Monday, May 9, 2011

Review: The Restorer by Amanda Stevens

The Restorer (The Graveyard Queen)

Release Date: April 19, 2011
Publisher: MIRA/Harlequin
Age: Adult
Pages: 384
Source: ebook from NetGalley
Buy the Book: Amazon | Book Depository
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.
Okay, I think I just found a great new series that I must own. I will be running out to buy my very own finished copy of this book and will be on the lookout for the next book in the series. It's a mixture of paranormal and mystery - a combination of two of my favourite genres!
I was nine when I saw my first ghost.
That is how the book begins, with Amelia Gray letting us know that she has seen ghosts all of her life and yet she still chose to work among the dead as a cemetery restorer. I think cemeteries can be some of the creepiest, yet quietest and most beautiful places around. Can you imagine working in a cemetery and being able to see ghosts? I think I'd follow the rules that Amelia's father gives her.
Rule #1: Never acknowledge the dead. Don't look at them, don't speak to them, don't let them sense your fear.
Rule #2: Never stray too far from hallowed ground.
Rule #3: Keep your distance from those who are haunted. If they seek you out, turn away from them, for they constitute a terrible threat and cannot be trusted.
Rule #4: Never, ever tempt fate.
The descriptions of the cemeteries, headstones and mausoleums are poetic and so descriptive. The surroundings, the vegetative growth and the feelings that the graveyards evoke are all written so beautifully. One of the things that I love about Amelia is that she adores the engravings on the headstones and knows pretty much everything there is to know about the symbolism:
Along with a floral design, the headstone had been engraved with a floating feather and this poetic epitaph:
The midnight stars weep upon her silent grave,
Dead but dreaming this child we could not save.
(meaning a soul in flight or the freeing of someone from what holds them down)
Amelia is a very strong willed woman, though some paranormal entities scare her, she always pushes forward unwilling to let the ghosts push her around. She is also stubborn and goes against all of the rules that her father taught her (to keep her safe). Once she meets John Devlin, a police officer investigating a murder at a local cemetery (who also happens to be haunted,) Amelia's whole world is turned upside down. She can't seem to control her emotions or her thoughts. She ignores every instinct she has and follows the unknown. The attraction between Amelia and Devlin is so strong and fierce and she can't help herself - she would follow him to the depths of the earth and she isn't sure why.
Devlin's secretive eyes and brooding demeanour were powerful libations to a closet romantic like me. In spite of his modern trappings, he had an old-world air about him. An intoxicating fusion of Byron, Bronte and Pow with a modern twist.
The best part of the entire story is that no matter who you think was involved with the murder or why you think these victims were chosen, you just keep changing your mind with every new bit of information revealed along the way. I thought I had it all figured out and a major twist came along and threw my whole theory out the window. I love books that make you think out different scenarios and decipher the information to make educated guesses. This book will keep you on your toes. And with the hanging ending - I cannot wait to see what happens to Amelia, Devlin and the ghosts that haunt them.
Twilight was upon us and his ghosts were waiting.

1 comment:

  1. Looks really good! I might have to go pick that one up. Thanks for the review!

    Mint Tea and A Good Book


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