The Devouring Gray by Christine Lynn Herman
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.
This book surprised me. I wasn’t sure what to expect, as Justine warned about some animal violence and a previous book with it left me a bad flavour.
There is a lot of grief, and a lot of confusion. And at first I felt as confused as Violet. However, there was enough to keep me going rather than giving up. Each of the founder children (they’re teens but since there are technically still adults from some of them children it is for now) has their own “secret”. Justin is hiding one that will cost him his status and reputation if it is revealed.
May has a hidden ability and the cost of reading the Death Omen, meaning she has to tell the truth on what the cards say (even if it hurts, even if it is not what others want to hear).
Violet is dealing with grief and trying to figure out what her ability is and her ritual, plus, how do you manage to live in this odd town?
Harper is managing without a hand and making her best effort while being shunned by Justin who used to be her best friend (oh the betrayal of best friends, sad sad indeed)
And Isaac who is the only one from his family that stayed after his ritual happened.
All of it going on and the stakes keep getting higher and higher as Violet tries her best to figure out what she ought to do to get control of her powers. But it is hard in a town that is drowning under so many secrets and that has a Beast lurking in the Gray…
As I said, this book surprised me a lot and I was so invested in it but as the end became near I couldn’t understand why it hadn’t wrapped everything up but then it made sense that it had to be two books. However I didnt feel cheated or overfilled with other stuff to expand the book into two. Instead I liked the fact we learnt so much in this one even if it meant we didn’t get everything sorted out. The main secrets however were definitely sorted out and a lot of things that didn’t make sense suddenly did, and it was a little scary. The good thing is that it was scary because there was so much at stake, not just for the sake of scaring.
Good book, can’t wait to read the next one!