Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Review: The Restorer (Graveyard Queen #1) by Amanda Stevens

Release date: May 1, 2011
Synopsis (via Goodreads):
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.
My Thoughts: Guess what, guys!  I loved this book.  Loved it.  The writing is so lazy and lovely... no, wait.  That came out wrong.  The writing evokes the feeling of long, lazy days in the sweltering heat waiting for the sun to go down, the temperature to drop and fireflies to glow in the darkness.  It was lovely and I felt like I was there in the sun, standing beside Amelia in the graveyard.

I've had a bit of a love affair with open ended books lately.  This one hit the spot perfectly.  The mystery that brings Amelia and Devlin into orbit around one another is tied up (very nicely, might I add) but the overall arc just keeps expanding and expanding as the story progresses until you have a handful of threads and you NEED TO KNOW HOW THINGS TURN OUT.  Of course, being the first in the series, you don't get all the answers.  I'm chomping at the bit to read the next book so I'd have to say that all those loose threads did the job perfectly to whet my appetite.

As for the characters, Amelia is so intriguing to me.  She's spent her entire life bottling herself up, hiding herself away, keeping the ghosts from noticing her.  She's reserved, quiet, unflappable.  She's the girl who has always walked to her own beat.  In some ways, Devlin is her opposite, he vibrates with energy and charisma but his vitality is being sucked away by his guilt and his inability to let go of his family.  He doesn't want to be drawn to Amelia and she doesn't want to be drawn to him, yet the two of them can't seem to stay away from one another.

Everything about this book worked for me.  The ghosts, the forgotten graveyards, the idea of death being hidden away where the dead already lie... it was perfectly creepy and wonderfully atmospheric.  I'm looking forward to the next chapter in Amelia's story.

Other reviews in this series:
Short Story 0.5: The Abandoned

More books by Amanda Stevens

Reading challenges: The E-book Challenge, The Horror & Urban Fantasy Challenge, The Morbid Romantica Challenge


  1. I'm gale to see that you liked this. I have it in my TBR list so maybe I will pick it up next.

  2. I saw this book around and wanted to read it. I forgot about it! Glad that I saw it here again must read. Great review.

  3. of course i was drawn to this and loved your review..its a series. I am an addict :)
    great review..your enthusiasm for the book is contagious!
    I am now following you, found you on twitter, through another blogger I follow.
    Stop by and ck out my blog. I review everything from romance to horror:)

  4. kimba88: Thank you. I'll stop by and check out your site. :)