Just Hatched is a feature where I share my first impressions of a book after the first chapter. Check out the announcement post for more information.
The Devourers by Indra Das immediately caught my attention with the gorgeous cover and the fascinating premise. I also really love finding books originally published in another country that are crossing over into American publishers since they usually reflect a more authentic experience of that other culture. The Devourers is definitely such a book and I recommend it as long as you are in the right mood for something dark and weird along with the beauty ;-).
Note: I received an advanced copy of The Devourers from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.
The Devourers by Indra Das
Narrated by Meera Simhan, Shishir Kurup
Published by Del Rey on July 12th, 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Fantasy, Dark Fantasy
Page Length: 306 pages
Audio Length: 13 hrs and 31 mins
How I got my copy: NetGalley, Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog
For readers of Neil Gaiman, Margaret Atwood, China Mieville, and David Mitchell comes a striking debut novel by a storyteller of keen insight and captivating imagination.
On a cool evening in Kolkata, India, beneath a full moon, as the whirling rhythms of traveling musicians fill the night, college professor Alok encounters a mysterious stranger with a bizarre confession and an extraordinary story. Tantalized by the man’s unfinished tale, Alok will do anything to hear its completion. So Alok agrees, at the stranger’s behest, to transcribe a collection of battered notebooks, weathered parchments, and once-living skins.
From these documents spills the chronicle of a race of people at once more than human yet kin to beasts, ruled by instincts and desires blood-deep and ages-old. The tale features a rough wanderer in seventeenth-century Mughal India who finds himself irrevocably drawn to a defiant woman—and destined to be torn asunder by two clashing worlds. With every passing chapter of beauty and brutality, Alok’s interest in the stranger grows and evolves into something darker and more urgent.
Shifting dreamlike between present and past with intoxicating language, visceral action, compelling characters, and stark emotion, The Devourers offers a reading experience quite unlike any other novel.
How is the writing style?
Gorgeous and eerie. The story is written in first person from Alok’s perspective, present tense. Everything is mysterious and strange right away, with Alok meeting a man who claims to be half werewolf and has strange and sometimes disturbing stories to tell. Everything I read takes place around Kolkata, India, and if you have ever wanted to read what it is like there, I think this is an excellent book to pick up. It is clear from the details that Das has sat in those exact spots and closely observed life flowing by.
General tone of the beginning
The tone is set to be pretty dark and visceral right from the start. The details provided about Kolkata are not always pleasant and the story the half werewolf leads with involves a lot of blood and guts and eating of human flesh. But he also protects a kitten from feral dogs, so you can see that things are going to be complex and grey and delightfully strange.
Setting, genre, etc?
Definitely adult given that the main character is a college professor and is more of a mid-life crisis theme than coming-of-age theme from what I can tell. This is one of those books where I’m going to use the ill-defined contemporary fantasy label, since it seems most appropriate. Though maybe this will be magical realism too? Hard to tell, since I don’t fully understand those categories, ha.
- My current read, leave me alone! (~5 stars)
- Reading in the near future *hides from TBR pile glare* (~4 stars)
- Hoping to get back to eventually (~3 stars)
- Probably not getting back to but someone else will like it (~2 stars)
- Don’t really want to push this copy on anyone else (~1 star)
The Devourers is a book that I will devour (ha) when I’m in the perfect mood for it. Therefore, I’m giving it a 3.5 stars because I’m not currently in the right mood and had to stop listening to the audiobook since it was putting my mind in a dark mood. However, I highly recommend the audiobook for the narration and this book in general if you are in that gorgeous, eerie, dark fantasy mood :).
Have you read this one yet? Are you inclined to check it out?
The Devourers by Indra Das
© 2016, Anya. All rights reserved.