Saturday 20 August 2022

Book Review: The Book Eaters by Sunyi Dean

The Book Eaters by Sunyi Dean book cover

AD* | Out on the Yorkshire Moors lives a secret line of people for whom books are food, and who retain all of a book's content after eating it. To them, spy novels are a peppery snack; romance novels are sweet and delicious. Eating a map can help them remember destinations, and children, when they misbehave, are forced to eat dry, musty pages from dictionaries.

Devon is part of The Family, an old and reclusive clan of book eaters. Her brothers grow up feasting on stories of valour and adventure, and Devon - like all other book eater women - is raised on a carefully curated diet of fairytales and cautionary stories.

But real life doesn't always come with happy endings, as Devon learns when her son is born with a rare and darker kind of hunger - not for books, but for human minds.

The Book Eaters is a distinctive new urban fantasy story.

I love the imagination of this story. It's unique, unusual, and instantly sucks you in. It's also hard to pigeonhole into a single genre. Of course, it is a fantasy by nature, but there are also elements of horror, mystery, sci-fi, detective, and even romance. This wide-reaching appeal means it should suit readers of every taste!

I went into this book expecting it to be a lot tamer than it actually was. Be warned, it does get very dark at times! That being said, the horror aspect is handled expertly and it balances the plot versus the shock factor very well.

Devon is a wonderful main character and a devoted mother. She is flawed yet uncertain, left facing a real moral dilemma on her own. She's also got great dry humour which adds an acerbic spark to the page. 

The other characters are also great - the characterisation is definitely a strong point of this book. The author vividly paints a picture of each character and each location, without the need to go overboard on the description. It's very well done and makes it easy to effortlessly picture the events unfolding.

Despite all this, though, I was left feeling like I wanted more from this book. I did enjoy it, but upon finishing the last page, I still felt as though something was missing. It actually ended up being a bit of an anticlimax, but it's hard to pinpoint why exactly. Maybe I hyped it up too much in my head after reading the premise? 

It's not all bad, however. I really hope there is a sequel because I'm invested in the characters and I want to find out how the story ends!

Rating: 3 stars

The Book Eaters is available to buy now.

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* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

Will you be reading the book? Let me know in the comments below!

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