The Devouring (The Devouring Series #1)

( 105 )


When Reggie finds an old journal and reads about the Vours, supernatural creatures who feast on fear and attack on the eve of the winter solstice, she assumes they are just the musings of some lunatic author. But soon, they become a terrifying reality when she begins to suspect that her timid younger brother might be one of their victims.

Risking her life and her sanity, Reggie enters a living nightmare to save the people she loves. Can she ...

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When Reggie finds an old journal and reads about the Vours, supernatural creatures who feast on fear and attack on the eve of the winter solstice, she assumes they are just the musings of some lunatic author. But soon, they become a terrifying reality when she begins to suspect that her timid younger brother might be one of their victims.

Risking her life and her sanity, Reggie enters a living nightmare to save the people she loves. Can she devour own her fears before they devour her?

Bone-chilling, terrifying, thrilling...what are you waiting for?

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Editorial Reviews

The Bulletin
Reggie is a horror junkie who can't get enough of creepy movies, stories, and books, so she is naturally thrilled to stumble upon a mysterious old journal that describes the Vours, demonic beings that can enter fearful human bodies once a year. Although Reggie initially assumes the journal to be fiction, it quickly becomes clear that her timid younger brother, Henry, has actually been possessed by a Vour. Suddenly, Reggie is faced with a brother who kills his own beloved hamster and threatens her life, but she is certain that the Henry she loves is still there underneath. Although the diary gives few clues about how to actually exorcise demons, Reggie is determined to save her brother, even if it means facing unberable fears of her own. The fear-created world where Henry is stuck is remarkably creepy, built out of the most alarming imaginings of a young boy (murderous clowns, abandoning mothers, grotesquely dying children make up a few of the obstacles through which Reggie must travel to get to her brother). In addition, the intriguing local roots of the Vours, presented mostly through snippets of the desperate journal entries, add a layer of historical depth to this otherwise straightforward, modern novel. Horror fans will likely find the crsip writing, effectively relentless pacing, and haunting concept irresistible.
Children's Literature - Denise Daley
What are you afraid of? Are you afraid of spiders? Are you afraid of the dark? The death of a loved one? If you are alone on Sorry Night and you let your fear show, the Vours will take possession of your body. It will become an evil and murderous being. When the Vours take possession of eight-year-old Henry's body, his older sister Reggie must face her deepest fears in an effort to save him. Fortunately, she has read the handwritten journal that describes other people's experiences with the monstrous Vours. Armed with a vague understanding of what she is confronting, Reggie and her friend Aaron attempt to scare the Vour out of Henry. All three of them confront inconceivable horrors and nearly die in the process of trying to save Henry. This gruesome but gripping novel will keep you on the edge of your seat as you witness Reggie's terrors and contemplate your own fears. Reviewer: Denise Daley
VOYA - Kimberly Paone
Reggie (Regina) and her best friend Aaron are horror freaks-movies, books, television-they love it all. But when Reggie finds an antique journal at the bookstore where she works and reads an eerie story of an incident of body and soul possession on Sorry Night, she and Aaron begin to wonder if they have taken their hobby a bit too far. The Vours, creepy beings that feed off of people's fears, are invited into the house by a curious Reggie and Aaron, but it is Reggie's young brother Henry who suffers the repercussions. Once Reggie realizes that Henry's body has been inhabited by a Vour, and both Reggie and Aaron-with the help of Reggie's eccentric boss-have to face their own fears in order to save him. They could lose their lives in the process. The world of young adult literature is in desperate need of more horror-teens clamor for really scary, keep-you-awake-at-night stories. Holt's novel fits the bill in many respects and some teens (especially younger ones) will be sucked into the story for its spooky elements and moments of sheer disgustingness. Older, more erudite teens might find the characters rather whiny and hollow at times, and some of the twists and turns are utterly predictable and even cartoonish. Add this book to the collection if middle schoolers will not stop demanding scary stuff and they have read the Shusterman fairy-tale series. Reviewer: Kimberly Paone
School Library Journal

Gr 7 Up

Comparable to books by R. L. Stine and Stephen King, The Devouring will keep readers on the edge of their seats. Reggie is a horror fanatic. When she finds a journal in a box of used books at the bookstore where she works, she "borrows" it. It tells of the Vours, black smokelike beings that possess humans who can't conquer their fear on Sorry Night (the eve of the winter solstice). Reggie and her friend Aaron attempt to make the Vours materialize but instead they possess her little brother. In a fight to the death, Reggie joins the battle of humanity against the Vours. This story contains classic elements of the genre: a horrific monster, fusion (where two different entities are fused into one), and the process of discovery. The book has some graphic content, blood, and gore, which only add to the chills. A must-have for horror fans.-June H. Keuhn, Corning East High School, NY

Kirkus Reviews
"When the dark creeps in and eats the light, / Bury your fears on Sorry Night," begins this creepy tale that reads like A Nightmare on Elm Street with a dollop of demonic possession. Reggie Halloway, a mousy girl and avid horror fan, discovers a strange journal while working at an occult bookstore. Upon investigation, she learns about the Vours, horrific demons who feed on fear and take over the body, morphing its host into a cold, cruel creature. When, as a prank, Reggie and her friend Aaron attempt to summon a Vour, things go horribly awry and a Vour takes over the body of her little brother, Henry. Reggie then must battle the Vours to try to get her brother's soul back into his body. In this introductory volume, cinematic in its scope, Holt borrows conventions from many horror films, including a Stygian carnival complete with killer clowns and dreams in which injuries can manifest themselves in the real world. A scary yarn spun at breakneck speed, perfect for those chilly winter nights. (Horror. 14 & up)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316027120
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
  • Publication date: 6/1/2009
  • Series: Devouring Series , #1
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 333,128
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 0.62 (d)

Meet the Author

Simon Holt's writing career began with a horror fanzine in high school, the publishing of which overheated the school's photocopier. Undaunted by after-school detention, he's continued writing ever since. Holt supported himself as a hotel night clerk and a handbag salesman before becoming a full-time novelist. A comic book collector and amateur musician, he makes his home in Chicago.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 105 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 106 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 11, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Samantha Clanton, aka "Harlequin Twilight" for

    Reggie Halloway is a freshman in high school, she's a bit awkward, and since her mother left her family, she has had to take over the household duties and become a "surrogate-mother" for her younger brother, Henry.

    Reggie is a horror junkie. She can recall the works of Poe and Lovecraft from memory, but she also tries to make her little brother braver by reading him some of these same stories. While at work in a local horror bookstore, Reggie comes across a journal titled The Devouring, which contains the scribbling and drawings of someone that would put a madwoman to shame.

    This journal contains the creepy, shiver-inducing story of The Vours. The Vours are these demonic, creepy-as-hell beings that inhabit a host on Sorry Night (it's December 22), then devour their fear and take over. They turn your brother, sister, friend, or loved one into a hollow shell of what they once were.

    Then Henry starts acting strange - he becomes dark, cold, distant, mean. Reggie, with the help of her nerdy but enjoyable friend Aaron, comes to realize that what they wrote off as the musings of a lunatic are true. These creatures not only exist but they have taken Henry.

    Reggie then has to find out what happens when your deepest fears become reality. She needs to learn how to save the people she cares for by figuring out how to survive within a world that's one big nightmare. She has to decide if she can devour her own fears before those fears devour not only her, but also the people she loves.

    Talk about scary. This is not a story for the faint of heart. Sometimes the imagery is so vivid that you can picture it within your head. If you've never had a story that stayed in your head, then be prepared, because after reading THE DEVOURING it sticks for a bit.

    For me, at least, the story has made me think more about my own fears. Could I be so terrified that my guard was so low as to allow a demon into my head and let it put me in my own personal form of Hell? I don't think so, but you never know. You must conquer your fears, before they conquer you.

    It's a terrifying story, but terrifying in a good way. Put on some happy music, and settle in for a horrifying, yet fascinating, ride.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2012

    Pretty scary but very good. It definatley keeps you on your toes wantifng more.

    This book was really good and im starting the second. There were a couple unexpected twists but thats what makes the book good.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 2, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Not that scary...

    The story took awhile to engage my interest and I don't know if I would have kept reading after the first chapter if I hadn't heard good things about it on other blogs.

    Reggie is a normal teenager who resents having to play mother to her younger brother and doesn't like that she has so much responsibility at such a young age. It was refreshing to have a believable teen with no superpowers as a lead character, and that is one of the reasons I kept reading.

    After reading an old journal about evil creatures called Vours to her younger brother Henry, Reggie begins to suspect that Henry has become a victim and is trapped in a living nightmare. It's up to Reggie and her friend Aaron to figure things out and try to save Henry. The story started off a little slow, but did pick up the pace after awhile.

    Gave this book a 3/5 rating as I thought it was just okay. Didn't keep me on the edge of my seat or scare the pants off me, but didn't bore me to tears either. The fears that the characters have to try and overcome were a little cliched and I would have liked to have seen a bit more originality there, but the descriptions were pretty well done. Since I already own the sequel, I'll read it to see what happens next, but I'm in no hurry. I'd recommend that you check out several reviews to make up your mind if you want to read this one or not, as some people loved it while my reaction was more tepid.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 25, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Things that go bump in the night!

    The Devouring has to be one of the most disturbing books I have read in a long time, probably ever! And its a teen novel!! But I mean it in a good way. The book is very creative in its story line and development of the plot it excellent. The characters are very round and complex. The mood and theme are extremely dark. The description is some of the best I have read in a long time. Although, the details get quite descriptive and a little gory when the story gets into the climax. Not what I expected at all! But all together a really good read, one time though for me. The depth the author goes to in describing how the psyche develops our most intense fears is amazing and chilling to the bone. Definitely and unforgettable book. I reccomend for anyone who likes dark and macabre stories, or Stephen King/Anne Rice.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 16, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Good Book:)

    Edgy, thrilling, a real page turner.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2009

    Page turner

    I read it on a sick day at home, and thought it was an intense page turner that captured my interest by the end of the prologue. With a repeted rhyme that could be said by an insane child in a horror flick, this tale is sure to chill you. It will have you flipping page after page, a great read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2013

    Wouldn't buy in print

    The writing skill was good, nothing special. The horror often went for gory, shock and awe images of scary things, instead of any real fear. Mostly because the descriptions of the main character's fear were nonexistent at times, and cliche otherwise. The best thing about this book was the relationship between Reggie and her little brother, it was believable and often sweet. However every other character lacked personality, and several existed only to further the story without adding anything. I wouldn't waste the money to buy it on paper, but as an ebook just to pass the time it was alright.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2013

    I think that this book is really good. There are a lot of twist

    I think that this book is really good. There are a lot of twist you don't necessarily expect and it always keeps me on my toes. 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2012

    Great Book

    This book was really cool and somewhat scary. But it's not really the scariness that counts. It is the amazing mystery that makes you keep reading for hours into the night.

    The Vours will find you soon my friends. Soon.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2012


    Very good ! Very creative ! If they make a movie I hope they do not ruin it !

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2011

    Freaky and fantastic!

    I love this book, yes it could be gory and freaky at times but it kept me on my toes and wanting more. Already bought the next two! I would not read this though if you don't like graphic scary scenes.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2011

    It was chillling

    It made me want to keep turning the pages!!! It is a wonderful book for people who like thriller books. It has made me so scared at one point to where i had to close it. But it was fantastic & i cant wait to check out the next one!!!! (:

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  • Posted June 14, 2011

    Perfect Pulse Raiser

    I read this book on a whim. One of my friends got it from the library and I borrowed it from her. Within a few chapters I was hooked! The fear is written so well that it exudes from the pages and raised my pulse at each turn. It is for specific readers though, it is scary and causes nightmares if you aren't careful. This series has become one of my favorites. The story is original and will keep you guessing throughout the entire series! This is a definite must read for horror fans!!

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  • Posted January 5, 2011

    The best book ever!!!!!!!

    Omg i love love loved this book! At times it was really scary and made you want to close the book but you couldnt because it was just so good and you had to know what happens next!

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  • Posted December 3, 2010

    You will love this book! (And be scared!)

    This book is one of the best books I've ever read, and I would recomend it highly. It is about a girl named Reggie who, along with her best friend Aaron, discovers the existance of "Vours", who posses scared people on the winter solstice.

    I loved the characters, my favorite was Aaron, and the plot was fantastic. The only problem I had was that it was a little difficult to read sometimes, and I found myself backtracking. But overall this is a great book for anyone over 12.

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  • Posted September 26, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Great BOOK!

    What a way to scare the crap out of me! I must say, this book was awesome! Lots of fear, adrenaline, and pure excitement while I read this. I was also glad that I read this book during the day. To read this at night will sure bring me nightmares.

    The paranormal touch to it was one I've seen before, but was played out well within the book. I love how it took us back to past and then thrusting me back to the future again. All the research that Aaron and Reggie did, had me doing a happy dance. I love reading that in a book. Where you read the characters discovering secrets on how to beat this or that. Just awesome.

    I love the love and drama in the book. The family goes through so much leaving most of the responsibilities on Reggie. Reggie being a teenager, who has now has to become a adult. I felt her pain, her anger as to why she had to do it. I was glad to see her pick up everything with such a great amount of maturity. Her love for her brother was breathtaking and refreshing. She sacrafice everything she should to help save his life. Truly selfless.

    I was angery at her father on how he handled things. I admit I felt for him too. I understood his pain, but he still had a reponsiblitty to his children and for him to check out like that just made me angry. Aaron was a refreshing touch. He was a great buffer in things and is always there for Reggie. I have no doubt that maybe there might me something between Reggie and him in future books.

    Now Mr. Eben. He is a character that left me speechless and curious. My eyes narrowed in the book when he was there all of the sudden. I wondered what part he played? He is someone I definitely can't wait to see what secrets he is hiding.

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  • Posted September 19, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    My new favorite book

    YOU MUST READ THIS BOOK!!!!!!!! The devouring sucked me into it's world of never ending horror with just the first page. If you love to be chilled to the bone on stormy nights this book is perfect for you! come play a game of throw paint at a decapitated head until it's brain explodes and eat some human flesh on a stick! Or munch on a few spiders and escape a deadly fire! though remember that the greatest fear of all is fear itself..........This book is packed with action and suspence.....I LOVE IT and i hope you enjoy it as much as i did.

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  • Posted August 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer


    This book was okay for me. I was more like an influence of a lot of other books rather than one individual book...but then again, that's how most of the teenage books are today. I'm just saying I could easily forget it, not that I didn't enjoy it at the time (which I did), I just wouldn't read it again.

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  • Posted May 25, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A Chilling Tale that Will Have You Turning On the Lights and Looking Under the Bed

    Sorry Night comes but once a year and when Reggie discovers a strange journal describing monstrous beings called Vours that steal the bodies of the fearful on that night, she can't wait to scare herself. Reggie and her best friend Aaron have a fearful night, but it's Reggie's 8 year-old brother Henry who is really terrified. Henry believes in the Vours and that belief gives them power. Henry's fear, combined with Sorry Night, results in Reggie realizing that some monsters are real. And the Vours have taken her brother. Reggie lives for horror, but what happens when the horror becomes real life and Reggie must fight her deepest fears to save the person she loves most?

    Reggie is a horror movie buff with an incredible love for her younger brother Henry. She is only 15, but after her mother walks out on her family, Reggie basically becomes Henry's mom. She does everything a mother and housewife would do, while attempting to maintain her own identity and be a teenager. The responsibility that is thrust at Reggie is too much for such a young girl to handle. Reggie is angry at her mother for leaving, but at the same time, she is absolutely desperate for her to return. Everyday, Reggie cries in the shower because she has to put on a brave face and be the strong one for Henry. Her only reprieve and outlet for a normal teenage life, comes in the form of Reggie's best friend Aaron. Aaron is a caffeine junkie who also has a love for anything to do with horror. They watch the movies, read the books, and their self-declared geekdom works for them. Together, they make quite the team and when they think they can save Henry from the Vour who has his body, Reggie's bravery and Aaron's wits are all they have to depend on.

    The Vours have the ability to take over the body of the most fearful people. Henry is a naturally skittish child, so when Reggie reads from the journal, he is 100% convinced that Vours are real. The day after Sorry Night, Henry is no longer the sweet child that he once was and it soon becomes clear that he has been taken over. The Vours prey on a person's deepest, darkest fears and once they have you, your soul could be lost forever. Reggie is able to connect with Henry's soul through his body and she is thrust into his most potent fears. This place is called a fearscape and it could very well hold the secrets to saving Henry.

    The Devouring seems to have gotten a lot of mixed reviews and I began reading it with no expectations at all. Let me just say that I was amazed. Simon Holt has created a fearful, bone-chilling story that could easily become a terrifying horror film. It also happens to have what may be the best prologue I have ever read. I was instantly sucked into the story and there was no letting up. The story is based on fear and supernatural creatures that lurk in the night, but it also focuses on the real, human issues that Reggie faces without her mother. Reggie would do anything to save her brother because she loves him.

    At the heart, The Devouring is a blood-curdling YA horror novel. The story is quite graphic and that may turn many readers off, but it works so well here. The gore and the blood aren't overdone and they help to create a perfectly creepy atmosphere that will have you turning on every light and looking under the bed. The Devouring is a chilling tale with a piercing cold that tears the skin and penetrates the heart. The Devouring will shake you to the core and make you ask, 'what am I really afraid

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Loved This Book

    This book was the most thrilling book iv have read yet its really scared me i should say, but over all it was so good that i couldn't put it down. I recommend the book to every one even those who don't read its so easy to read and one of the best story's ever I truly love this book

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 106 Customer Reviews

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