The Devouring Gray

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 02 Apr 2019

Member Reviews

This was such a darkly fun story! Violet and her mother move to Four Paths after the death of her sister. She soon makes friends only to find out they are descendants of the town’s founders and so is she. Then magical things begin happening and Violet is pulled into the world of Four Paths and the Devouring Gray, a magical force that lives in the woods and seems to be feeding on the townspeople.

This book has that found family aspect that I adore. Violet is desperately searching for both answers to family secrets and a family. She has lost her father and sister, and her mother is very distant, always working, and shares nothing about her past. Justin and May are siblings with an incredibly controlling mother who is also the town sheriff. Issac is the only member of his family left in Four Paths. And Harper comes from a family with so many kids, it’s easy for her to feel unnoticed. So each of these characters are looking for family and definitely find it in each other.

The story line is fun and interesting, but my favorite part was the friendships.

Thank you so much to Disney-Hyperion and NetGalley for the chance to read and review this book!
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After a tragic accident, Violet and her mother did what her mother never wanted and moved back to her mother's childhood home. There Violet's family is one of the founding families and she is treated with guarded and fearful respect. This secretive town is frustrates Violet even more when people begin turning up dead and no one will give her any answers. Violet digs deep into her family's past to find what potentially mystical monster might be overshadowing the town.

This book had an interesting premise, though I never really got into it. I never liked or connected to the characters and the supernatural element was not something I was a fan of. I was a great crack at this story, but it didn't turn into one of my favorite books.
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I apologize in advance if this review seems like a whole jumble of words it's because my brain is still not really wrapped around this book. So much happened and so little at the same time and my brain is like mush. Anyway here goes nothing.
Violet Saunders and her mom Juniper move in with Juniper's sister Daria in their hometown after the death of Violet's sister Rosie. She soon discovers that the town has a sinister forest called the Gray where a beast resides and many people have lost their lives. Even more interesting is that she finds out the Saunders name is well known here since one of Violet's ancestors created the town along with three other people from different families. Centuries ago, these four people created the town and bound the beast to the Gray. How they did so? With magic of course. For these four people somehow have special abilities that were passed down through the generations. The Sullivans can control fire, the Hawthornes can wipe a person's memory, the Carlisle's can control earth by transforming their own limbs to rock, and the Saunders can bring back the dead as well as other gifts that some family members possess like May and her gift of accurate reading of tarot cards. With all these gifts of course came consequences with Harper losing her left arm, Isaac not being able to control his fire when angry or afraid, and Daria and Juniper being so dangerous their memories were wiped. The four kids of these families Justin, Isaac, Harpar, and Violet end up working together to figure out why their families locked away the beast and how they can stop it from killing more people. Their is some tension in this with Harper despising Justin for betraying their friendship but they have to ultimately settle their differences to deal with a bigger cause. Chaos insues with Violet briefly losing her memory then being possessed by the beast itself and the bigger more horrible truth of a cult that planned to unleash the beast, being led by Violet's undead uncle who she only knew about through his journals. Of course the beast is banished once again and the cult is dispersed but the ending remains open ended with Isaac's abusive brother returning to Four Paths. 

After that summary to kind of get my brain into gear since it's been some time since I finished this book I will say there are a lot of holes in this novel. The history of Four Paths is not really brushed upon much. It feels like the author only scratched the surface. How did these four people come to this town with these powers and how did this beast come to really be? We don't really know they were just there and the beast someone exists and the four people gave their lives to bind it to this place called the Gray. That forest in itself really doesn't make sense contextually either. Also the rituals every member of these families have to endure to get their powers under control remains super vague. Justin did not pass his ritual but what that ritual was is unknown. Harper's is vague as well until the end of the book and Isaac's is touched upon but not in enough detail. Violet's is really the only well known one since she had to complete it in order to save the town from the beast. As for characters I liked them enough. Justin was nothing to really praise about just a guy with no powers who's pretty much a coward for not standing up to his mom. Isaac I couldn't help but love with his fiery personality and gentle heart. He gave me super hard Ronan Lynch vibes and I love that cinnamon roll so I can't help but love Isaac too. Violet is as fiery as Isaac and I liked her give no fucks personality a lot. It's something seen in female protagonists but Violet is very unabashed about it and I appreciate that. I really thought her and Isaac made a great couple but it's irritating that it's not clear if Isaac has feelings for her or if he only has feelings for Justin. Harper is someone I admired with her strong will after basically being ostracized after her failed ritual and how mature she was for putting revenge aside to help vanquish the beast. As for other characters didn't like Augusta as I'm sure was the point since she aimed to control the town if anyone threatened her authority their memory was wiped. Juniper was not in the novel enough to feel really anything about her but I feel so bad for Daria for trying to help Violet and being murdered for it. I would count Orpheus as a character even though he is a cat and of course I loved his sass and I'm glad that Violet was able to raise him from the dead since I really don't think I would have dealt with this novel well if there was a dead cat since I can't stand animal deaths. Had to knock off a part of the star for that since the author could have found some other way to reveal Violet's power of necromancy. But besides that the concept of this book was really interesting and some of the characters memorable but the execution and back story could have been better.
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The first thing that drew me to this book was the cover.  The cover is just gorgeous and creepy.  I then read the synopsis and I knew this was a story I had to read.  I really enjoyed this book.  The story was eerie and compelling, the writing was excellent, and the characters were all very interesting.  The setting, especially the parts in the Gray, made this story extra chilling.  I definitely recommend this book and I look forward to reading more from the author.
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I had some mixed feelings about this book.  Overall, the story held my interest, but I wasn't overly fond of it.  The concept is interesting, but it feels like too many characters and too many points of view were crammed into too short of a book.  I recognize that this is only the first book in a series, but it was difficult to get attached to anyone in particular. And the characters that we do get to know don't seem that likable.  Perhaps that will change in future books, but I'm not sure I want to invest the time to keep reading them.
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I had really high hopes for this one but for me it just fell flat. 

It's about four families who are the founders of Four Paths and how their ancestors a long time ago bound a beast to the gray and now they have powers. Now the newer generations are still keeping the beast at bay which means they can't leave the town. Though something happened a long time ago allowing the Saunders to leave, but now they are back and Violet has no idea about any of this or her powers till weird things start to happen. It's up to them to save the town but the town is not on their side as much as they use to be. It seems some have their own agenda and it could be dangerous.

So this one sounded really interesting but to be honest I was bored throughout most of it . It wasn't till the last twenty minutes that I found it to be interesting. I really struggled finishing it. Things don't make a lot of sense, like why do these people stay in town, as far as I know they are not bound just the founders, so instead of just staying there and fearing for their lives why not leave?? 

At least it didn't leave you with a cliffhanger like a lot of YA series do. It did leave an opening for the next book but it's not a OMG they left me hanging type of things.
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This is one of those books that you know everyone seems to like, but you just can't understand why. I'm not discrediting others; this book surely has potential for someone who isn't me! It was just very slow, very character-focused, not much happens until halfway in, and the whole book seems gray and foggy. The worldbuilding felt askew. The setting threw me off a bit, because it was written almost as if it was supposed to be set in another time, but there are cars and cell phones and such. I saw other reviewers comparing the writing style to The Raven Boys, which I can't speak to because I never made it in far enough to read that series — I got too bored! I think it's just a matter of preference. Sorry, The Devouring Gray!
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I loved this Young Adult fantasy that was dark and well described. This world practically jumped of the pages and had my attention from the beginning.
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Received a digital ARC of this book via NetGalley.

I found this quite enjoyable. Book was described as “Stranger Things” meets “Riverdale.” The description didn’t disappoint. I would even add a hint of “Vampire Diaries” due to a group of founding families controlling/protecting the town. Gave me my paranormal fix for my fav tv shows during their hiatus.
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THE DEVOURING GRAY = DEVOURING READ! I COULD NOT PUT THIS BOOK DOWN! I loved first off the hints of the side f/f relationships. I'm glad to see more and more book be more accepting and open with gay relationships now! FINALLY! This book is defn Raven Boys meets Stranger things. Two perfect things combined into a perfect book! The plot was well paced and the characters were given a great arc. i loved the world building and how each page brought something new. My only question is....WHERE IS MUH SEQUEL????
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Overall I really enjoyed this book!
I loved how creepy & eerie Four Paths was and how it weaved magical abilities into the town.
The 4 characters were all so interesting to read and learn more from and I loved learned about their families bloodlines and the power that resides in them.
  Perfect to read in fall, it gives you an eerie and creepy vibe.
Also as a side note, this book series would be PERFECT to be made into a CW show.
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I devoured this book! I just could not put it down. The story was interesting and the characters were all crazy (in a good way).
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The Devouring Gray was a lot of fun to read with its allusions to Stranger Things and The Vampire Diaries. While I found some of it a bit predictable, I still appreciated the atmosphere and the diversity in the story. It would make a great fall/October read. It had a cinematic quality, in that I was easily able to visualize what was going on (which isn't common for me).
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This book felt very true to the times. The teens felt real to me and they were as far from cookie-cutter as you can get. The beginning was a slow-burn and really helped build up the creepy feel of the novel. With strong characters and an intriguing setting, the book drew me into the mystery surrounding Four Paths and the founding families. I usually hate books with more than two POVs, but this worked because I actually liked the other perspectives more so than Violets. Hope a follow-up book will be released ASAP!

Review posted on Goodreads and Amazon
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I just got a U.K. Copy of this in the mail. So I decided not to read the E-ARC. I was pleasantly surprised with how good this book is! I haven't seen it around much on Bookstagram, so I wasn't expecting to love it as much as I did. It was a slow building, oh my god that ending, kind of book, and I enjoyed every page! I will definitely be keeping Christine Lynn Herman on my radar, because this book definitely snuck up on me, and I cannot wait to read more.
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I really enjoyed this book and can't wait to read the sequel. I love the idea of four founding families coming together to protect their town. Of course, there's plenty to get in the way! I found the characters well rounded and intriguing. I was really rooting for Violet, Harper, Isaac and Justin to come together and save the town. I also want to know more about May. She's very interesting!
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I don't know about the rest of you, but I am *dying* over here as I wait for the 3rd season of Stranger Things.  So, when I saw a blurb that said this book was likely to become a "new obsession" for fans of The Raven Boys and Stranger Things... You better believe I immediately requested a review copy from NetGalley!  (I'm so grateful I was approved!)

Having to move near the end of high school has got to be tough in and of itself. Violet had it even worse, though, because her dad was dead, her sister had just died, and her mom kept her from the extended family on her father's side. The only family Violet had left were her mother and her aunt -- who was struggling with mental illness and now required her sister's care.

Almost immediately upon entering Four Paths, Violet realized something was not quite right.  As it turns out, she was a member of one of the four "founding families" who had joined forces and used their special powers to trap an evil beast in an alternate dimension called the Gray.  Violet's ignorance caused her to release the monster from the Gray and set off a terrible chain of events.

I really liked how Herman used Violet's coming of age story to explore the themes of friendship, family, and loyalty. And I especially loved how the Gray did, in fact, resonate with me as much as the Upside Down.

Happy Reading!
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It seems I waited for a very long time for this book. When I first noticed the book I knew it was something I wanted to read. Creepy and freaky and scary and all that good stuff. I did find this book to be really good. It was creepy.. scary no but creepy yes. It has a very interesting story and I was completely wrapped up into the history of the gray. It was fast paced and had very interesting characters. The only downside… the ending was a bit of cliffhanger.



There is a town with four founding families. Each with powers that were needed to keep away the devouring gray… something that attacked and killed in this small town. This is the story about the children of the founding families and the gray. Can’t really say more than that without giving anything away. The gray is devouring and the families need to stop it.


This book was very interesting and it was very layered. Which is something I appreciate. The story of the gray isn’t really shared until late in the book however, that was okay. At times I did forget about the gray because I was completely into the founding families and their stories. I loved the history of each family and how they intertwined. I enjoyed know more about the powers and how they came to their powers. I liked the fact that one of the founding families moved away and came back with a daughter that knew nothing of this town or the gray or the families. So the history lesson came natural, I was able to learn as she learned. The entire thing was just captivating and interesting.

The characters I did like. They were all flawed and broken and a little messed up but it seemed to come with the territory. They were complicated and messy and I did fall in love with them. There really wasn’t much romance in this book but there were still some very complicated relationships. The story more focused on friendship and family relationships than romance. Which I was all good for. However, that being said, the ending did set up for a romance to start for the next installment. Which I don’t mind. It didn’t feel rushed and it seems it will bring in more complications… yay.

The story was well told, beautiful writing. The tone was perfect to set up the story in the right kind of setting. A gothic feel to the read at times. Old families, old secrets, old town, old houses. I am going to be honest… at times I got a Vampire Diaries- the show- vibe in this book. Which I loved. I mean no vampires but lots of old history and magic and evil. It was kind of great. The entire thing was just beautifully eerie and I l loved every moment of it.

The only thing I didn’t like… not much resolution in the end. There were answers to many questions but nothing resolved…and a bit (just a little) cliffhanger. So there is that. I have to wait another year at least to find out what is going to happen. But I guess that is okay…. I will wait patiently… kind of…
 

It was good. I really really enjoyed it and can’t wait to read more.
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The Devouring Gray was decent enough. It wasn't bad but it wasn't great either. Some aspects we're unique enough to make it enjoyable, however I spent most of the book wondering if I'd read it before. There was a lot of the cliche storylines you see in most YA books and I just couldn't fall into the story.
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Could I give a book one million stars? If yes, then it would be to this one. I mean I read a fair bit of YA now, and I can't see this not being a "new classic." One of the reasons I was so bummed about not getting my reviews typed up faster was that I missed the release day. In any event, you can buy it or borrow it now. Like, put a hold on it now before the list is miles long.

This story is dark, lyrical, slightly depressing and beautiful all at once. It's witchy and full of horror so skip it if you aren't at all ready for a goth type mood. It very much reminds me of Riverdale, Twin Peaks, Stranger Things. You get the idea.


The story has all my favorite plot points: an old family curse, secrets, kids with powers, and a monster. It has new things I like too: LGBTQ characters, and smart boy and girl teens. Nothing wrong with some smarticle particles.



I'd hand this off to any high school aged kid. Also, yes it's book one, so we should get some solution for Isaac.
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