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Branches and stones, daggers and bones,

They locked the Beast away.



After the death of her sister, seventeen-year-old Violet Saunders finds herself dragged to Four Paths, New York. Violet may be a newcomer, but she soon learns her mother isn't: They belong to one of the revered founding families of the town, where stone bells hang above every doorway and danger lurks in the depths of the woods.

Justin Hawthorne's bloodline has protected Four Paths for generations from the Gray-a lifeless dimension that imprisons a brutal monster. After Justin fails to inherit his family's powers, his mother is determined to keep this humiliation a secret. But Justin can't let go of the future he was promised and the town he swore to protect.

Ever since Harper Carlisle lost her hand to an accident that left her stranded in the Gray for days, she has vowed revenge on the person who abandoned her: Justin Hawthorne. There are ripples of dissent in Four Paths, and Harper seizes an opportunity to take down the Hawthornes and change her destiny-to what extent, even she doesn't yet know.

The Gray is growing stronger every day, and its victims are piling up. When Violet accidentally unleashes the monster, all three must band together with the other Founders to unearth the dark truths behind their families' abilities...before the Gray devours them all.

THE DEVOURING GRAY is a YA contemporary fantasy novel perfect for fans of Stranger Things, The Raven Boys, or Riverdale, with horror-tinged magical elements and an endearing group cast, out now from Little Brown Books for Young Readers.



"By the end of page one, I was hooked. By the end of chapter one, I was entranced. The pages of this book breathe and shiver and thrum, just like the trees of Herman's deliciously eerie woods. These characters are unforgettable; the imagery is sublime. Fans of The Raven Boys and Stranger Things rejoice: This is your new obsession."


--CLAIRE LEGRANDNew York Times best-selling author of Sawkill Girls and Furyborn

An Indies Introduce Debut Pick for Winter/Spring 2019

An Indie Next Pick for Spring 2019

Foreign Publishers:


United Kingdom / Titan Books

Hungary / Maxim

Germany / dtv Junior

Spain / Libros de Seda 

Russia / Eksmo

cover design by Natasha MacKenzie

content warnings for THE DEVOURING GRAY duology can be found here.

more praise for THE DEVOURING GRAY:

E. K. JOHNSTON, #1 New York Times best-selling author of Star Wars: Ahsoka and A Thousand Nights

I can't describe how much I loved The Devouring Gray! It's such an assured and accomplished debut, haunting and atmospheric and filled with real, human characters who you can't fail to love and cheer for even as they make terrible decisions. It's one of the best books I've read in a long while.


author of After the Eclipse

Herman’s novel The Devouring Gray is part horror, part fantasy, and one great read. After experiencing a family tragedy, Violet Saunders and her mother move back to Four Paths, her mother’s hometown. Violet soon learns there is a beast hiding beneath the surface of the town, and that her destiny is tied to it. Filled with magic, deception, and family ties, this book is a must-read. Especially recommended for fans of Stranger Things.

KATHERINE WARDE, Micawber’s Bookstore (St. Paul, MN)

Herman has crafted a textured, unsettling world that I somehow, despite all the danger and tension, want to live inside of. It feels real and unreal at once: this is a rare, strange joy.


author of Other Words for Smoke

When mutilated bodies start to show up in the small town of Four Paths in rural upstate New York, the townsfolk know it can only mean one thing. The Gray is back. Existing on an alternate plane, The Gray (not unlike the Demogorgon/Upside Down in Stranger Things) has been terrorizing the town since its inception but the founding families of Four Paths have always been able to keep it from crossing over. This time familial dark secrets could hinder the town and allow The Gray to break through, and it's up to four teen descendants of the founders to put aside differences and keep the terror at bay. Gripping and terrifying, The Devouring Gray will have you sleeping with one eye open, if at all.

JAVIER RAMIREZ, The Book Table (Oak Park, IL)

As beautiful as it is terrifying; as tender as it is gut-wrenching. Herman's writing is lyrical, emotionally rich, and so, so layered. I will be thinking about this atmospheric world--and these gloriously flawed characters--for a long time.


author of The Exact Opposite of Okay

Buried secrets, magic bloodlines and creepy atmosphere galore… you don’t want to miss this stunning haunted tale.

CHRISTINA HENRY, best-selling author of the Black Wings series

The Devouring Gray is an irresistible blend of unforgettable characters and spine-tingling horror. After a sudden tragedy, Violet Saunders moves back to her mother's small hometown in upstate New York, where she uncovers the secret pact the town's founding families--including her own ancestors--made with a terrible monster lurking in the woods. Full of witchy atmosphere; lush, detailed writing; and a trope-breaking, endearing group cast, this book will ensnare you and leave you deliciously haunted. A stunning debut.

AMANDA FOODY, author of the Shadow Game trilogy and Daughter of the Burning City

The only thing better than a chosen one is four chosen ones, and the only thing better than four chosen ones is four chosen ones who don't like each other very much. The Devouring Gray takes privilege and legacy by the throat and never lets go.

E. K. JOHNSTON, #1 New York Times best-selling author of Star Wars: Ahsoka and A Thousand Nights

“A beast lurks on the edge of the town of Four Paths and its powers are growing at the same time Violet Saunders and her mother return to town. As Violet discovers her family history and their relationship to three other families known as the Founders, her role in protecting the town becomes instrumental as bodies start appearing at the edge of the woods. This book will grab you by the shirt collar and won't let go till the very last page.


White Birch Books (North Conway, NH)

A grimly exhilarating tale of monsters in the woods and monstrous family legacies-and teens brave enough to fight them both. This New England Gothic will devour you.

ROSAMUND HODGE, author of Cruel Beauty and Crimson Bound



Though the Beast is seemingly subdued for now, a new threat looms in Four Paths: a corruption seeping from the Gray into the forest. And with the other Founders preoccupied by their tangled alliances and fraying relationships, only May Hawthorne seems to realize the danger. But saving the town she loves means seeking aid from the person her family despises most--her and Justin’s father.


May’s father isn’t the only newcomer in town--Isaac Sullivan’s older brother has also returned,  seeking forgiveness for the role he played in Isaac’s troubled past. But Isaac isn’t ready to let go of his family’s history, especially when that history might hold the key that he and Violet Saunders need to destroy the Gray and the monster within it. 


Harper Carlisle isn’t ready to forgive, either. Two devastating betrayals have left her isolated from her family and uncertain who to trust. As the corruption becomes impossible to ignore, Harper must learn to control her newfound powers in order to protect Four Paths. But the only people who can help her do that are the ones who have hurt her the most.


With the veil between the Gray and the town growing ever thinner, all of the Founder descendants must put their grievances with one another aside to stop the corruption and kill the Beast once and for all.


But maybe the monster they truly need to slay has never been the Beast...

Out now from Little Brown Books for Young Readers (US) & Titan Books (UK).

content warnings for THE DEVOURING GRAY duology can be found here.


cover design by Mike Heath

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cover design by Natasha MacKenzie

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