Today I’m sharing my review of The Book Eaters by Sunyi Dean!
Title: The Book Eaters
Author: Sunyi Dean
Publisher: Tor Books
Number of Pages: 298 Pages
Age Category: Adult
Date Published: August 2, 2022
Buy the Book: Amazon
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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. To them, spy novels are a peppery snack; romance novels are sweet and delicious. Eating a map can help them remember destinations, and children, when they misbehave, are forced to eat dry, musty pages from dictionaries.
Devon is part of The Family, an old and reclusive clan of book eaters. Her brothers grow up feasting on stories of valor and adventure, and Devon—like all other book eater women—is raised on a carefully curated diet of fairy tales and cautionary stories.
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.
I read this book for one of the book clubs that I’m in. It’s a book that’s been on my radar for a while, so I’m glad I finally had the chance to read it. While this book wasn’t what I was expecting, I’m glad I read it because it certainly was memorable.
The first thing I want to talk about is the format of this book. This book goes back and forth between the past and the present. I found the first few chapters that took place in the present to be incredibly confusing, but I found the flashback chapters to be very useful for world building. I liked how these flashbacks provided information about the world and the Family system without info dumping everything at once. I also liked that the past chapters provided a bit of a pause on the action-packed present chapters, which I appreciated because it gave me a chance to process the action.
I enjoyed the world-building in this book. I liked learning about the Families and the politics surrounding them. I thought the arranged matchmaking and the role of women gave the story dystopian vibes. I also found the idea of book eaters and mind eaters to be interesting and quite unique.
As far as the characters go, I thought most of them were either morally grey or just plain villainous. I enjoyed learning about the character and their motivations for their actions. I also enjoyed reading about the characters trying to justify their actions. As far as the main character, Devon, goes, I had mixed feelings, and I didn’t find her that likable.
One issue I had about this book was that it left me with a lot of questions and there were quite a few things that didn’t make sense. I don’t want to go into very many details because I don’t want to spoil anything, but there were things that either weren’t explained enough or didn’t quite make sense. There were also a few things that I had a difficult time visualizing, like the actual book eating.
Overall, I found this book to be memorable. I tend to stay away from horror, so I found this book to be quite dark. There were some scenes in this book that I found quite graphic and disturbing and they made this book stand out.
I’m not quite sure what I was expecting going into this book, but it was a lot darker than I thought it would be. I tend to stay away from horror, so there were scenes in this book that I found quite graphic and gory. While I found some scenes to be disturbing, they did help make this book memorable.
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Great review. I’ve seen this one mentioned a few times and wondered about adding it to my TBR. I probably won’t though as I don’t enjoy horror and tend to steer clear of books with disturbing scenes.