Author: Amanda Stevens
Series: The Graveyeard Queen #1
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: 04/19/11
Reviewed by: Christen
But the Book:
My name is Amelia Gray. I'm a cemetery restorer who sees ghosts. In order to protect myself from the parasitic nature of the dead, I've always held fast to the rules passed down from my father. But now a haunted police detective has entered my world and everything is changing, including the rules that have always kept me safe.
It started with the discovery of a young woman's brutalized body in an old Charleston graveyard I've been hired to restore. The clues to the killer -- and to his other victims -- lie in the headstone symbolism that only I can interpret. Devlin needs my help, but his ghosts shadow his every move, feeding off his warmth, sustaining their presence with his energy. To warn him would be to invite them into my life. I've vowed to keep my distance, but the pull of his magnetism grows ever stronger even as the symbols lead me closer to the killer and to the gossamer veil that separates this world from the next.
Plot: 4.5 Stars
I really don't think this book qualifies as a Paranormal Romance as labelled on the spine, but damn it was good! One of the first things I noticed while reading this book was how somber and lovely it was. I thought it was fitting considering the majority of the book takes place in a cemetery. Amelia Gray has the unfortunate ability to see ghosts, and these aren't your average Casper the Friendly Ghosts. These are creepy, soul-sucking entities. I can honestly say that this was one of the few books, including Peeps by Scott Westerfeld, that have scared me. I had to make sure not to read it too close to bedtime. The reader is carried along as Amelia pieces together the past of her love interest, Devlin, as well as one twisted serial killer who takes a personal interest in her.
Pace: 3 Stars
As good as this book was, it was a bit of a slower read for me. I think that was due to the lack of additional characters. Also, other than going to the graveyard and the library, there really weren't that many events or settings. There were quite a few flashbacks also slowed the pace down for me.
Characters: 3 Stars
If I could personify a graveyard, it would be Amelia Gray. I found it kind of hard to relate to Amelia. She was very passive and dreary. Definitely not how I want my heroine. That being said, she felt like a real person and not just a figment of the author's imagination. I didn't enjoy her tendancy to pine after the love interest, Devlin, who can only be described as severely emotionally damaged. Too damaged, in my opinion, to ever have another normal relationship.
Cover: 4 Stars
I found this cover very intriguing and mysterious, as well as slightly creepy, which fit the feel of the novel very well. The black and blue-green color scheme is reminiscent of the materials found in a cemetery. The two images, the crying angel on top and the inverted tree on the bottom, seem a bit disjointed. The ivy above the title looks a bit too computer generated against the other two images.
Overall: 3.5 Stars
Disclosure: I borrowed this novel from the local library.