May 18, 2016 by Zoë
In The Devourers by Indra Das, Alok meets a stranger who claims to be a half-werewolf. Alok is fascinated by the stranger’s story and continues to listen, never sure of what to believe. The stranger weaves a story of times gone by, of animals and men, shapeshifters and djinn.
This book is really well-written. Lovely language that sweeps you up in the story, as well as a plot that moves along to a satisfying conclusion (which I really doubted would be possible in the middle of the story). Overall, the book is dark and quiet, but I definitely enjoyed reading it. There are moments when events or descriptions seem a bit sensationalized or as if they are specifically intended to incite revulsion in the reader. But perhaps that’s for a reason, and regardless I still enjoyed the story.
You’ll pick up on this pretty quickly if you skim through reviews on Goodreads, but I also want to point out that this book is full of interesting things with regard to sexuality and gender identity. Alok is bisexual and the shapeshifters are fluid with regard to both gender and sexuality. This isn’t the focus of the story by any means, but I appreciated it.
I also appreciated that the story is set in India and centered around Indian mythology and culture, both past and present. If you’re interested in literary fantasy that isn’t focused on a pseudo-Europe, definitely check this book out.
“Yes, you looked at me and I wished you were not human, that I could cleave your soul in two and watch your second self emerge, a beast as lovely as your first.”
I received an electronic copy of this book through NetGalley.