Title: The Restorer
Author: Amanda Stevens
Series: Book One in the Graveyard Queen series (also a prequel)
Published By: Mira (April 19, 2011)
My Rating: 4 Stars
Amelia Gray has always been aware of ghosts, and now she travels all over the South cleaning up forgotten or abandoned graveyards. When an enigmatic yet haunted police detective asks for her help to trap a serial killer, their growing attraction constitutes the very gravest of threats.
Isn't the cover on this book hauntingly beautiful?
For some reason I just love it. It is sort of creepy and beautiful all rolled together. If I hadn't already read the prequel to this series, The Abandoned and fallen in love with the series, the cover alone would of made me pick this book up and read it.
As it is, this is quite an unusual series which leads to it being a really interesting read and one that was surprisingly hard to put down. I was drawn into the story pretty much after the first chapter. I mean, a graveyard restorer dubbed the graveyard queen that can see ghosts?
Pretty fantastic idea and one that sort of boggles the mind, I mean, if you could see ghosts wouldn't a cemetery be the last place you would want to be?
As it happens Amelia knew from a pretty young age that she could see ghosts, I mean she grew up as the daughter of a cemetery caretaker and restorer, so having lived near a graveyard practically her whole life, she was bound to run into a ghost or two in her day.
Thankfully she wasn't alone, her father can also see and hear ghosts but tells Amelia from an early age that here are 4 rules that she must always abide by:
1: never acknowledge them
2: never stay too far from hallowed ground
3: keep your distance from those who are haunted
4: and he stresses the most important rule, never ever tempt fate
Having followed her father's rules for most of her life Amelia has kept a pretty safe distance from ghosts and kept her secret hidden, that is, until she is hired to restore the cemetery in a little place near Charleston South Carolina and meets a detective there named Devlin who haunted by not one but two ghosts of his own. From there her whole world is thrown upside down, her rules are broken and everything is about to change as she helps Devlin and local law enforcement to uncover a serial killer who is dumping bodies in the very graveyard Amelia was hired to restore.
As this story unfolds we learn more and more about not only Amelia but also a little bit about her family and that everything isn't quite as it seems. That maybe her father has kept a little more from her than he ever let on about this whole ghost thing.
We also learn a lot about the town and that it too has secrets. Not only is there a serial killer on the loose but a secret society as well that would do anything to protect its own.
While not everything is uncovered or cleared up in the first book (as is typical for a series), I think the majority of it was as far as the mystery behind the serial killer and the identity of the killer and their victims and as to be expected there is just so much more to learn about Amelia, her family and (hopefully) in the next book about Devlin too.
I would really really like to see things go further with him. I would like there to be more about him revealed. I really liked his character in all his glorious torment and would like to see more growth from him and to see him and Amelia together.
I feel just a little disappointed that we didn't get more about his ghosts and his past although some of it was revealed, I just wanted more.
This book wasn't necessarily scary as it was just creepy at times and made the hair on your arm stand up and maybe look behind your shoulder a time or two to make sure no one was behind you (okay, well maybe that last part was just me).
I really enjoyed a lot of the secondary characters as well and would love to see more of them and to learn more about the society of The Coffin and Claws. I think there is such a good story there that I really hope that even though Amelia finds herself in another place for the next book, that it comes back to this story and reveals a little more about what was left unsaid and undiscovered.
It does make me want to read the next book in the series and that is a good thing. I want to learn more about all of them and I want to know all of their secrets, because I am positive their is a treasure trove (or maybe coffin would be the more appropriate word to use for this book) of them out there just waiting to be found and told.
This first book has definitely made me curious about everyone and I want more!