Tuesday, March 26, 2019

YA ARC Review: The Devouring Gray by Christine Lynn Herman

The Devouring Gray
Author: Christine Lynn Herman
Series: The Devouring Gray (Book 1)
Publication: Disney-Hyperion (April 2, 2019)

Description: 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.

My Thoughts: This sort of spooky story is about a trapped monster and the descendants of the four families that trapped it. Four Paths, New York, is a small town with a big secret. Violet Saunders is seventeen, grieving the loss of her sister, trying to understand a mother she sees as indifferent, and a new resident of Four Paths. She and her mother have come to take care of her mother's sister Daria who has dementia.

Now that Violet and her mother have returned, there are again representatives of each of the four founding families in town. And the equinox is coming. At the equinox, the monster is the strongest and the founders are at their weakest.

Justin Hawthorne is the town's golden boy. He's a descendant of the founders - but he failed the ritual that would have given him the power to keep the monster in check. With his mother the sheriff using the family powers to keep the Hawthornes prominent, Justin has to keep his lack of powers secret. His sister May holds the power in their generation but is completely under the control of their mother.

Harper Carlisle was Justin's best friend until she failed the ritual that should have confirmed her powers. She lost her hand, her friendship with Justin, and her place in her own family. She is angry at Justin and wants revenge for his betrayal.

Isaac Sullivan is Justin's best friend and the only survivor still in town from his family. He has anger issues and a really scary power.

Violet needs to find out what her power is and perform the ritual so that she can control it before the equinox. Because, not only does the monster want out, but he has human help who also want to free him and free the town from being controlled by the descendants of the founders.

This was an interesting story with lots of scary bits as Violet gets swept into the Gray. The relationships between all the kids were complex but engaging. The hidden secrets in the town kept the plot moving. Fans of the creepy will enjoy this one.

Favorite Quote:
People could hurt each other without being monsters. And they could love each other without being saints. 
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

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