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The Devouring Gray

Review

The Devouring Gray

THE DEVOURING GRAY by Christine Lynn Herman is set in the deep woods of upstate NY, in a town called Four Paths that was built on tradition and superstition. The four founding families rule the town, offering protection to the citizens against a beastly supernatural creature that lurks in the gray, a hidden world beyond their town that claims victims each year. To keep the gray from encroaching on the town, each family wields supernatural powers to combat the darkness and the beast their descendants locked away. 

For Justin Hawthorne, being a founder is both a blessing and a curse. The people of Four Paths worship him but his status as a founder means that he takes on more responsibility than a teenager should have and he has to keep secrets, even from his best friends. But when Violet Saunders comes to town, he has a chance to finally shake free the burden that being a founder creates and also keep the town safe, something that gets harder and harder every year. 

After losing her sister to a horrible car accident, Violet Saunders feels broken and alone. She lets herself be dragged from her home hours away to Four Paths, a town her mother grew up in and left. She has no idea that she’s among one of the last remaining founder descendants, and no idea of the duty that awaits her when she arrives. She believes that all that remains for them in the town her mother fled as a teenager is an older aunt, Daria Saunders, her mother’s sister, who has been ill and can no longer live alone. Her mother --- an emotionally distant workaholic --- has never shared any information about her past or the town they’re now calling home. However, when she meets Justin Hawthorne and his sister May, she realizes why her mother’s been so cagey and that the reason behind it might be connected to the powers the founder's descendants use to keep the beast at bay. 

For fans of HAVEN, “Charmed” and Laura Ruby’s BONE GAP, this book’s atmosphere is chilling. I LOVED the characters and their backstories and powers. I loved the various point of views. Their perspectives provided such a rich understanding of the world and the small town. Even though the story was slow at times, I felt like I had a great grasp of the mythology of Four Paths, their odd traditions and superstitions and the history of a town. I felt very drawn to Isaac, a character that I wished had his own perspective chapters but I had to make do with from other points of view. I won’t spoil the story except to say that even if I guessed the big twist at the end, I enjoyed the journey. The book felt like a long drawn out and very entertaining character study with some plot thrown in. I’m not complaining! I loved each character and can’t wait for the sequel! I especially love the depth of the secondary characters such as the Sheriff and Violet’s aunt, Daria. 

I definitely would recommend this book to any reader looking for a well-read, carefully crafted novel, especially since the sequel is bound to be as gorgeous and mesmerizing as the first.

Reviewed by Brianna Robinson on April 3, 2019

The Devouring Gray
by Christine Lynn Herman