Author: Amanda Stevens
Publication: Mira; Original edition (March 27, 2012)
Description: Deep in the shadowy foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains lies a dying town…
My name is Amelia Gray. They call me The Graveyard Queen. I've been commissioned to restore an old cemetery in Asher Falls, South Carolina, but I'm coming to think I have another purpose here.
Why is there a cemetery at the bottom of Bell Lake? Why am I drawn time and again to a hidden grave I've discovered in the woods? Something is eating away at the soul of this town—this withering kingdom—and it will only be restored if I can uncover the truth.
My Thoughts: If you are in the mood for ghosts and a spooky story, have I got the book for you. Amelia Gray restores cemeteries. She also sees ghosts. She is adopted and curious about her heritage. When she takes a job in Asher Falls, she begins to unravel the complicated story of her life. This book has a seriously gothic atmosphere filled with portents, creepy characters, and strange circumstances.
Because she has seen ghosts since she was a small child, she is used to being alone and lonely. She can't go out after sunset. She is good at ignoring the ghosts and following the rules her father set down to keep her safe but her adventures in the first book of this series - The Restorer - opened her up to ghosts. Almost the first thing she does when she comes to town is rescue a dog that had been used as bait in dog fighting and then abandoned. Angus becomes her faithful companion and a good guard both against the ghosts and the humans who frighten her.
Amelia also meets Thane Asher who is the adopted grandchild of the man who controls the whole town and who has hatched a number of Machiavellian schemes. They form a sort of tentative relationship that might be a romance if she wasn't hung up on the guy she left in Charleston and he wasn't hung up on his fiance who died in a car accident. And, then, Amelia isn't sure who she can trust in the town and is hesitant to trust him.
This was a spooky story that was a real page-turner. I recommend it to anyone who likes modern gothics. The story stands alone but read The Restorer first to get to know Amelia. The Prophet, book three in this series, will be published soon too.
Something was seriously amiss in this town. I'd felt it the moment I crossed Bell Lake. The shadows seemed deeper, the nights longer, the secrets older. Even the wind felt different here. And I couldn't forget the repugnant man in the cemetery who had mimicked my worst fears or the ghost who had somehow let me sense her confusion.I received an eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. You can buy your copy here.