THE DEVOURING GRAY by CHRISTINE LYNN HERMAN
A REVIEW by ALEXA DUNCAN
The Devouring Gray is a book I’ve had my eye on ever since its publication. Blending a contemporary setting with magical elements, set against the background of a small town surrounded by a creepy forest? Count me in. But, for some reason, I never read the book until now, and boy am I glad I did. The Devouring Gray follows four teenagers in the town of Four Paths, New York, as they try to keep their little village from succumbing to a supernatural realm called the Gray. The Gray is home to a murderous beast, that only Four Paths’ founding families can fight. With the arrival of our main character, Violet Saunders, a descendant of one of Four Paths’ founders, in the town, the Beast grows hungrier, and the people of Four Paths have n
ever been in more danger.
The best thing about The Devouring Gray is its atmosphere. This book is positively dripping with creepiness. From the small town setting to the supposedly haunted forest, Four Paths is almost a character unto itself. Much like the eponymous Riverdale in the hit CW show, Four Paths boasts a diner and a creepy town hall and not much else. The worldbuilding in this book is fascinating as well. Each found family in Four Paths has a special set of powers that aids them in their fight against the Gray. Violet, for example, can resurrect the dead. Each child of each founding family completes a “ritual” as a sort of coming-of-age ceremony, and only once they pass their ritual can they truly access their powers. It can be a little confusing if you’re not paying attention, but I loved what I read regardless of its complication.
Another aspect of The Devouring Gray to note is that it’s told from three different perspectives. Violet, Justin, and Harper all get their own POVs. I think I liked Violet’s the best. With her mysterious powers and newcomer attitude, I found her story to be the most compelling. Justin and Harper’s are compelling as well, but I didn’t connect to them as much as I wanted to. Nevertheless, The Devouring Gray is a delightfully creepy novel, perfect for fans of Twin Peaks and Riverdale.
If you’re interested in The Devouring Gray, give us a call at the Argenta Library and we will happily place it on hold for you!