I remember being super excited to read Daughters Unto Devils when it first released, because it promised a whole bunch of creepy packed into its pages. I loved that book so much, and while I still haven’t gotten around to The Women in the Walls, I was super excited to read The Ravenous, so as soon as this book came out, I happily picked up a copy and read it as soon as I had the chance.
This book didn’t really have the overall creepy vibe that Daughters Unto Devils had – no, it was a more intense, dark kind of story that will take you places that you normally wouldn’t ever want to go.
“Before the birthday balloons, and before the accident, before the broken mirrors and the black veins and dismembered bodies in the basement, there was only the Cane sisters.”
The Case sisters – all five of them – have been each other’s closest friends and family since as long as they can remember. Their father is a member of the military, and is away more often than he is home, and their mother has a bit of a substance abuse problem, and there are times when she stays in her room for days or weeks – only emerging to get more alcohol or get food for herself, leaving the sisters to fend for themselves. She also starts horrible arguments with the girls, making them feel as though they will never be good enough.
One day, after a particularly bad episode with Mona and her sisters against her mother, Rose dies and it is a terribly bleak day – Rose is the youngest and most loved out of all the sisters – the peacemaker, the youngest, the one who makes them all happy when they feel as though their lives are falling apart. Unable to cope with the fact that her youngest daughter had died, their mother takes Rose’s body and leaves – returning later with Rose, perfectly alive.
Only Rose isn’t herself any more.
The girls are forced to remove all the mirrors in the house and not mention Rose’s death in front of her – they have to cover up all of the weird bruising and black veins on Rose’s skin, and keep her at home as much as possible.
It also doesn’t help that Rose is always hungry. No matter how much she eats, no matter what she eats, it is never enough for her.
When they do discover what Rose needs to stay “alive” and satisfied in terms of hunger, it becomes something that the sisters must deal with if they plan on keeping Rose with them – even if it means going beyond anything they ever thought they would have to.
It’s pretty hard to spoil any aspects of this book, and in fact, since this book follows the “too much revealed in the synopsis” syndrome that a lot of books seem to be suffering from these days. The synopsis gives everything away – there really weren’t that many surprises here, except for a single one at the very end of the book. The whole cannibalism thing should have been emitted from the synopsis, phrasing it perhaps in a way such as the one I chose above. This would make the book way more shocking, because you wouldn’t know what was coming.
While I did know what the whole book was about (and while I was disappointed in the lack of shock value that I would have gotten had the synopsis been worded differently – or, you know, just left out parts that should have been left out), I still enjoyed it and thought it was a really good story.
I found myself not really liking many of the sisters – I think the only sister I liked was Rose. I didn’t even care all that much for the main character, Mona – she didn’t have to much in terms of personality that I felt added all that much to the book. She was kind of just there.
I’m giving this one 4 stars because of the issues listed above – the inability to care much for Mona’s character and the fact that there was really nothing to be surprised by in the book – but the overall writing and story was so good, so I’m leaving it at the 4 stars. I love Amy’s writing and I think she is one of the best in YA horror – her novels go to some really dark places and they’re also so horribly delightful. She’s a genius when it comes to thinking up new and original horror stories, and she tells them in a way that is frightful and exciting – you won’t be able to put The Ravenous down.
The Ravenous is told in such a way that keeps the reader excited the whole way through. There isn’t a dull moment in this one – the pacing is ideal, the characters all have different personalities (except for Mona, because for whatever reason I just couldn’t get into her character, as I said), and the whole idea behind this one is the kind of stuff nightmares are made out of.
If you love horror, don’t miss this one!