seeing them grow, both apart and together. I loved seeing all the different friendship roots; both brand new and old ones healing. I loved seeing how these four handled grief and trauma all very differently but still all very validly. And I loved to see all of these teens realize they are worth a hell of a lot more than the past mistakes of the ancestors they are forced to live up to.

    Overall, I really loved the ownvoices queer rep, and the atmosphere and setting were truly nothing short of amazing. I do want to mention that the main relationships in this are not f/f, but there are lots of hints at side f/f relationships! Also, even though I could never truly connect with the story, I still think there is so much good here. And I think many readers will still really enjoy this one upon release. But that epilogue ending made me audibly gasp that made my cat give me angry eyes for waking her! Is this the start of a series? Because I am totally down with reading whatever Christine Lynn Herman comes up with next, but especially with this setting as a backdrop.

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    for loss of a loved one, a lot of talk of death, murder, grief and trauma depictions, violence, abandonment, talk of rituals and self-sacrifice, and assault.

  • megs_bookrack

    met

    .

    They fell in love and had a baby.

    They named it,

    .

    Welcome to Four Paths, New York -- words Violet Saunders could have done without. Riddled with grief after the loss of her sister, Violet is forced to move to Four Paths and start her life over. Not great.

    It quickly becomes clear that Violet's mom, Juniper, has a very strong connection to Four Paths. In fact, she is a member of one of the founding f

    met

    .

    They fell in love and had a baby.

    They named it,

    .

    Welcome to Four Paths, New York -- words Violet Saunders could have done without. Riddled with grief after the loss of her sister, Violet is forced to move to Four Paths and start her life over. Not great.

    It quickly becomes clear that Violet's mom, Juniper, has a very strong connection to Four Paths. In fact, she is a member of one of the founding families. The founders are treated like royalty in town -- quite literally revered as deities.

    Why, you may ask?

    Because they were the ones to capture the monster, trap it in the gray and continue to protect the townsfolk from it. Duh.

    There are a lot of details that go into this story. The history of the town, the history of the founding families, the rituals, the powers, the secrets, the betrayals.

    It's a lot.

    Basically, the monster trapped in 'the gray' is no longer as dormant as he used to be and teens that are each a part of one of the four founding families come together to fight back. There are familial and friendship dramas, secrets and investigations, love gone awry -- all the stuff.

    It's in here.

    At times, I felt like I should have been taking notes, which decreased my ability to relax into the story. Additionally, there were a lot of rapid perspective shifts that tended to knock me out of it as well. While the content was quite interesting, the flow seemed a little off for me.

    It was definitely dark, which is one of my favorite things, and the characters and history of the town were compelling. I loved the ending. It gave me chills and I will definitely read the next book in the duology.

    I even feel that I could reread this one. It may be easier the second time round as I have a better handle on what is going on.

    All of this being said, however, for a debut, this is impressive and I hope a lot of readers pick it up!

    Thank you so much to the publisher, Disney Book Group, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I appreciate the opportunity and look forward to hearing what other readers think of this one.

  • kat

    i really hope isaac’s back doesn’t hurt too much from, ya know, carrying this entire book.

  • Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)

    Another one that I think would be more of a 3.5 than just a 3. I really enjoyed this! I didn't know what to expect going in, but this read exactly like a season of the Vampire Diaries or Riverdale and I am not mad about it. Also, I just can't help but to love a book with a whimsical setting and (realistic !!) bi rep. Definitely glad that I branched out of my contemporary comfort zone to give this creepy fantastical book a try.

  • Kai

    is Riverdale turned magical. It’s also less trashy AND everyone is bisexual.

    I utterly adored the first few chapters of the book. It’s moody and creepy and totally has this sort of Twin Peaks vibe going for it. Every new page smells like secrets and mystery. And a little like returning to Forks for the first time in a decade. Dark forests and grey clouds as far as your eyes can see.

    The plot was fast-paced

    is Riverdale turned magical. It’s also less trashy AND everyone is bisexual.

    I utterly adored the first few chapters of the book. It’s moody and creepy and totally has this sort of Twin Peaks vibe going for it. Every new page smells like secrets and mystery. And a little like returning to Forks for the first time in a decade. Dark forests and grey clouds as far as your eyes can see.

    The plot was fast-paced and the characters were fun but for my taste, this novel could easily have had 100 or even 200 pages more. A lot happened in a single book and while it was exciting it was also a little messy. A huge part of the story is actually backstory – scandalous events and equally scandalous relationships in the past. Then there are several POVs and characters who have their own story, family, emotional baggage, etc. There is a lot going on at the same time and for it all to feel realistic would have needed more time, more pages. When it comes to the characters, they all started blending into one person at one point. Sure, they have different names, hair colours, families, but character-wise, there wasn’t much depth. Which doesn’t mean they sucked, but again, more time could have been spent on them. It would have added to their relatability.

    When I first heard of this book I was super excited because it seemed like it would feature lots of LGBT characters. Then people told me that it was not as gay as I thought. But turns out, the bisexual agenda is strong in this book. I mean, when you find out that your mother had a relationship with your friend’s mother, it’s quite a surprise. We need more representation of queer parents anyway.

    Totally looking forward to the sequel.

  • شيماء ✨

    I guess life is just that unimportant thing that’s happening before I get to read this book

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