The book eaters

Sunyi Dean

Book - 2022

"Sunyi Dean's The Book Eaters is a contemporary fantasy debut. It's a story of motherhood, sacrifice, and hope; of queer identity and learning to accept who you are; of gilded lies and the danger of believing the narratives others create for you. 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 c...an 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 fairytales 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"--

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SCIENCE FICTION/Dean, Sunyi
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1st Floor New Shelf SCIENCE FICTION/Dean, Sunyi (NEW SHELF) Due Oct 20, 2022
1st Floor New Shelf SCIENCE FICTION/Dean, Sunyi (NEW SHELF) Due Oct 25, 2022
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Subjects
Genres
Fantasy fiction
Novels
Published
New York : Tor 2022.
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Item Description
"A Tom Doherty Associates book."
Physical Description
298 pages ; 25 cm
ISBN
9781250810182
1250810183
Main Author
Sunyi Dean (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* Devon is a rare daughter in one of the premiere bookeater families. She's been raised on a carefully curated diet of gender-essentialist fairy tales, to prepare her for a future being married off and procreating for the good of their species. She thinks she's a princess. But when she gives birth and realizes she's expected to give her child up—her son is born with a hunger for human minds, which means he will be taken from her forever—she realizes that the world is much uglier than she's read. As Devon flees an ugly, corrupting, oppressive system with her son in tow, she learns that love doesn't have a cost; it's a choice you make. And she's chosen to protect her child—whatever the cost. Dean's debut novel is a powerful story of overwhelming mother love, as something both powerful and potentially horrific. It's a book that delves into the need to survive even when a system is built to break you or determined to crush you; a powerful queer story about difference that refuses to flinch away from difficult choices or the impact of trauma, both generational and inflicted. Readers will devour this compelling, rich fantasy. Copyright 2022 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

In Dean's big, intriguingly premised debut, Devon is part of a venerable clan belonging to The Book Eaters—instead of food, they munch thrillers, romance, and, when they misbehave, dusty dictionaries—and she's terrified to learn that her son is born hungering not for paper, printing, and binding but human minds (150,000-copy first printing). In The Women Could Fly, a dystopian work from Rumpus features editor Giddings, the mother of a young Black woman named Josephine is long vanished—was she a witch? Was she murdered?—and if Josephine doesn't marry soon, she will be forced to enroll in a registry that will effectively blot out her freedom (75,000-copy first printing). In Harris's The Serpent in Heaven, a sequel to The Russian Cage, Felicia is set upon by her estranged family of Mexican wizards and discovers that she is the most powerful witch of her generation (75,000-copy first printing). In Don't Fear the Reaper, Jones's follow-up to the LJ best-booked My Heart Is a Chainsaw, an exonerated Jade Daniels returns home from prison just as convicted serial killer Dark Mill South arrives to avenge 38 Dakota men hanged in 1862 (100,000-copy first printing). In this latest from the multi-award-nominated Kuang, a Chinese boy orphaned in 1828 Canton (now Guangzhou) is brought to London and eventually enters Oxford's Royal Institute of Translation—called Babel—which doubles as a center for magic and compels him to work in support of Britain's imperial ambitions in China (125,000-copy first printing). Modesitt continues his newly launched "Grand Illusion" series with Steffan Dekkard joining the Council of Sixty-Six as Councilor—the first to be an Isolate, which makes him impervious to emotional manipulation but could lead to his assassination (100,000-copy first printing). Author of the Slate best-booked Quick, Owens has Kate planning to hold her wedding at a church called Small Angels in the town where she once found shelter with the Gonne sisters, little realizing that they've been tasked with keeping a marauding ghost from invading the village—and they're falling down on the job. Winner of a BCALA Self-Publishing EBook Award for Song of Blood and Stone, one ofTime's 100 Best Fantasy Books of All Time, Penelope returns with The Monsters We Defy, whose heroine pays off a debt to the Empress ruling the spirit world by agreeing to steal a wealthy woman's ring in 1925 Washington, DC (25,000-copy first printing). From Valdes, author of the LJ best-booked Chilling Effects, Fault Tolerance brings back Capt. Eva Innocente and the raucous crew of La Sirena Negra to counter an anonymous threat that could lead to the death of billions (50,000-copy first printing). Dragon/Nebula finalist Virdi launches a new series with The First Binding, featuring an Immortal disguised as a storyteller—and he's here to relate how he unleashed the First Evil on the world (175,000-copy first printing). The MMU Novella Award-winning West goes full length with Face, set in a genetically engineered society where the perfect profile buys fame, wealth, and power but not happiness for Schuyler and Madeleine Burroughs (60,000-copy first printing). Copyright 2022 Library Journal.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

DEBUT Devon Fairweather, a book eater, knew she was special: treated as a princess among her brothers, raised in an isolated home with her extended family, and fed fairy tales—quite literally, as the book eaters consume volumes of written words and retain all the knowledge within. Devon's fairy-tale life soon meets hard reality, as she, like all book eater females, is expected to ensure The Family's survival and bear two children by two husbands. However, Devon wants more; she wants a life on her own terms and with her children. When her son Cai is born and consumes minds instead of books, Devon escapes with him before The Family can destroy him, or worse. Devon takes drastic action to satisfy Cai's hunger, which is far more deadly than her own, but what would a mother not do for her child? The fantastical world does not overshadow the novel's dramatic themes, including family, self-determination, and the morally gray choices one makes for those they love. VERDICT A fascinating debut with shades of gothic fantasy and contemporary thriller, wrapped in a narrative full of vivid and detailed characters and worldbuilding, and an unusual premise.—Kristi Chadwick Copyright 2022 Library Journal.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Dean's unputdownable debut gives the phrase "voracious reader" a new, very literal meaning. Devon isn't human. She and others like her live off eating books, and they retain all the knowledge they consume. Book eaters are rare, and book eater girls are even rarer. Raised by the isolated, cultish Family, Devon is treated like a breakable princess and fed a steady diet of fairy tales in which the girls are always the damsels in distress. Devon's duty is to grow up and produce two children by two different husbands to ensure the survival of their species. Willful and stubborn in nature, Devon has always chafed under the Family's control—and when her first son is born not a book eater but a far more dangerous mind eater, she goes on the run to save the boy from the Family, who no longer want him. But to survive, she'll have to find a way to sate the hunger that plagues him, a hunger far more sinister and alien than her own. The fascinating magic system, impeccable and unusual worldbuilding, and well-shaded characters will keep readers riveted through every twist of this wild ride. Gothic fantasy fans will want to snap up this thrilling tale. (Aug.) Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

"Sunyi Dean's The Book Eaters is a contemporary fantasy debut. It's a story of motherhood, sacrifice, and hope; of queer identity and learning to accept who you are; of gilded lies and the danger of believing the narratives others create for you. 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 fairytales 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"--

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Part of The Family, a secret line of people for whom books are food, Devon, raised on a carefully curated diet of fairytales and cautionary stories, discovers that real life doesn’t always come with happy endings when her son is born with an insatiable hunger for human minds.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

"I devoured this."—V. E. Schwab, New York Times bestselling author of The Invisible Life of Addie La RueInternational BestsellerIndie Next PickGoodreads Most Anticipated of 2022BookPage Best Books of 2022Out 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.