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.
I received this book in exchange for an honest review via Netgalley. The title of the book and the eerie cover initially made me interested in reading this book, but the summary and a rave review from Claire Legrand (Furyborn) , sealed the deal. I was really excited to figure out the mysteries behind this story and the book absolutely did not disappoint.
The setting, the town of Four Paths, is really front and center in this novel. It’s strange, magical elements influence absolutely everything about the story, from the plot, to the characters, and everything in between. Right away, you can feel the setting seeping into elements of the novel, even when you least expect it. The author does a great job of making the town of Four Paths a character that almost feels like it’s changing along with the characters. Having such a vivid and well-developed setting that made me feel like I was part of the book.
The plot of the story is really what hooked me into book. The main plot line, of the children in this town attempting to overcome the Gray and save their town from the Beast, was interesting on its own, but there are also some intriguing secondary plots. While not all of the obstacles are magic related, a lot of the personal plots were more satisfying to finish. There were also a number of twists and turns in the story that I did not see coming!
There is a large cast in this book, which is surprising in a town that is described as being so small. Three character shared the point of view, which was alright for me. The plot was compelling enough and carried over through all three narrators that I didn’t mind the shifts in perspective. However, a lot happens between the characters before the book starts, so it was sometimes hard to grasp the emotional weight of their circumstances the way I believe the author would have liked. She makes up for over time with flashbacks, but at the beginning of the book, being thrown in with no idea of what the history is between these people was disorienting.
The Devouring Gray is a fun and exciting read for those who are a fan of The Raven Cycle and Stranger Things. The author does an excellent job creating a setting, plot and cast that are compelling and enjoyable. I felt completely hooked into this book and I’d highly recommend it.