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The Devouring    by Simon Holt order for
by Simon Holt
Order:  USA  Can
Little, Brown & Co., 2009 (2009)
Hardcover, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

I enjoy horror movies and novels, even if they do scare me. However, no novel has scared me as much as Simon Holt's The Devouring. The is one twisted tale about fear in all of its forms.

Since her mother left a year ago, Regina Halloway has had to help take care of her little brother, Henry. Sometimes Reggie resents the responsibility, but she loves her brother, even more than she loves anything horror. One night, while putting Henry to bed, she reads to him from an odd journal she found at the specialty horror bookstore at which she works. The story tells of nightmarish beings called Vours which only come out on Sorry Night, or Winter Solstice.

Reggie and her best friend Aaron think the old book is great, but Henry is scared - so scared that on Sorry Night, feeding on his fear, the Vours come for him and take over his body. Now Reggie and Aaron, with the help of Eben (the bookstore owner) must find a way to save Henry, but the Vour in Henry has everyone else convinced that it is Reggie who is crazy. In order to save Henry, Reggie must face her deepest fears.

Holt writes with such descriptive flair that he truly brings Reggie's nightmare to life. Each new horror is expertly depicted, letting the mind see what Reggie sees, almost like watching a horror film. Reggie is the strong type of heroine popular in today's YA novels, but her problems and the way she overcomes them make her stand out from the rest. Aaron is a true best friend with his own fears to overcome, and Henry is incredibly creepy once the Vour takes over. Eben remains an enigma, and becomes even more so at the end, leaving the slightest hint of more to the story than contained in The Devouring.

If you are looking for a good scare perfect for this time of year, you must pick up The Devouring. Simon Holt provides the perfect tale to curl up with on a dark December night.

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