by Yasmine Galenorn
Series: Whisper Hollow #1
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
Fifteen years ago, I ran away from Whisper Hollow, Washington, a small town on Crescent Lake in the Olympic Peninsula. But truth is, if you were born here, you can never really leave. I’m Kerris Fellwater, and when I returned, I inherited my grandmother’s house—and her gift. As a spirit shaman, it’s my responsibility to drive the dead back to their graves, because around Whisper Hollow, people—and secrets—don’t always stay buried. When I was little, I was told my mother ran off. But now it looks like she was murdered. With the help of my mysterious neighbor Bryan, we begin to unravel the mystery of her disappearance, and in doing so, unearth a dark force seeking to bury Whisper Hollow. Now I must work with the dead, rather than against them, because our enemy will do whatever she can to destroy the town, and she means to start with me.
Autumn Thorns by Yasmine Galenorn is the first in The Whisper Hollow series. It is an urban fantasy filled with Irish and Russian mythology that takes place in a small Washington town on Crescent Lake in the Olympia Peninsula. Autumn Thorns with its fleshed out world and heated romance held me spellbound and I look forward to visiting again.
The mystical town of Whisper Hollow is cut off from the rest of the world and inhabited by unique humans and supernatural beings. Lay-lines run through the town and the veil between the living and dead is thinner. Families stay for generations, and others find themselves drawn to Whisper Hollow and never leave. The town holds secrets and all is not as it seems. Do not ignore the hair- raising feeling on the back of your neck or the warning calls of the crows.
I am tickled that I decided to read Autumn Thorns. Galenorn’s books have a readability about them that allow the reader to slip into the stories she creates. She brilliantly described the town and provided a solid understand of the world all while dangling information about things to come. She cleverly weaved in Irish and Russian lore, magic, supernatural creatures and unique methods to create both the tone and the setting. The whole book had a spooky, creepy, otherworld vibe too it and I quickly fell under its spell.
Our protagonist is Kerris Fellwater. She has inherited her grandmother’s home and her gift. Her family has been charged with taking care of the dead/spirits. Kerris left Whisper Hollow for city life in Seattle, but signs began appearing telling her it was time to return home. With her grandmother’s passing she must quickly assume her role as spirit shaman to protect the living from the dead. Secret societies, murder, prophecies, and dark unnatural things moving against Kerri added suspense and danger to this well-paced story.
Kerris is not going to be a pushover, and while she does not know all the rules involving her gift, she is quick on her feet and lets fact rule. I love how strong she is and imagine she will be a force to be reckoned with. Bryan is her mysterious neighbor and love interest. Bryan’s history is interesting and his role will be an important one. He is quiet, and protective. He does not strut around like an alpha unless necessary or during playful times making him quite swoony. I absolutely adored Kerris’s best friend Peggin. The girl has spunk, attitude and packs heat. We meet other key players, and those in power. We learn of our enemies and are giving hints of what to expect as we continue the series.
Autumn Thorns delivers a heated romance as it aligns Kerris with those who will strengthen her gifts. The romance was steamy but remained a side dish to the overall storyline. It had believability and their physical and emotional responses felt genuine.
Autumn Thorn fleshed out the world and its characters. Its dark world, mythology and characters all have me wanting to return. Galenorn wrapped up the murder mystery and successfully ensnared this reader with the overall arc of Whisper Hollow.
Read an Excerpt
When I found them, I’d drop a hint to the owner, and about fifty percent asked me to come in and deal with the spirits. And kicking their astral butts, so to speak, is what kept me from falling over the edge of the cliff into La‑La Land. I began to create my own rites and rituals from the training Lila had given me before I left home, and for the most part they worked. There were a few missteps, some of them embarrassing and a few downright dangerous, but overall, I managed.
In my personal life, I kept to myself. I had met a few friends but no one I felt like I could trust, other than keeping in touch with Peggin. Mostly, I read a lot, and I’m a speed reader and I have a photographic memory when it comes to what I read in books.
I have a lot of time to pursue my hobby. See, once people find out that I hang with spirits . . . well . . . it goes one of two ways: Either they’re afraid of me, or they glom onto me in hopes of gaining tomorrow’s lottery numbers or finding out if old Uncle Joe had actually squirreled away money some‑ where and forgot to leave a note about it in his will. Being a spirit shaman doesn’t make for easy dates, either. When guys find out that I can chat up their dead sisters or friends and get the lowdown on what they’re really like, that usually ends the date. At first, their fear— couched as “It’s not you, it’s me”— bothered me. After all, the boys in Whisper Hollow had accepted me for who I was, quirks and all. So it seemed like a pale excuse. After a while, though, I learned to ignore the brush‑ offs and eventually, I stopped dating, for the most part.
But now I was going home, where everybody in Whisper Hollow is eccentric, in one way or another. Everybody’s just a little bit mad. And I realized that I was actually looking forward to it. Especially since my grandfather was dead and could never bother me again. At least . . . that was my hope. Because in Whisper Hollow, the dead don’t always stay put where you plant them.
So happy to hear that these books are magical enough for the reader to always sink into it without a single issue. I am looking forward to trying this one out for myself and losing myself in the story too! I hadn’t heard of it until now, so thanks for introducing it to me 😀
Enjoy, I hope you love it as much as I did!
This quote from the excerpt, “Everybody’s just a little bit mad” reminds me of Alice in Wonderland 🙂
Hmm, you are right
Oooh Autumn Thorns sounds like nothing I’ve read before. I love the way Galenorn writes and have missed her worlds! Its been YEARS since I’ve visited one of her books. Totally going to snap this book up soon. 🙂
I really enjoyed how I was able to slip in
This sounds like a good Urban Fantasy Kimberly! I like the thought of inheriting a gift… a little freaky but cool!
Imagine the pressure though of knowing you have this responsibility.
I read my first book by this author a few months ago and liked it a lot. This one looks like a good one as well. Glad it was a good read for you 🙂 You tempt me!
The Dragon book? Me too and this is stronger.
Yes the dragon one.
The Bibliophile Babe
Irish and Russian mythology? How different! I really want to read this.
Ooo I hope you pick it up 🙂
Oh no, I skipped this one thinking it was part of an existing series. Guess I’ll have to rectify that mistake. Love the way you describe the atmosphere and characters. This looks like a solid series start.
I have done that myself Sophia. I hope you love it
Added it. It sounds good, and Bryan seems like the type of alpha I like.
Nice. I hope you like him 🙂
Yasmine Galenorn is an author that I’ve wanted to try, but haven’t yet. I’ve also not read much Russian mythology, so this looks really interesting. I’ll have to check it out.
Sweet, I hope you try it 🙂
I seen this one the other day and it looked good so I put it on my wishlist, so good to know it’s worth putting there. 🙂
Awesome, I look forward to your take on it Stormi
Melissa (Books and Things)
OMG! Why do I not have this UF in my possession right now? This sounds perfect for me and you know I’ll hopefully be reading it soon. I might have to start a few of her books that are out on audio. I haven’t read them yet. Yes, I’m a bad UF genre loving person. 🙁
I hope you love this as much as I did Melissa!
Irish and Russian mythology – what an explosive blend! Highly imaginative – and I am officially intrigued 🙂
Yes..exactly what I thought.
You had me at at Russian and Irish (!) mythology and despite the high heat level, which you said takes a side to the main plot, I think this is one I would love to check out! So different and different is good!
It does have some heat, but was well done and not the main plot 🙂
Ooo another great sounding UF to add to the pile! I love these type of reads and this sounds like it is off to a fabulous start!
I have been slightly addicted to UF of late 🙂
I love paranormal so I am so hoping to read this next I am glad to hear you have enjoyed it
The paranormal elements are superb in this Lily
Lisa (Lost in Lit)
I love the sound of this heated romance!! And the mythology aspects sound fantastic! 🙂
Win-win Lisa 🙂
Quinn's Book Nook
I don’t read a ton of paranormal adult books, but this one seems like a lot of fun! I’m glad you enjoyed it. It seems perfect for this time of year.
Yes..Whisper Hollow’s screams Fall 🙂
Great review and I am onboard.
Awesome Sherry I look forward to your take on it
I was sold at the mention of both Irish and Russian mythology as I’m not overly familiar with either. Love the sound of Kerris too, and her romance with Bryan. I like that he’s not all alpha all the time:)
LOL..I knew the mythology would get your attention.
Irish and Russian mythology? I’m in! It’s always the quiet ones, isn’t it, Kim? Haha! I love the sound of this heated romance!
Going to add this to my TBR!
Yes it is Nick and I love uncovering them
I’m reading this one now, and should stay away from reviews until I’m done, but I just had to know what you thought! It sounds like it is going to get even better as I go along!
Sweet, I hope you end up loving it as much as I did Tanya
I have only read novellas by her
I read her Dragon one earlier this year and didn’t love it nearly as much.
I’ve only read one book by Yasmine, guess I better pick up a few more because this sounds pretty good. Thanks for the review.
I hope you do Mary!
I’m curious about this one and I’m glad to see you had a great time with it but I confess that I’m anxious because I’m never that taken by her books…
My first read by her was ok, and I had a few issues but this I loved.