‘The Devouring Gray’ – Christine Lynn Herman

On the edge of town a beast haunts the woods, trapped in the Gray, its bonds loosening…

An unusual read that started off slowly, and built its way up to an explosive finish.

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?

A town centred around the four founding families. They each have a power, but their secrets are kept close as they try to protect their town from the beast imprisoned in the space know as the Gray. Our story focuses on the younger generation of the founding families as they battle to try to right the wrongs of the past and protect their future.

For a long time only three families have remained. When Violet and her mother return after the death of her sister, we start to learn a little more of the secrets each family holds, and how the elements combine to be of significance.

Without doubt, my favourite character was Isaac. His significance isn’t really picked up until later, but he was a fascinating character and the ending heavily hints that he’ll be pretty important to book two. I defy anyone to not get goosebumps at the closing scene!

The story itself didn’t offer much new, but it did it well. I’m particularly keen to know more about the background to the events described here, so we’ll see what happens next time.