Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The Visitor Review

Title:  The Visitor
Series:  The Graveyard Queen #4
Author:  Amanda Stevens
Publisher:  MIRA
Release Date:  March 29, 2016

My Rating:  4 Ominous 's

My Review of The Restorer


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.

My Review:

Like many other fans, I have waited a long time for the next installment in the Graveyard Queen series.  The creepy, surreal world created by author Amanda Stevens has both fascinated and spooked me since I read the first book in the series, The Restorer.  As the story of Amelia Gray evolved over the next couple of books, I continued to be drawn to this mysterious cemetery restorer like a moth to a flame - even as her story gave me goosebumps and sent chills down my spine.  Stevens has a beautiful, almost lyrical, way of writing that is both hypnotic and haunting.  It was with much anticipation that I opened The Visitor and stepped back into her world.

As I began reading, I was ecstatic to find Amelia and John Devlin together.  John appears to be free of the ghosts of his wife and daughter as he seems to be moving forward in a relationship with Amelia.  But it's soon obvious that something is seriously wrong.  John is withdrawn, moody, secretive, and Amanda is harboring some big secrets of her own  The distance between them grows.  While the sexual chemistry between them is explosive, the emotional connection is fading . . . something is coming between them.  What is it?  Will they stand together to figure things out or allow it to tear them apart?

Since breaking her father's rules, Amanda's life has spiraled out of control.  Her powers are evolving, drawing unwanted attention from the dark, supernatural beings that reside in the Underworld.  As she works to find answers, she learns some shocking things about her past, things about who/what she really is and what her true destiny may be . . . while also discovering the answer to an old mystery/murder that puts her life in danger.  Is Amanda's fate sealed?  Does she have the power to overcome and trap the evil entity that stalks her?  I won't say more as I don't want to let any spoilers slip . . . but I will say this story is intense, twisted, and extremely ominous.  While the story does take a bit of a turn from the first three, after finishing and reflecting on it, I realized that it actually made sense for it to play out this way - in a very spooky, twisted kind of way.

While The Visitor started out just a bit slow for me - mostly as I found my way back into this complicated, haunted world, I was soon hooked - my heart racing as I burned through the pages to get answers.  An ominous feeling of impending doom blanketed this story and me throughout - one I could not shake off as I read late into the night.  Once again, I found myself hesitant to turn off the lights, jumping at every little sound of the night.  Stevens is pure magic with setting tone, mood, and pace and sustaining it throughout a story.  While some things may not have played out exactly the way I had hoped, I could not put this book down.  The ending sets up the next book perfectly . . . as in Give it to me NOW!  A Page Burner!  A Must Read!!

My Rating:  4 Ominous 's . . . And that's the truth!

Cross My Heart . . . xxx

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