Soulstice by Simon Holt
Six months after the events of The Devouring, Reggie Halloway is still haunted by nightmares of Vours and fearscapes, but aside from the terrifying dreams, she hasn't seen anything of the Vours since she saved her little brother from possession.
But the memory of her awful encounter haunts her daily. Her little brother Henry is still suffering from nightmares and having violent episodes. Her best friend Aaron is worried about her. And the investigation into the disappearance of town golden boy Quinn Waters--who is currently drowned at the bottom of a lake after being possessed by a Vour--is getting closer to home every day.
And that's when the Vours begin to attack again. First it's terrifying visions. Then they move on Aaron.
That's when Quinn shows up. Turns out he survived being almost frozen and drowned, and now the Vours are after him, because he's so imperfect. He suggests a dangerous team-up to Reggie, and she has no choice but to accept.
As Reggie investigates deeper and deeper into the current resurgence of Vour activity, she learns some frightening things about the origins and true nature of the Vours. But will her newfound knowledge be enough to save her from a second Vour attack?
This book starts MUCH stronger than the previous. There is already a palpable sense of tension in the air from the first page, and Reggie is an exhausted but valiant warrior against horror. In some places, Reggie begins to remind me almost of a sort of Buffy character--only instead of being chosen, she's made her own choices.
There are plenty of twists and turns in this book, as well as actual new information. Too many times, a series feels drawn out and like you aren't really discovering anything new with each additional book. This may be the second book in a series, but it definitely feels meaty and weighty on its own. The details we learn about the Vours are fascinating and compelling, and raise this from a bloody, gory horror novel for the sake of being gory to something fascinating and compelling (with plenty of gross-out creepiness, don't worry.)
This is another strong, top-notch teen horror novel that's actually gross and scary enough to compel serious horror fans. And you've got to love the packaging! The jacket images for this and The Devouring are both so eye-grabbing. I gulped it down, and I'll continue to wait eagerly for the next installment.