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  • Writer's pictureTabitha Tomala

The Book Eaters by Sunyi Dean Book Review

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The Book Eaters by Sunyi Dean book cover
The Book Eaters by Sunyi Dean

The Book Eaters Book Review

As a child Devon dined on stories of princesses and fairy tales, never knowing the cruel future awaiting her. As a book eater, she not only eats stories to survive but embodies them. Raised to believe she is like the princesses of her tales. Until she comes of marrying age and learns female book eaters are merely used to preserve their species. Kept in high quality to produce suitable heirs. And when they bear children, their babies are ripped away, the mothers are sent off until they are ready to have more. When Devon’s second child is born, a boy who would eat minds instead of books, she is fiercely determined to protect him and never let him be taken away.

Devon’s story is told through a blend of past and present. Weaving together the joyful days of her youth into the harsh realities she faces as an adult. The Book Eaters have built a society around control and manipulation. The horror and anguish Devon experiences as her first child is taken away is heartbreaking. And if a child is born a mind eater they are outcast from society. Treated as abominations they are enlisted to become enforcers for the book eaters.

The drive for Devon to protect her children resonates throughout The Book Eaters. Devon’s upbringing sheltered her from the real world. She is not the strongest or the most knowledgeable character, but she embraces the decisions she has to make in order to save her son. Making the choice to protect him means finding a way to keep him fed while searching for a tonic to curb his cravings for minds. And each new victim drives a wedge into Devon’s heart. She questions all she has done and fears she is forcing her son to become a monster.

The Book Eaters builds upon the foundation of vampire lore and upends it with a tale of survival and motherhood. Sunyi Dean has crafted a world of books, mystery, and intrigue. Devon's story is as much about saving her child as it is about saving herself. Readers who enjoy urban fantasy blended with gothic fiction should give this one a try.

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