Genre: Suspense

Thursday, April 04, 2019

Atmospheric With Well-Written Characters: The Devouring Gray by Christine Lynn Herman

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Atmospheric With Well-Written Characters: The Devouring Gray by Christine Lynn Herman
The Devouring Gray
Christine Lynn Herman
Series: The Devouring Gray #2
Genre: Paranormal, Suspense, YA
Publication date: April 2nd, 2019
by Disney Hyperion

Branches and stones, daggers and bones,
They locked the Beast away.

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. 
-A copy was provided by Disney-Hyperion for review-

The Devouring Gray is a book that requires patience. There is no getting around it. It’s slow, and for the first quarter of the book I could not tell you what the fuck was going on except that the kids were sad, felt betrayed, maybe were trying to take each other down, it was a mess. I stuck with it though because my friends loved it and it turned out to be absolutely worth it.

Violet is new in town, Justin and Harper used to be bffs but Justin betrayed Harper, Issac is a soft boy with a world of hurt inside him. Together, the four of them make up the new generation of the founding families of the Four Paths and are sworn to protect the town from the beast that lives in the gray. As with any stories involving creepy towns, there are secrets to be uncovered and hidden truths to be revealed.

I love how atmospheric this book is. Its gothic-y, creepy, horror-y with a shade of paranormal thrown in for good measure. It’s bizarre and terrifying at times but also WEIRD. But, while the atmosphere is great, the world building is a bit lacking and if you aren’t able to easily suspend your disbelief, the book unravels very quickly.

Like.. if there is a beast that’s been terrorizing the town for over a century, why don’t people leave? What about the town makes them choose to stay? What makes it so that some people ‘fail’ their tests and don’t get powers? Especially if powers are inherited?

We are offered some history about the town and its founders but again, not a whole lot. To really get invested in the book, I think you just need to let go for a bit and enjoy the plot and the atmosphere and the weird people in town whose motives you don’t truly know.

The biggest selling point of this book are the characters. They are SO PRECIOUS and so complicated and I just love them all. I love that Issac is not necessarily a happy kid but he isn’t ever mean (unless someone is goads him.) I love that while Justin is super friendly and loveable, his social position definitely goes to his head and he is capable of hurting people he also cares about deeply. I love that Harper, even though she wants revenge and needs to use Violet to get it, she also becomes Violet’s friend because she cares about Violet. AND I LOVE VIOLET. Who is angry and sad and confused but still finds ways to be a person.

They are all just well-written, well-rounded characters. I love the relationships that already exist (Issac and Justin BEST FRIENDS FOREVER AND EVER) but I also loved watching new friendships form and blossom. The interaction between the adults and the children was not really one-dimensional either which was great.

I am just upset that I have to wait a whole goddamn year for the sequel especially because there is still SO MUCH my children need to work through. If anyone wants to plan a heist and steal the manuscript for the sequel from Disney Headquarters HMU. In the meantime, I will wait to be reunited with my children. If you love atmospheric books with well rounded characters, The Devouring Gray is for you.

4 Stars
4 Hot Espressos

Blog Tour: The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas – Review

Blog Tour: The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas – Review

Posted by on 04/22/2016 • 3 Comments

This was one of those rare books that actually stumped me until almost the very end. I am usually very good at figuring out a mystery and what is really going on, but this one kept me second guessing myself the whole time. It was fantastic and held my attention the whole time. The characters were great, and the emotional impact was spot on. It was a bit slow moving at times, especially to start, but it really helped build things up. One of the major things I noticed (and loved) was that there was no romance thrown in. It wasn’t necessary and it would have taken away from the story.

Tessa has had a very rough childhood. Her father is in jail, and her sister and mom have abandoned…

Review: Reckless Hearts by Sean Olin

Review: Reckless Hearts by Sean Olin

Posted by on 07/02/2015 • 2 Comments

Don’t we just love watching trainwrecks happen?

Last year, I read the author’s Wicked Games, a young adult suspense thriller with extremely unlikeable characters who got themselves entangled in a situation that actually spelt complete and utter DISASTER. It was the sort of drama where you know everything was going to go totally wrong, and it was only a matter of watching everything explode. I do admit that the first book was suspenseful, the edge-of-your-seat kind of thriller that would make your heart pound, but because it had extremely unlikeable characters (as in I would have loved to go inside to slap them silly) the connection wasn’t really there. I didn’t feel for them, heck, I wasn’t even scared for them or anxious of what might happen. Don’t get me wrong, I love unlikeable…

Review: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Review: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Posted by on 06/17/2015 • 21 Comments

If ever the times comes I’d need to pick the ultimate young adult sci-fi novel, I would choose Illuminae without any second thoughts.

You guys may be well-aware of my huge love for space opera. There’s really nothing more mesmerizing than a tragic and action-packed story set in the vastness of empty space, where you are in the middle of absolute nothingness, where stars, rocks, and planets are seperated by unimaginable distances. I don’t know, it’s just such a beautiful setting for me. Maybe it’s because I find the universe to be the starting ground of life itself, or maybe it’s because I find the cosmos so romantic, or maybe it’s because I see poetry in the stars. Whatever the case, I felt all three of these in Illuminae.

And then some.


Review: When by Victoria Laurie

Review: When by Victoria Laurie

Posted by on 03/27/2015 • 11 Comments

If you think this is your usual paranormal book where a girl finds herself capable of doing some pretty cool shit and doesn’t know how to use it and consequently gets frustrated until she finds the Love Interest/s who help/s her channel her powers for good before they run off to the sunset to their happily ever after, STOP RIGHT THERE! I shit you not, When by Victoria Laurie is anything but… that. It gets rid of the overused PR formula and breathes into it new life. I’m telling you right now that this book will surprise you in the sickest way possible (and I mean that very positively).

Being able to know when someone will die is definitely not an easy burden. If I had this curse put upon me, I…

Review: Liars Inc by Paula Stokes

Review: Liars Inc by Paula Stokes

Posted by on 03/05/2015 • 13 Comments

If you’re looking for a YA mystery with an interesting premise and cast of characters, you need not look far because Liars Inc pretty much distinguishes itself from the rest effortlessly. I mean, look at the following factors and I dare you not to get excited, because I’m pretty sure you will:

✓ A male hero that actually feels like an authentic male hero ✓ A half-Indian love interest who is so comfortable with her sensuality ✓ A premise that revolves around lies and covering one’s ass with more lies ✓ A whodunit murder mystery that involves getting arrested by the FBI (or, trying not to)…

Okay, maybe the last bit is something we’ve seen a couple of times in other books, but the first three are stuff I haven’t seen yet,…

Review: Get Dirty by Gretchen McNeil

Review: Get Dirty by Gretchen McNeil

Posted by on 02/27/2015 • 6 Comments

Remember the time when I kept sayingGet Even, the first book of this duology, was better as a standalone?

Well, I now eat my words, because if that book was a standalone, Get Dirty wouldn’t exist, and I would have missed a book that was BAD. ASS. AWESOME. Seriously, guys. I enjoyed this way more than I expected to, and I’m so happy with how everything was written and concluded!

I mean, seriously? It doesn’t only has suspense (I was on my toes the whole time), unpredictability (I swear I couldn’t guess who the perpetrator was… the timing of the clues and how they were laid out and everything made me SECOND-GUESS EVERYONE), girl power (four girls with different personalities being fantastic together and individually), but humor, too! I swear, guys, this one made…

Review: Get Even by Gretchen McNeil

Review: Get Even by Gretchen McNeil

Posted by on 01/30/2015 • 8 Comments

Are you looking for suspense, mystery, and thrills?

Are you looking for a revenge story in a prep school of les rich, complete with a raging, bully-enabling, hypocritical priest at its head?

Are you looking for side characters that are absolutely cardboard cut-outs of the bitch, the jock, the junkie, the minion-of-the-bitch-who-is-actually-miserable-and-feels-happy-when-she-is-complimented-over-the-bitch (wow that was long), the best friend, the snarling physical education teacher – among other “stereotypical” characters – that are absolutely expected now in books like this?

Yes, you get all of these in Get Even. Now, don’t get me wrong. The characters may have been written in such a way that was seriously cheesy and mayhaps even exaggerated to the point that it’s hard to take any of them seriously, but if you like mindless fun, I have no…