The Book Eaters

by Sunyi Dean

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I had a lot of fun with this book. I did not know going into it that there would be literal book eating. The author introduces us to a really interesting fantasy that runs alongside our everyday lives in a believable fashion. It was easy to become invested in the main character’s journey, she was extremely likable. The story is told through alternating forward narratives and flashbacks to give us context. Each flashback moves forward until it meets with the current plot. This was handled well and did not cause the moment to feel like it was moving too slowly at all.

All My Thoughts

May contain spoilers.

This was another book I went into completely blind but was pleasantly surprised. We learn about a race of humanlike being known as book eaters that live off of literally eating books, which also allows them to retain the knowledge they consume. The author did so well making this interesting by showing them in their own society, cut off from most human interaction. The story follows Devon, a book eater woman who wants to go against and change the way their society works in order to keep her son and make things better for the rest of them.

I really liked Devon. She was well written. Equal parts tragic, funny and badass. I got very invested in her journey forward as well as learning about the past events that lead up to where she currently is at the start of the story. It was exciting to see her grapple morally with her choices and how determined she was to do what was best for her son. Cai, her son, was so interesting. Borna mind eater instead, he lives off of consuming human minds. But when he does he retains the memories and personalities of his victims. Cai is a toddler with the personality of 25 different adults. It was amusing to see him interacting with other adults, especially his mother. Neither seemed to really know how to be parent and child to each other and this made for an extremely fun dynamic between them.

The plot had a lot of twists and turns that were slowly revealed as the story moved along. I really enjoyed the pacing. There was never a time I felt anything dragged. I was surprised I felt this way given all of the flashbacks, but they flowed smoothly and gave us relevant info when we needed it. The author also used this as a way for Devon to explain things to another character by telling it to us in the form of these flashbacks. The placement of them in this way even made these chapters push the plot forward well.

Overall

A great fantasy in the modern world with likable characters you want to succeed. Full of excitement, mystery, and a touch of romance.

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