Author: Simon Holt
Publisher: Little, Brown
Hardcover, 266 pages
Date Published: September 1, 2009
Description (Taken from Goodreads)
The terrifying, nail-biting, and grossly intriguing sequel toThe Devouring.
It's been six months since Reggie first discovered and fought against the Vours, malicious and demonic beings that inhabit human bodies on the eve of the Winter Solstice.
The Vours still haunt Reggie, but only in her dreams-until one night, when an unexpected visitor turns her nightmares into reality.
The battle against evil continues in Soulstice, the second book in the thrilling The Devouring series, which School Library Journal called, "Comparable to books by R. L. Stine and Stephen King....A must-have for horror fans."
Six months have passed since Reggie entered her younger brother Henry’s fearscape and expelled the Vour that had taken over his body. Six months since handsome, popular Quinn turned out to be a Vour and Reggie’s best friend Aaron battled him to the death. Six months since Eben, the owner of the bookstore and Reggie’s boss, turned out to be a lot more than just a kind old bookstore owner. In those six months, winter turned to spring, which turned to summer and school is letting up. Henry has been having more than a few problems at school and his memories about the Vours have begun to haunt him. Reggie’s nightmares are terrifying, but not as much as the late night visitor that she never expected. The Vours are up to something and the summer solstice is their deadline. Their after Reggie and she’s not quite sure what their endgame is. After Aaron is accused of murder and terrorized by a Vour, Reggie holds the weight of everything alone and she has no choice but to join forces with her nighttime visitor and risk her own life in the process. With the summer solstice rapidly approaching, Aaron, Reggie, and her unexpected ally must find a way to stop the Vours before their devious plans can be set in motion.
Simon Holt unleashes another bone-chilling tale with Soulstice. Reggie is once again haunted by the Vours, but this time she forms an alliance with one and the consequences could be dire. The alliance with this Vour is making Reggie feel empathy for him. She begins to not only work with the Vour, but begin to trust him. Reggie is the type of person who is passionate about the people and the experiences in her life. The Devouring showed exactly how much she can love someone and how far she would go to protect that person. Henry means everything to Reggie and the knowledge that the Vours may be able to unleash their horrors on the rest of the world scares Reggie more than she would like. Because of this fact, she feels obligated and almost responsible to be the one to do something.
Reggie’s ventures into other individual’s fearscapes hold much more gruesome horrors and terrifying creatures this time around. Holt paints a bloody, gory image throughout each layer of the fearscape and he does so with a resounding terror. It’s impossible not to feel at least a little bit of the fear and isolation that Reggie must conquer, but the overwhelming feeling of despair really resonated with me. The Vours take these children and for years they are trapped in a fearscape with nothing but their most horrible nightmares brought to life. Reggie braves these things over and over again because she is the only one who can. Once Reggie discovers that there is a group of people called Tracers who track down Vours and destroy them, she won’t stand for their destruction at the expense of the human they have taken over. Things are changing for Reggie and it’s hard to discern if those changes are good or bad.
One thing is for sure, and that is Soulstice is a fantastic, if not gruesome, follow up to a creepy tale. Holt expands upon the mythology he created and develops a deeper, more involved world where the Vours have more purpose than to simply wreak havoc on poor human souls. There is tons of action this time around as well. Reggie is constantly on the move and Aaron is able to move outside of his role as just a geek and get his hands dirty. Reggie’s relationship with Henry was essential to The Devouring, but it takes backseat this time around. Their love and devotion to one another is still evident, but Reggie’s constant action doesn’t allow the reader to linger on it. All of the action makes Soulstice feel like a less passionate and character-driven story, in comparison to The Devouring, but I’m still looking forward to the next installment. I have to say that the ending was predictable, but it still had the desired effect and I’m seriously aching to see where the story goes now.
Opening line (from prologue): I kept my eyes closed, smelling the buttered popcorn and cotton candy, hearing the ding-dings of the Midway games, feeling the warm sun on my skin. ~ pg. 1
Opening line (from chapter 1): Six months, Reggie Halloway thought Friday morning as the hot water from the shower poured down her chilled flesh. ~ pg. 5
Favorite line: What if rescuing a soul from the fearscape was just dooming it to a different kind of hell in the real world? And dooming other innocent victims to those psychotic crimes? ~ pg. 61
*This review is my honest opinion and I received no monetary compensation from it.