Out on the Yorkshire Moors lives a secret line of people for whom books are food, and who retain all of a book's content after eating it. Devon is part of The Family, an old and reclusive clan of book eaters. But real life doesn't always come with happy endings, as Devon learns when her son is born with a rare and darker kind of hunger-not for books, but for human minds.
... nothing but outstanding ... Fast-paced, insightful, and inventive, The Book Eaters is definitely a work to keep an eye on. Nowadays, due to the immense number of novels released into the world every day, it is becoming increasingly difficult to come across fresh stories that keep you at the edge of your seat. This one is one of those fresh stories. The twist on the vampire tradition, the poignant social criticism, and the beautiful concept of book-eating are a wonderful combination of the familiar and the unknown that just keeps you guessing over and over again. Information is given to the reader beautifully—in small doses that, even if satiating, will just trap you and make you read just one more page, one more chapter ... It is also important to mention the wonderful blend that the author makes of narration, real fiction and excerpts from a journalistic academic research on book eaters that just reads unbelievably real ... A dash of danger, a pinch of motherly love, a handful of well-rounded and gripping queer characters, and a tablespoon of literary goodness is what you will taste in this delicious concoction. Bon appétit!
... a dark, haunting fantasy ... Dean fully invests readers in Devon's struggles, both as a girl attempting to prise tiny snatches of freedom from a patriarchal society and as an adult mother frantic to protect her son. The Book Eaters‘ depiction of the sacrifices and joys of motherhood is particularly nuanced, grounding the fantasy elements of the story in the relationship between Devon and Cai. And Dean expertly expands the scope of the story to explore even more characters' experiences, such as the other ‘eater women's oppression and loneliness, Devon's friend Yarrow's isolation as an asexual person in the procreation-obsessed ‘eater society and Cai's pain at being viewed as a monster ... a far cry from the fairy tales Devon consumes: It is a winding, harrowing, deliciously nightmarish story of people taking control of their bodies and destinies after generations of repression and abuse.
... written beautifully ... combines the imagined physicality of books as flavours with the spice of plot elements, and that makes my story-loving heart sing and my imagination go wild with excitement. The Book Eaters is one of those books that doesn’t come by very often, magical and mundane at the same time, hitting all the right spots ... The story is told with an abundance of dry wit, which draws the reader in. It is a fairly slow-paced book, but one rife with character exploration. Due to its focus on characters and immersive world-building, it doesn’t matter that the plot is slower, as it gives the story room to breathe, to capture the reader’s full attention. This is one of those books that you don’t devour, but savour slowly. It is also a book for book lovers, having each chapter introduced by a different quote from literature, and making you think about how it relates to the events at hand. I adored this book, and I hope you will too. An easy five stars from me.