Simon Holt

Puffin (2008)

ISBN: 9780141325262

Reviewed by Mitenae

Reggie is just a kid, but she’s having to be a mother her little brother, Henry, ever since her Mum walked out on them and their dad. And she’s holding down a job after school and on Saturday’s at Something Wicked, a bookstore full of her favourite subject: horror stories.

One day a new shipment of books arrives and Reggie swipes a book before Eben, the owner, has a chance to see it. But this isn’t any old book; it’s a journal bearing the title The Devouring. Reggie shows it to her best friend, Aaron and on Sorry Night, the night of the December Solstice, they decide to confront their fears. Henry is alone in the house and a Vours steals in and takes over his body. Reggie must get her brother back before the Vours takes him forever, but in doing so discovers a world she doesn’t understand.

What can I say? This is brilliant. I love the story, the world and the characters. It has just the right tone coming through of being the reader’s friend while not trying to turn the story in an overt moral lesson. It’s exactly the right tone of scary. Scary enough to keep you awake for a little while at night before you go to sleep, wondering if there is a Vours waiting to steal away your soul.

What I love the most? That there’s a huge promise in this book of a lot more to come, and I for one, am looking forward to them.