To Be Devoured by Sara Tantlinger Book Review

Holy shit. This is how horror is done.

To Be Devoured by Sara Tantlinger

Released July 29, 2019

Dark Fiction  |  Goodreads  |  Amazon 

Source: Received for Review Consideration
What does carrion taste like? Andi has to know. The vultures circling outside her home taunt and invite her to come understand the secrets hiding in their banquet of decay. Fascination morphs into an obsessive need to know what the vultures know. Andi turns to Dr. Fawning, but even the therapist cannot help her comprehend the secrets she’s buried beneath anger-induced blackouts.

Her girlfriend, Luna, tries to help Andi battle her inner darkness and infatuation with the vultures. However, the desire to taste dead flesh, to stitch together wings of her own and become one with the flock sends Andi down a twisted, unforgivable path. Once she understands the secrets the vultures conceal, she must decide between abandoning the birds of prey or risk turning her loved ones into nothing more than meals to be devoured. 

My 2 Cents For Free!

“I was a mean, morbid girl, and I resented everyone and their perfect, living family members. “

TO BE DEVOURED does everything a five star horror novel should do, if you ask me. It unnerves, it sickens, it terrifies and it lingers well after you turn the final page. With that said it is not a story for everyone because it is fucking brutal and disturbing on a level most books never reach.

Andi has anger issues and morbid compulsions but she’s in a relatively stable relationship with girlfriend Luna until Luna unkindly rejects Andi’s gift that she so painstakingly created over several months. Soon enough Andi begins obsessing far too much on the vultures she sees lurking near her home. They invade her dreams and start to invade her waking moments. What does carrion taste like? Will it fill her up? Fill up the emptiness always dwelling inside of her, as it does the vultures?

To say any more is to say too much.

I hadn’t read author Sara Tantlinger before this work crossed my path but my fellow #LadiesOfHorrorFiction adore her poetry and once I began this book it was clear this work was written by a poet. The words are beautifully composed and often grossly descriptive, terribly bleak, and the mood is set to pitch black where it stays in nearly every scene.

It is a dark and grotesque descent into madness but the character of Andi is so well drawn I found myself agreeing with many of her thoughts, at least earlier on, haha. Those anger filled feelings fueled by grief were vivid and potent and excellently put down on the page. Her thoughts on death and its aftermath and all of the crazy customs that go along with it feel so very accurate. But I am strange, I suppose. I tell my husband and children to bury me in the backyard and give me back to the earth if I happen to keel over young because the thought of being pumped full of chemicals so people can “say goodbye” to my rotting corpse haunts me. See me when I’m alive or don’t bother and let me feed the earth or the squirrels when I’m dead. That is far more natural to me. They laugh but I’m truly only half joking.

“Our bodies have ruined the earth, it seems only right such bodies give back to nature, to the animals.”

Anyhow, what I guess I’m trying to say, is that this book takes those feelings of pain and loss and rejection that some of us experience way too young, when we aren’t properly equipped to handle any of it, and ponders what might happen if one allowed those feelings to twist and simmer and transform into an internal and unnatural dialogue that takes the horror out of horrifying thoughts and actions. This book does that and it’s not one I’ll forget easily.

As I said, this book isn’t for everyone. There’s a scene that I wanted so badly to look away from but couldn’t because I had to keep reading. Don’t take that as a gentle warning. It’s something you won’t be able to unread. If you’re up for it, you’ll be repulsed and rattled by its dark beauty and it will haunt you on an intimate level. That I can pretty much guarantee.

5 out of 5


  1. Replies
    1. I've been on a winning streak but alas I have a DNF collection sitting in drafts!

  2. Wow, this one sounds intense and chilling!

  3. I am adding this one to my list so that I can read it the next time I sign up for Kindle Unlimited. I tend to like books that others think are disturbing and I really want to know what that scene is that you mention. I am definitely curious about this one.

  4. This sounds dark and fascinating. Going on my list!

  5. Replies
    1. It was so amazing. All the things I look for in dark fiction.

  6. Whoa, this sounds pretty intense! Not sure I'm up for it right now, but I'll remember this for the future.

  7. Vampires is not at all like in the movies or books. Sure, I understand. You are young you have the whole world open to you. You can be anything that you choose if you apply yourself and try hard to work toward that goal. But being a Vampire is not what it seems like. It’s a life full of good, and amazing things. We are as human as you are.. It’s not what you are that counts, But how you choose to be. Do you want a life full of interesting things? Do you want to have power and influence over others? To be charming and desirable? To have wealth, health, and longevity, I can help you solve any problem you are having
    (1) If you want your ex back.
    (2) If you want to stop having bad dreams.
    (3) You want to be promoted in your office.
    (4) You want women/men to run after you.
    (5) If you want a child.
    (6) You want to be rich.
    (7) You want to tie your husband/wife to be yours forever.
    (8) If you need financial assistance.
    (9) If you want to stop your divorce.
    (10 If you want to divorce your husband.
    (11) If you want your wishes to be granted.
    contact the Vampires Lord on his Email:

    1. I've been waiting all of my life for an invitation like this!

  8. I see you're being recruited by the vampire lord as well. Boy is he a busy little vampire. I'm not sure this is for me because of the scene you mentioned. If it involves a dog, I'm out. Other than that I'd say bring it on. I'm working on a special horror project with Stormi for 2020 - can't wait to read more.

    1. bwahahaha, he will grant me any and all wishes. I'm sure it's free too!

      The scene doesn't involve a dog but another innocent little creature who some say are just as intelligent as dogs :( I can't wait to hear more about the horror project with Stormi!


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