Uprooted from the city, Violet Saunders doesn’t have much hope of fitting in at her new school in Four Paths, a town almost buried in the woodlands of rural New York. The fact that she’s descended from one of the town’s founders doesn’t help much, either—her new neighbours treat her with distant respect, and something very like fear. When she meets Justin, May, Isaac, and Harper, all children of founder families, and sees the otherworldly destruction they can wreak, she starts to wonder if the townsfolk are right to be afraid.
When bodies start to appear in the woods, the locals become downright hostile. Can the teenagers solve the mystery of Four Paths, and their own part in it, before another calamity strikes?
When I saw the cover of this novel, I wanted to read it without even seeing the description. Comp titles like The Raven Cycle and Stranger Things are the equivalent of leaving a trail of chocolate to lure me in.
What a dark, atmospheric story this is, with spine-tingling moments, complex, flawed, fully-realized characters, and layered secrets intermingled with lies. Small towns always hold the most secrets and lies. Occasionally when I read, I’m skimming the pages and getting the gist of the story. With this book, I was completely absorbed from page one, and read every single captivating word.
These characters – oof. Complicated relationships, a diverse cast, and a few different POVs. All of them are compelling, but with a tragic, mysterious past, Isaac is the character that most intrigued me, and it looks like more about his past will be revealed in the next book.
The Devouring Gray is an enticing blend of YA fantasy and horror. It’s not a fast-paced story, but more of a slow burn – and what a tantalizing burn it is, with all those secrets and lies slowly coming to light. The second book in this duology will be on my wishlist for next year.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.