The Book Eaters

Tor. Aug. 2022. 304p. ISBN 9781250810182. $26.99. FANTASY
DEBUT Devon Fairweather, a book eater, knew she was special: treated as a princess among her brothers, raised in an isolated home with her extended family, and fed fairy tales—quite literally, as the book eaters consume volumes of written words and retain all the knowledge within. Devon’s fairy-tale life soon meets hard reality, as she, like all book eater females, is expected to ensure The Family’s survival and bear two children by two husbands. However, Devon wants more; she wants a life on her own terms and with her children. When her son Cai is born and consumes minds instead of books, Devon escapes with him before The Family can destroy him, or worse. Devon takes drastic action to satisfy Cai’s hunger, which is far more deadly than her own, but what would a mother not do for her child? The fantastical world does not overshadow the novel’s dramatic themes, including family, self-determination, and the morally gray choices one makes for those they love.
VERDICT A fascinating debut with shades of gothic fantasy and contemporary thriller, wrapped in a narrative full of vivid and detailed characters and worldbuilding, and an unusual premise.
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