Monday, 25 April 2011

Early Review: The Restorer

The Restorer (Graveyard Queen 1)
-          Amanda Stevens
E-Arc courtesy of netgalley and MIRA Books
Released: 26th April 2011 
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.

Amanda Steven’s written a very eerie book, with a memorable leading lady. Amelia is strong but also lonely. Seeing and ignoring ghosts, means she has taken to ignoring live people as well in case they guess her secret. The ghosts here are menacing creepy presences, who are desperate to feel some of warmth of living and this makes them feel very dark – no Caspers here!  - and means that Amelia’s gift is treated as more of curse.
The central crime is intriguing and mysterious. I particularly liked the way Steven’s has set up the novel that as a reader you are suspicious of many of the characters Amelia meets, but Amelia’s long term friendship and relationships with them mean she isn’t. This made me feel quite tense at times and added layers to the book. The prose is haunting and paints a colourful picture of the South – so much so that I wanted to visit Charleston and smell the flowers.
There are enough hidden depths to the novel to keep you gripped throughout and I’m looking forward to next in the Graveyard Queen series – and especially to seeing how the relationship between Amelia and Devlin progresses.
Recommended for fans of Sookie Stackhouse and Daniel Hecht. 8 out of 10.


  1. Wow sounds excellent! And it's released tomorrow! Yeah! I'm definitely making a trip into town to get my hands on a copy of this one. Great review. thanks.

  2. Sounds really good, I love a good mystery! :)

  3. This sounds really interesting! Thanks for a great review!

  4. Okay, you know you got me hooked when you said, Recommended for fans of Sookie Stackhouse!

    But this book seems way spookier. That feeling of being suspicious of everyone definitely gets the heart pumping.

  5. Sounds freaky, for me, dunno, for a friend I have...definitely. She would love the premise

  6. YES! I have this coming up fast on the tbr and now I really can't wait. Thanks!!

  7. I feel sort of silly about this book. When I picked it up, the authors name was familiar but I didn't know why. Then I read this book and still couldn't figure it out. Only when I went to find out more about the author did I realize I've read Amanda Stevens before. I read the Whispering Room last year and really enjoyed it. I shouldn't have been surprised then that I loved this book.