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Most Helpful Favorable Review
11 out of 12 people found this review helpful.
A very talented author. I enjoyed her story. This book was hard
posted by vickytren on May 20, 2012Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Most Helpful Critical Review
5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.
Intriguing New Ghost Series
Review: I had very high hopes when picking up this book. The description sounded right up my alley - a series of murders in an abandoned graveyard? Awesome! This plot sounded fresh and really interesting - tons of potential. The main line of the story is what kept me reading. It was something new and the twists were good - they had me guessing until the end. The main character, Amelia Gray, was a well done heroine. She had the normal struggles in life with the added problems that seeing ghosts brings to the table. Aside from the solid characters and strong story line, my love for this book stopped there. Of course there was some romance, as to be expected, but what could have been an intriguing relationship or at least the start of one, turned out to be overly predictable and boring. Parts of the story, mostly about the background of some of the characters and the stories surround Charleston's history really bogged the book down. There were good twists and secrets throughout the book, which I was hoping would be given answers at the end, but I was left hanging - and not in a good way. I see how leaving questions unanswered leaves an open ending for the next book, but these questions left me feeling frustrated instead of intrigued. I have already received the next two books in this series, and I'm hoping that they will rekindle my love for this Gothic romance.
posted by StephWard on February 28, 2012Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
A very talented author. I enjoyed her story. This book was hard
A very talented author. I enjoyed her story. This book was hard to put down.
11 out of 12 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 12, 2011
This is such a well written book. It is scary, disturbing, and rewarding at all the right times! I couldnt put this book down! It will not disappoint! :)
4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 25, 2011
Most of us don't know it, but the dead roam around this earth just as we do. They are restless spirits, looking for warmth and solace in those who can see them. Yes, there are people who can. Some of them choose to embrace their gift. Some of them, however, must not give in to the temptation. Because once you allow yourself to embrace that gift, to give in to the dead, it opens up a whole new dimension - one that changes your life drastically. The ghosts will follow you until you give them what they want. Most just need closure to move on. Some of them are after your soul. For Amelia Grey, her Papa has always given her simple rules to follow. She saw her first ghost at a young age. Confused, she turns to her father for questions. And that's when he tells her his four rules. Because Papa can see them, too.
Amelia has done well for herself up until now. The ghosts have always been around her. Having a job that deals with being at a cemetery, that'll do it. She's now helping in part of an ongoing investigation. The man that's on the case is both irresistible and haunted. Despite those rules hammered in her mind, she is drawn to John Devlin, and the ghosts that follow him.
I can say with full honesty that while reading this, icy tentacles of fear and excitement ran up and down my body. My gut clenched and my heart pounded. The Restorer is one of the most eerie, haunting books I've read in a long time. Every creak of my house settling had me jumping. I left the lights on while reading. Yes, I even looked over my shoulder to make sure no one stood behind me.
Ms. Stevens created such chilling suspense that I questioned the motives of each character. Secrets were unveiled and I wondered who had been hiding what. The vivid details weaved throughout the story had my imagination working in overdrive. I am fascinated by the paranormal and loved reading about a heroine who can see the dead. The imagery of ghosts energy fading off in the twilight, the gut-wrenching emotion Amelia, John Devlin, and others felt, I felt too. I am even getting chills again while writing this.
I never would have guessed the ending of the book. The further the reader gets into the story, the more intense it gets. Ms. Stevens comes back in full force with The Restorer, and you won't want to miss it! If you love a haunting story full of ghosts, secrets, an extraordinary heroine, mystery and murder, then this book is for you. Though, you might want to read it during the day, when the ghosts are at bay.
Originally posted at The Long and Short of It Romance Reviews
4 out of 7 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 16, 2011
This is a great urban fantasy whodunit
Amelia Gray was nine years old when she saw her first ghost while raking leaves with her father at the cemetery he was caretaker of. Her dad told her to never look at them. She became a cemetery restorer, but though she could see ghosts, she adhered to her father's strict rules.
Charleston PD Detective John Devlin accompanied by the ghosts of a woman and a little girl approaches Amelia. He is unaware that his late wife and daughter haunt him. The haunted looking Devlin explains Emerson College Dr. Camille Ashby sent him to see her. The cop wants to look at the photos she took last week at Oak Grove Cemetery where the corpse of a battered female was found. The headstone provides clues to the serial killer, but only Amelia can interpret them. However, she does not want to get involved as she knows if she does, she will break a rule and have to deal with the two female family ghosts siphoning his energy to remain anchored here.
This is a great urban fantasy whodunit that makes ghosts feel real because of the heroine. The story line is fast-paced and loaded with action that grips the reader from the moment Devlin accosts a reluctant Amelia and never slows until a ring is placed as a thank you. Sub-genre fans will appreciate the first dark yet somehow hopeful Graveyard Queen as everyone will affirm they believe in ghosts.
3 out of 9 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 24, 2012
ONE WORD: WOW
i cant belive how good this book was.Very dark and twisted at the end, I wouldn't recommend for people who get scared easily or for nightime reading. BUT STILL A FAVORITE!!!!!
2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 19, 2011
Delicious Southern gothic mystery I couldn't put down!
NEVER ACKNOWLEDGE THE DEAD. NEVER STRAY FROM HALLOWED GROUND. NEVER GET CLOSE TO THE HAUNTED. NEVER, EVER TEMPT FATE. My father's rules. I've never broken them.until now Amelia Gray is a cemetery restorer. She also sees ghosts. Since she discovered her ability when she was nine, she's never broken her father's rules. The rules have kept her safe. But when the body of a murdered young woman is found in the graveyard she's restoring, the dangerously attractive Detective John Devlin comes looking for her for help. Unfortunately he's haunted and Amelia is attracted to him like no man she's ever known. As the bodies pile up, Amelia is drawn into the investigation and closer to the man she knows she should stay away from. Add a secret society, shadows in the night, a cyber-stalker and, of course, Devlin's ghosts and you have a book that keeps you on the edge of your seat from page one to The End. Amanda Stevens has an amazing talent for writing intriguing gothic mysteries set in the South-in this case Charleston. Her characters are full of quirks and eccentricities, charm and secrets. Amelia is the perpetual outsider who unravels just enough secrets to reveal a darker mystery that underlies the series. Devlin is reminiscent of the great tortured heroes of the classics-REBBECCA's Maxim de Winter, JANE EYRE's Rochester, and even the haunted Heathcliff-and, like them, the reader isn't sure if he's the hero or the villain. And neither is Amelia. I loved this book and had only one complaint-that it ended and I have to wait for the next in the series to get more!
2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 18, 2011
"I was nine when I saw my first ghost."
It's rare that an opening line grabs me as this one did. In that one sentence, I was sucked in for the rest of the book. It's also not often that I love a book so much I want to shove it into the hands of the first (possibly unwilling) pair of hands I see and yell, "read this read this READ THIS!" The Passage by Justin Cronin was one of them, The Fever Series by Karen Moning another. It was that good. It kept me up at night, turning pages. I was distracted while helping a friend paint, because all I could think was "I want to get back to my book." In the end, it took me just over a full 24 hours to read it. I simply could not put it down. It has become a member of "The Measuring Stick Books" - books by which I measure all others:
Friend: OMG have you read such-and-such by so-and-so?!
Me: Is it as good as The Passage/Fever/The Restorer?
Me: Bottom of the TBR pile.
It made me anxious for its characters, envious of the town's residents, intrigued by the secrecy, frightened by the apparitions and ultimately, wanting to know who the "bad guy" was. Each time I was sure I knew, I found out how incredibly wrong I was. That's how I judge a spectacular author: make me live your book and I'm going to love you, slobber at your feet and ache for your recognition. Stevens incorporated strong characters (both primary and secondary), smooth plot lines and twists so staggering, they made you dizzy. The first-person narrative ('cause you know how I love my first-person) was exceptionally well written, the plot was intriguing and it was entirely a heart-palpitating read. Stevens deftly wrapped together all these wonderful components of a novel and just delivered it to our feet with a big ol' bow. Merry Christmas! I don't care if it's April.
I can't wait for the follow-up to this absolutely fantastic book. Amanda Stevens, you rock!
GO READ IT NOW.
2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 25, 2012
a beautiful, dark, chilling mystery
I love crime mysteries and when you wrap it in a little paranormal woo-woo I begin to drool. Amanda Stevens delivered a beautiful, dark, chilling mystery with a side of sexual tension. I quickly became swept up in this tale, the characters and the crime. The opening sentence “I was nine when I saw my first ghost.” grabbed me and the tale kept me enthralled. Ameila Gray is a cemetery restorer and has quickly built a reputation for herself. She also has a successful blog showcasing old cemeteries which has made her recognizable. Since she was nine she has been cursed with a gift she shares with her father. She can see ghosts and her father taught her rules that she must follow to keep herself safe. Rule number one, never acknowledge them. Until now she has always followed the rules. When a haunted, smexy, dark, brooding police detective asks for her assistance after discovering a dead body in the cemetery she is restoring everything changes. When the clues to solve the murder(s) involve symbols on the headstones she realizes she may be the only one who can help them catch a killer. I really connected with the protagonist Ameila. She is quite, refined, intelligent and confident in her profession. She also seems very lonely and guarded. I loved her profession and the fact that she blogs and enjoys it so much had me smiling. John Devlin is a police officer, a true southern gentleman and he oozed smexy. John has suffered from a horrific loss and it shows in his eyes and the lines on his devastatingly handsome face. He unnerves Amanda and she struggles with her attraction to John on so many levels. I adored the tango these two danced. Their tale is just beginning and I get goose bumps just thinking about it. I love the secondary characters and the southern door Stevens opens for us. I am really looking forward to learning more about all of them. Stevens is a breathtakingly gifted writer. She brought Charleston and its historical district to life. I could see, hear, taste and smell the world she immersed me in. Her attention to detail and the facts surround these old neglected cemeteries captivated me. The mystery itself was filled with twists, foreboding and an air of believability that had me chilled. The twist she put on ghosts and Amelia’s gift are completely original and the back-history on these entities was freaky-tastic! The flow of the novel was wonderful, and Steven’s descriptive writing style kept me reading late into the night. I am in love with this writer and must read more of this series. My favorite type of series are ones that can be read as standalones, but also have sub-plots, romances etc running through them. Where each book solves a case, shows character development and further advances these overall sub- plot. This appears to be the recipe Stevens is using. Eep! I have not been this excited since reading The Passage by Justin Cronin and if you know me at all, you are rushing to ordered this book! caffeinated book reviewer dot com
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
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