Sunday, March 5, 2017

The Awakening (Graveyard Queen#6) by Amanda Stevens - Review

Title:  The Awakening
Series:  Graveyard Queen #6
Author:  Amanda Stevens
Publisher:  MIRA
Release Date:  March 28, 2017

My Rating:  5 Haunting 's

My Thoughts:  Pure lyrical magic . . . haunting, chilling, ominous cover to cover.  A phenomenal ending to a once-in-a-lifetime series.

*Many thanks to the publisher for an arc of this book via Netgally.

Shush…lest she awaken…

My name is Amelia Gray, a cemetery restorer who lives with the dead. An anonymous donor has hired me to restore Woodbine Cemetery, a place where the rich and powerful bury their secrets. Forty years ago, a child disappeared without a trace and now her ghost has awakened, demanding that I find out the truth about her death. Only I know that she was murdered. Only I can bring her killer to justice. But the clues that I follow—a haunting melody and an unnamed baby's grave—lead me to a series of disturbing suspects.

For generations, The Devlins have been members of Charleston's elite. John Devlin once turned his back on the traditions and expectations that came with his birthright, but now he has seemingly accepted his rightful place. His family's secrets make him a questionable ally. When my investigation brings me to the gates of his family's palatial home, I have to wonder if he is about to become my mortal enemy.


"Shush...lest she awaken..."  Four little words and just like that I have goosebumps, the ominous tone for <i>The Awakening</i> firmly established.  Cover to cover, the lyrical atmospheric magic I've come to expect from Amanda Stevens is prominent . . . haunting, chilling, ominous - whispering on the breeze, taking shape in the cemetery, following Amelia home.  I literally could not put this book down, reading most of it in one setting as my heart raced and my eyes flickered over the shadows lurking around the corners of the room.  Like a fine meal, it's an experience that is served best without prior knowledge of the ingredients - so please, do yourself a favor and don't let anyone tell you what happens before you read this book.  There are no spoilers in my review as I only "set the scene" - you can take it from there.

Welcoming the opportunity to sleep in her own bed at night, Amelia accepts the job of restoring Woodbine Cemetery.  Her first day there, she discovers an area of unmarked graves - a place where the powerful upper crust of Charleston society had buried their "mistakes" - illegitimate children buried without recognition or acknowledgement that their lives ever mattered to anyone...buried in graves with headstones having no names so the elite, rich families involved could remain untarnished.  As Amelia stands over an infant's grave, the ghost of a small girl startles her by lashing out in a powerful, demonstrative display of anger demanding something of Amelia.  Who was she?  How did she die?  Was one of the unmarked graves hers?  What did she want from Amelia?  One thing was crystal clear. . . A door from the dark side had been left opened allowing passage to those with evil intent, and Amelia knew she would have to find the answers to close it or risk being claimed back to the other side.  

And so the story unfolds taking Amelia down a deadly road that would see her crossing paths with her ex-lover John Devlin and his aristocratic family as well as revealing long buried secrets about her own family.  How are the two connected?  Amelia faces the realization that all is not as it seems - and the only way out is to reveal the truth - no matter who it may hurt, no matter the personal cost - which for Amelia may be everything, including her own life.

Once again, Stevens has brilliantly manipulated characters & plot lines to peel back the layers and slice to the heart of this story thus giving readers a phenomenal ending to this epic series!  Age old secrets and connections are revealed as loose threads are woven together in a twisted, shocking tapestry that will keep you on the edge of your seat.  Readers finally get answers . . . Are they ones you're hoping for?  Only one way to find out!  <i>The Awakening</i> is a Page Burning Must Read! I will be anxiously awaiting to see if a spin-off series develops as mentioned.  Fingers crossed!

My Rating:  5 Haunting 's . . . And that's the truth!

Cross My Heart . . . xxx

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