by Amanda Stevens
Series: Graveyard Queen #4
Genres: Urban Fantasy
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My name is Amelia Gray. I'm the Graveyard Queen.Restoring lost and abandoned cemeteries is my profession, but I'm starting to believe that my true calling is deciphering the riddles of the dead. Legend has it that Kroll Cemetery is a puzzle no one has ever been able to solve. For over half a century, the answer has remained hidden within the strange headstone inscriptions and intricate engravings. Because uncovering the mystery of that tiny, remote graveyard may come at a terrible price. Years after their mass death, Ezra Kroll's disciples lie unquiet, their tormented souls trapped within the walls of Kroll Cemetery, waiting to be released by someone strong and clever enough to solve the puzzle. For whatever reason, I'm being summoned to that graveyard by both the living and the dead. Every lead I follow, every clue I unravel brings me closer to an unlikely killer and to a destiny that will threaten my sanity and a future with my love, John Devlin.
Creeptastic is the first thought that comes to mind when thinking about The Visitor, the latest novel in Amanda Stevens’ urban fantasy series the Graveyard Queen. The Visitor was impressive from the spine tingling mystery to developments in the overall ARC. Stevens sent chills down my spine as she drew me into the world of Amelia Gray.
I love ghost stories and find old cemeteries beautiful, creepy, and fascinating so it is easy to see what drew me to the Graveyard Queen series. If you have not yet tried them, I recommend you begin with book one The Restorer. While each book has a case to solve the overall arc, character growth and romance make them best read in order.
The Visitor begins with a female entity haunting Amelia. This spirit both fascinates and terrifies her. I was completely hooked and slipped right back into her world. Amelia soon finds herself entwined in a puzzle involving the Kroll Cemetery. The graveyard is over half a century old and her scariest graveyard to date! The tale was spine-chilling with odd, quirky characters, entities, and other forces that delivered a deliciously dark tale.
If you have read the series then you know Amelia has some unique gifts. She has carefully guarded her secret. She even has a set of rules given to her by her father. She has begun to break those rules and forge her own path. In doing so, she has begun to awaken her powers. We see real development in what Amelia is and receive information about her heritage. Stevens’ wove these tidbits into the case revealing information about her power, of darkness to come and information about her parents.
The Kroll Cemetery is home to Ezra Kroll and his disciples. There is a shroud of mystery surrounding their deaths and something is at unrest within the walls of this unusual cemetery. Turn on the lights when reading this folks. Steven’s created some of the most chilling entities. Her writing was so vivid that I could see them, hear their unearthly noises and feel the temperature plummeting. It all gave me chills. As Amelia researches, we see old friends and meet ancestors of Kroll. What a strange family. Some were overly sweet and others well let us just say you will feel the need to cross the street if you see them heading your way. Ever see those old creepy black and white historical photos ..yep that kind of creepy!
The cemetery itself and old artifacts aided Amelia in her research. Stevens’ gives us a quest filled with danger and eerie discovers. I love piecing together this tightly woven mystery. We discover things as Amelia does and I have learned to pay attention and file tidbit as Amelia uncovers them. It is such an exciting game.
The romance between Amelia and Devlin gets plenty of page time. Devlin is annoying me a little, not that I doubt his feelings towards Amelia, but his lack of faith in her grates at me. However, Amelia learns some things that raised questions about their future. It was accidental and left me screaming for more information. Devlin is indeed important to the overall plot but …well spoilers darling.
The Visitor was brilliant, suspenseful and creeptastic. It was worth the wait between books and I am already making grabby hands in anticipation of The Sinner, which releases in September 2016.
Interest fan fact: The Hollywood Report had this to say on March 4, 2016 “NBC, meanwhile, is adapting Amanda Stevens’ novel The Graveyard Queen. The drama is described as a high-concept genre soap opera centering on a girl cursed at youth with the ability to see the dead. She works as a cemetery restorer who, at great risk to her physical and mental well-being, joins forces with a haunted homicide detective to solve a string of brutal murders in Charleston, S.C.”