I know you will want to pick it up as soon as you finish this one. Being the sequel to The Devouring, I thought the book was perfect. It lived up to its expectations and provided me with an entertaining, thrilling read. I'm usually dubious about sequels, as they tend to focus more on character development and thus either end up being dry or being stuck in a rut when it comes to plot. Soulstice however has no problem carrying on the story and the plot flowed easily. It was clear and to the point. There was substantial character development - just about every character evolved differently either for good or for worse.
As the story was interesting, this was an easy flowing read for me and like The Devouring, it got me from the start.
It's the type of book you have to read either through one sitting, or drop all the other books you're reading to finish this one. It's definitely an attention grabber. The book had all the makings of a horror movie, but by reading it, it makes it much more thrilling and more scary as it leaves it up to the reader to imagine the sights, the smells, and the sounds.
I love the dream sequences the most. That's where you can look into the author's imagination and really appreciate it. Besides the horror aspect of the novel, there's also a bit of comic relief however not so much as the previous book. It makes the story take a break from the horror and although die hard horror fanatics might think it's unnecessary I thought it was well done and placed in strategic points of the book where it fits just fine.
As for the story's predictability, well I sort of figured out what Quinn was up to.enter site
The Devouring Book 2: The Devouring #2: Soulstice by Simon Holt (2010, Paperback)
However I don't consider that to be a negative point in the book. I don't see anything that needs improvement. The cliffhanger ending made me nearly want to pull my hair out though, and I'm really eager to read the third book; Fearscape due out in October of Overall perfectly written sequel, cliffhanger ending. What more could you want in a horror?
The Devouring #2: Soulstice
It has been six months since the events that transpired in The Devouring took place. For the past six months Reggie Halloway has seen nor heard anything from the Vours. Although they are survivors, Reggie, her brother Henry and her best friend Aaron, are all still affected by their ordeal from six months prior. Reggie has nightmares and cannot put aside her terrible memories. Henry not only has war wounds but he has become a quiet boy who continues to suffer from nightmares and violent episodes.
Aaron seems to be the one least affected, but he is worried for his friend and continues to worry about the investigation taking place regarding the disappearance of town golden boy Quinn Waters - which we all know he is now swimming with the fishes after his Vour possession. And then everything goes to hell in a hand basket - the Vours make their move against Aaron and Quinn Waters somehow survived his drowning in freezing water and is back looking to pair up with Reggie - since his Vour brethren have turned against him.
As Reggie continues to learn more and more about the Vours - she begins to realize that there are more townfolk possessed then she anticipated.
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She does not know who to believe, who to trust - for the one least expected might just turn out to be a Vour. Let me start by saying that I found The Devouring to be very scary - well I found that Soulstice upped the scariness stakes. The Devouring was more about developing the atmosphere, getting a feel for the Vours and what they stand for. In Soulstice, Mr. Holt focuses more on fear. The scenes are tense, terrifying and I could not help but be fascinated by them. I also found it to be more fast-paced, picking you up right from the start and not letting you take a breather until you were done with it at least that is the way it was with me.
I really like Reggie - she is a smart, strong heroine - at times she even has this Buffy-esque type feel to her. The Vours and their madness and the twists and turns along the story will have you at the edge of your seat. Holt's writing is intense and graphic when it comes to bringing any child's including my own fear to light.
The fearscape he creates although shorter than in The Devouring was even more creepy then the first. And can we talk about the nasty cliffhanger at the end - I was like Oh, hell naw!!!
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I can't believe it ended that abruptly And why should adults have all the good thrills? So, when I caught wind of a new YA horror series featuring some nasty fear-eating monsters I had to check out the series for myself…. Stand alone or series: Currently a two book series, with a planned third novel in the works. Summary: from Amazon. When Reggie reads about the Vours in a mysterious old journal, she assumes they are just the musings of an anonymous lunatic.
To save the people she loves, Reggie must learn to survive in a world of nightmares. Can she devour her own fears before they devour her? The Devouring is an engrossing tale of terror that will have you wondering: what if your worst fears became your living nightmare? When dark creeps in and eats the light, Bury your fears on Sorry Night. On the eve of Sorry Night, the longest night of the year, fifteen-year old Reggie finds a strange journal at the horror specialty book store where she works.
Nothing happens to either Reggie or Aaron, but Henry starts to display some very odd behavior the next morning of the usual demonic possession variety — animal torture, favorite toy destroying, familial manipulation, the works. Reggie must hurry and unravel the mystery of the Vours if she is to save her little brother from the monsters lurking just beneath the surface. But on the whole, Simon Holt manages to blend these ideas into a smart, delightfully scary little novel — one that I devoured hardy har!
The plot moves quickly, beginning with a mysterious, tattered journal but rapidly culminates in a monstrous invasion of the direst order.
Reggie discovers the horrifying truth about the vours, just how far they have expanded into her world, and how desperately she must fight to save her beloved younger brother from his own personal hell. But Reggie is a good friend, a doting older sister, and has a wicked sensibility for dorky horror films and books. With her best friend Aaron, Reggie is pretty comfortable with her status in the social pecking order — which is pretty cool. As their mother left their father, she also left Reggie and Henry — and Reggie deals with this hurt in her own way, but also manages to comfort the feelings of pain and guilt this has caused her impressionable brother.
Characters aside, the thing that I think impressed me most with this novel was the air of ancient menace that Mr. Holt manages to create with the parallel story of the journal owner. I really enjoyed this first novel, and definitely recommend it for young adult readers looking for a paranormal scare outside the realm of the usual. Soulstice Book 2.
- Series Review & Giveaway: The Devouring & Soulstice by Simon Holt.
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Since Reggie first discovered the existence of the Vours in a tattered journal. Since her little brother Henry began to mutilate animals and turn against her.
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Since she learned to overcome her fear and destroyed a Vour to save Henry. Months later, the Vours still haunt Reggie, but only in her dreams—until one night, when an unexpected visitor turns her nightmares into reality. Soulstice picks up exactly six months following the events of The Devouring — with the approach of the Summer Solstice the longest day of the year.
Henry has been returned to his normal self and thankfully cannot remember much of his time in the fearscape under the cruel prison of the vour that possessed him. Vours threaten from every angle, as possessed police officers and high school students provoke Aaron, Henry and the girl that has inexplicably bested them, Reggie.
Once again, Reggie must fight the evil that lurks around the edges of darkness, to protect not only those she loves, but the world. I enjoyed Soulstice , reading it again in pretty much a single go — but I have to admit I was a disappointed with this sequel. While The Devouring was much more focused on the bond between Reggie and Henry, balancing the horror of the Vours with the psychological issues of being left by their mother and the engaging sideplot of the mysterious journal, Soulstice relied much more on grotesque descriptions and action.
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The difference is apparent even from the opening chapter; in The Devouring , a haunting prologue from the handwritten journal unfolds in a terrifying recount of the past, whereas Soulstice opens with a dream sequence complete with a lake of severed ears and a dead boy. The atmospheric fear that made The Devouring was all but missing in this second novel. In terms of scope, Soulstice broadens the realm of the Vours.
At the end of the prior novel, Reggie learns that there is an ongoing war between the monsters and some humans who have banded together to eradicate them of which Mr. Bloch is a member , and so the stakes are necessarily raised in this installment. I like that Reggie is questioning the status quo even though she makes a few TSTL decisions in this book , and the sequences in the fearscapes are nail-biters.
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Though, I did find myself wishing Reggie would spend a little less time in fearscapes, a little less time running from disaster to disaster, and a little more time taking a moment to think through the consequences of her actions. Overall, Soulstice is a good read, but an unfulfilling one. And now, for the giveaway! In order to enter, simply leave a comment here — and for fun, let us know what your greatest fear is….
Thea James is half of the maniacal book review duo behind The Book Smugglers. By day, she does digital operations things over at Penguin Random House. Great reviews!! One is completely demure and the other horrific! Book Chick City — the contest is open to everyone so yes, you can enter! What great covers too!