by Amanda Stevens
Series: Graveyard Queen #3
Published by: Harlequin
My name is Amelia Gray. I am the Graveyard Queen, a cemetery restorer who sees ghosts. My father passed down four rules to keep me safe and I've broken every last one. A door has opened and evil wants me back. In order to protect myself, I've vowed to return to those rules. But the ghost of a murdered cop needs my help to find his killer. The clues lead me to the dark side of Charleston—where witchcraft, root doctors and black magic still flourish—and back to John Devlin, a haunted police detective I should only love from afar. Now I'm faced with a terrible choice: follow the rules or follow my heart.
Stepping back into the creep-tastic world of the Graveyard Queen once again sent shivers down my spine! Every time I crack open one of Stevens’ books I am immediately sucked into Amelia Gray’s world and do not emerge until I have read the last page. The Prophet brings us witchcraft, malevolent spirits, and a fascinating look at root doctors. Amanda Stevens has become an auto-buy author for me and this series is one of my personal favorites.
Amelia is back in Charleston, where synchronicity plays a large part in the events that are about to unfold. A return walk from the grocery store, a bird and ghost lead her to bump into Devlin. The Prophet is back and needs Amelia to help him solve a murder. Devlin’s daughter keeps asking Amelia too, “find her” and a witch doctor has entered her dreams. From malevolent entities to hot kisses this tale was action packed and kept me reading late into the night.
Amelia is braver and beginning to question all that her father has taught her. Since her return to Charleston, she has lost weight and has dark circles under her eyes. It is becoming quite clear that something is feeding off her. She begins to question her father’s teachings and confronts issues. Her feelings for Devlin are clear but she needs to figure out how to handle his ghosts. We see character growth as she becomes quite crafty and gets herself into some difficult situations. Devlin is still haunted by his deceased wife and daughter and we learn more about both of them. There is movement in their relationship as we get some clarity, a little heat, and some angst. John Fremont; the prophet needs Amelia’s help and it was interesting learning about the circumstances surrounding his death. Devlin is keeping secrets and trying to protect Amelia but it creates complications and misunderstanding for them. Other character’s return and their threads and involvement in the plot were brilliant, chilling and captivating! Darius Grey is introduced to us and his storyline and interaction with Amelia freaked me out, he is a man I do not want to meet. He was creep-tastic!
Stevens tells stories that give me goosebumps, and despite all the paranormal woo-woo involved, she makes it all seem REAL. Creepy, scary, things that go bump-in-the-night REAL! I think part of what makes it feel so genuine is the factual information she weaves into her tale; from gravestone care to the use of roots as witch doctors. I was completely swept up in the beliefs, the crafts and the rituals discussed throughout the novel. Each book works as a standalone but the overall arc development of the series is fantastic and Steven’s has tight control of it. Amelia is steadily developing and we are clearly beginning to see kick-ass moments. From book one I was not interested in the romance but it has become a believable and intricate part of the plot. The ending was solid and we are clearly seeing a shift in Amelia’s thinking and I am very excited about the direction this is taking.
I cannot say enough about the Graveyard Queen Series and The Prophet. This is a series I immediately think of when someone asks me to recommend a good book. The Visitor the fourth book in the series releases in October 2013.
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