The Devouring Gray by Christine Lynn Herman
YA > Fantasy; Fantasy > Paranormal; LGBTQ+
After the death of her sister, seventeen-year-old Violet Sanders 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.
For generations, Justin Hawthorne’s bloodline has protected Four Paths from the Gray — a lifeless dimension that impressions a brutal monster. After Justin fails to inherit his family’s power, his mother is determined to keep this humiliation to a secret. But Justin can’t let go of the future he was promised and the two 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.
Time for tears!!!
Fun Fact! If you guys didn’t know, I’m graduating high school in June. So that’s exciting . . . and semi-frightening. But anyways, a good friend of mine, Nikki (@xonikkee), decided to send me a book off my wish list as a graduation present and it was incredibly sweet and wonderful of her and just . . . I’m soft, okay.
That novel was her most anticipated release of 2019, and I believe her all time favorite book now (I think, don’t quote me on that) —The Devouring Gray.
And now we’re here. So let’s do this.
Thoughts While Reading
“I feel that”
“What’d he do???”
“What a LEGEND”
“We stan a bi LEGEND”
“I’m confused but I love it”
“… the Gray?”
“I love her omg”
“What the hell, dude”
“Hell yeah she did”
“… what’d he do …”
“I love her”
“Then what do the Saunders have?”
“I don’t like her”
“This is like that one scene in Pet Semetary”
“Did she get caught in the Gray?”
“I hate kids and ignorance”
“WHAT DOES THAT MEAN”
“God, I love Issac”
“This entire page is making me angry”
“Also, I will fight anyone who hurts Issac :):):):)”
“This sounds like a cult”
“Who’s their leader?”
“Oh hell no”
“Something bad is going to happen, huh”
“That’s messed up”
“I feel like the Beast is taking her over”
“THAT’S NOT GREAT”
“WHAT THE HELL”
“IT’S HER UNCLE”
“Oh my god”
“Like Violet’s at the beginning!!!”
“I suddenly like him”
“WHAT THE FRICK”
“Oh my god”
I’m never going to start crying oh my goodness.
Favorite Quote from the Novel
“She thought about heroes, and villains, and legends, and monsters. And decided that whoever told the story was more powerful than all of them. Harper would never let someone else tell her story again.”— Christine Lynn Herman, page 270
It’s a Metaphor, Kids
When I was crying to Nikki about this book after finishing it, she said something to me that really resonated with me — the Gray is like mental illness.
And she’s right.
The Gray is right there to tell you that you are everything that’s wrong. That you don’t deserve to be alive and that if you just give in, the lack of pain you’ll feel will be so much better. This is story about why we can’t let our demons win. About why we have to wake up and keep fighting against all the bad things in our head.
This novel reminds us that we can win.
Grief’s Crazy Man
I’ve always believed that everyone has their own tragedy. That everyone goes through at least one thing that changes them forever, whether that be for better or for worse.
This is also a story about grief. This is a story that describes what happens to a human being when they’re faced with their tragedy. This novel shows the different stages and perspectives of grief. It shows how we can beat it, mask it, use it as fuel, or all three. Every single one of these characters is grieving something or someone and it’s so powerful to be able to see that side of a character. Because all of them have come out of it, or they’re in the process of doing so.
The Gray doesn’t just represent mental illness, but maybe grief instead. How grief will take a hold of you, remind you that you could have been or done so much matter. But you have to defeat the Gray. You just have to.
Isaac . . . Is Anyone Surprised???
ISAAC IS A SWEET BABY ANGEL AND I LOVE HIM SO MUCH He’s just . . . such an interesting character whom I relate to on a completely new level. It’s been so long since I’ve related to a character as much as I did with him and Nikki can attest to this because I got really emotional about it to her! Fun times, truly.
Also, that cliffhanger ending with his ******* made me have heart palpitations.
Final Review and Rating
If you’ve seen my post about how I rate books, then you probably get this. I don’t think this novel is perfect, but I don’t judge books on their character development or their prose, I judge them on how they make me feel. And I connected with this book to a crazy degree and it made the journey of reading this so incredibly enjoyable.
Would/Will I Continue the Series?
Oh, do I have a story for you.
So I was crying to Nikki about the cliffhanger, as one does and she texts me, “what would you do if I told you this was a standalone” and suddenly, I FORGOT HOW TO BREATHE.
But that’s okay, angels, because it’s not. There’s a sequel coming out sometime and I cannot wait for it.
Who Should Read This Novel
Those who love a mix of old school and new school fantasy. And those who are grieving.
Old school or new school fantasy?
- I love aspects of both, but going down to the wire, I think new school fantasy is my favorite.