Wednesday, July 06, 2011

The Restorer by Amanda Stevens

Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: The Graveyard Queen #1
Copyright: April 2011
Pages: 400
Book Source: Own Purchase

Synopsis: 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.

Wonderfully atmospheric, I was hooked from the first line "I was nine when I saw my first ghost." 

Never acknowledge the dead

Never stray far from hallowed ground

Never associate with those who are haunted

Never, ever tempt fate.

Oooh doesn't that just give you the chills? The Restorer has an eery undercurrent that permeates the novel and raises the hair on the back of your neck, you know the feeling? ... not outright scary but downright creepy!

Amelia, The Graveyard Queen, is self-assured, intelligent, confident and entirely likeable and her career as a well-respected cemetry restorer, utterly fascinating. It's the originality of the Charleston setting, and lyrical descriptions of graveyards, headstones, epitaphs & symbolism that I fell in love with.

Detective John Devlin is enigmatic and brooding, a "still waters run deep" kinda guy and when his past is revealed you can understand why. I'm hoping that as the series evolves, Devlin's layers are peeled back and exposed. The tension between Amelia & Devlin is palpable and heightens the general sense of unease but this isn't a romance, it's a seductive combination of history & mystery that keeps you turning the pages with urgency.

I think I've found my next urban fantasy series addiction; ok it's not Cat & Bones ... yet, but I can't wait to see where the author takes this in The Kingdom, in stores April 2012.

The Abandoned is an ebook exclusive prequel to The Graveyard Queen series - available @ amazon, (unfortunately not for Aussies) B&N & eHarlequin.

Visit Amanda's awesome website to find out more about the author and her work.


  1. I think I will just wait and see how the series evolve then..and not a big ghost fan

  2. I can't wait to read this - I've been hearing so many good things!

  3. I am big fan of ghost stories. And yes, I would be hooked to this one as well, if I read those lines :)

    Nice review.

  4. B ~ I think you'd like it, it's a great story and beautifully written, I know you like the romance but I have a feeling it's coming ;)

  5. Your review was kick-ass and now I want to read this one!!! I love the whole setting and what an original job!!

  6. I read and reviewed this one not too long ago. I loved it... then again I love ghost stories. I'm with you on anticipating the next one!

  7. Love the sound of this one. I'm definetly going to have to look into to it more.

  8. I am so pleased you loved this book too. It is one of my favourite reads this year.

  9. Oohh! Ditto! I want to read this soon...with my schedule maybe in time for Halloween. Great review and thanks for the recommendation.

  10. I haven't heard of this one before and it's YA. :{ Thanx! Going to add it to the list. I need a good mystery, dark story.

  11. What an opening ! I can't wait to read this one (it does remind me of a book I read long time back though not remembering exactly which one )and the cover looks lovely in a scary way :)


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