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 (The Devouring Gray, #1)Featured
The children of the other families, Justin, Harper, and Isaac each have their own challenges and distrust. However, as the book develops, they must come together to uncover the secrets hidden by the town and forge their own paths forward. The town is overlaid by the Gray, a place without color which contains a terrible Beast. The founding families are charged with protecting the town and its people from the Beast. However, things are changing and Violet is increasingly drawn into the Gray. With other people’s machinations interfering, the teens must decide who to trust and what their path forward should be.
What I loved: The book is hauntingly written and pulls the reader into the deliciously creepy scenery from the start. Adding on to that, the mysteries underlying the town’s history and the current plots will keep the reader turning pages quickly. The main characters are each fully developed and interesting in their own rights. The multiple perspectives develop the story beautifully, adding on several personal elements which complicate the plot and make it even more interesting. While romance is far in the background (and this works well), there is some good diversity in sexuality among the main characters which is always great to see. The teens are impressively comfortable in their own sexualities and questioning comes in terms of their family identities and powers which is always refreshing. There are a lot of feelings which lie under the surface, ready to develop in the second book.
What left me wanting more: I only wish I had the second book of this duology already in hand. While the main plotline of this book is wrapped up in this story, there are many which are waiting for the next book. I would love to get more information about the history of the town, and I am hopeful that this will come in what is sure to be a fascinating second installment.
Final thoughts: Overall, THE DEVOURING GRAY is a hauntingly captivating YA fantasy that pulls the reader into a creepy new world shrouded in mystery. Highly recommend for fans of The Raven Cycle series and other dark fantasy novels. This is a beautifully written story, and the second book cannot come soon enough!