“Welcome to Four Paths,” he said. “Nobody would ever stay here if they had a choice.”
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
On the edge of town a beast haunts the woods, trapped in the Gray, its bonds loosening…
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?
Do yourself and favor and save this for October. This has all spooky atmospheric vibes that will go perfectly with a chilly autumn day and some fall scented candles, trust me on this. The Devouring Gray is pitched as Stranger Things meets The Raven Boys. And while I’ve yet to see Stranger Things, I have read The Raven Boys and I just wasn’t feeling the comparison. But that still didn’t stop me from seriously enjoying this creepy little story.
The Devouring Gray absolutely nails the teeny tiny little town where everyone knows everyone and where it’s almost impossible to get out. Honestly, this gave me all the Mystic Falls vibes from The Vampire Diaries and I am HERE FOR IT. There’s the “founding families” who essentially run the town and whatever they say goes, and obviously these families come with a ton of secrets just dying to be exposed. Are they they heroes or are the villains? How far are they willing to go to make sure the town never finds out their secrets? Well, you’ll just have to find out for yourself.
As far as the group of characters throughout this story I truly loved them all, but Isaac and Harper hold a special place in my heart. If you’re looking for bisexual/disability rep look no further because this group has it all, and it’s definitely one of the better books I’ve read in terms of both topics. Each of the four MC’s are all dealing with their own grief/prior traumas and it was amazing to see them all come together as the story progressed. On top of the four main characters this story follows there are also so many great side characters that add so much more depth and creepiness to this story.
A few reasons why I ended up giving this 3.5 stars is because I did have some issues with the pacing. I felt the ending was a bit too rushed rather than just being action packed. I found myself rereading parts to make sure that I didn’t miss anything because everything moved so quickly where as the first 3/4 of the book were written at such a beautiful pace. Second, I also struggled with being totally invested with the characters in the beginning. Towards the end I started to love and adore them all but we got off to rocky start. And third, which I don’t deduct stars for but I do like to mention it so publishers are able to see and hear this complaint…the editing of the e-ARC was horrific. When you have a book that has multiple POV’s my biggest peeve is when the e-ARC is not edited to show a shift in the characters POV’s, like, at least just put a line break. There were so many times I thought I was reading one characters POV only to reason it changed three paragraphs ago and nothing irks me more.
“This was hurt it would never understand. This was hurt made from love. And she immersed herself in grief, embraced it, the parts of her that had been so lost and broken, so long her enemy, were now her savior.”
“Being invisible when you used to be seen…it’s like being dead, but no one mourns you.”
“People could hurt each other without being monsters. And they could love each other without being saints.”
“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.”
All in all, if you’re looking for super atmospheric, ownvoices queer story, with a group of awesome characters then seriously ADD THIS TO YOUR OCTOBER TBR’S. Y’all can thank me later.
Until next time,