Thursday, March 3, 2011

Book Review: The Restorer by Amanda Stevens

Title: The Restorer (The Graveyard Queen #1)
Author: Amanda Stevens
Publisher: Mira
Release Date: 05/01/2011
ISBN: 077832981X

I've read some of Stevens' other works, so when I saw this book on NetGalley I have to admit that I was intrigued. If I were to describe the plot of some of her works to someone they'd say that her books are incredibly similar to other works out in the literary world. (Not a bad thing- all books are similar at one point or another.) Yet what makes Stevens' books so different is that she doesn't try to make them fit into the mold that so many other suspense or thriller books fill. They're wonderfully & beautifully different, which is what makes her books so much fun to read.

My name is Amelia Gray. I’m a cemetery restorer who sees ghosts. In order to protect myself from the parasitic nature of the dead, I’ve always held fast to the rules passed down from my father. But now a haunted police detective has entered my world and everything is changing, including the rules that have always kept me safe.

It started with the discovery of a young woman’s brutalized body in an old Charleston graveyard I’ve been hired to restore. The clues to the killer—and to his other victims— lie in the headstone symbolism that only I can interpret. Devlin needs my help, but his ghosts shadow his every move, feeding off his warmth, sustaining their presence with his energy. To warn him would be to invite them into my life. I’ve vowed to keep my distance, but the pull of his magnetism grows ever stronger even as the symbols lead me closer to the killer and to the gossamer veil that separates this world from the next.

I have to admit that although this book started off a little on the slow side, once the excitement started I was pretty hooked. I loved Amelia's attention to detail & her curiosity over everything despite her father's rules. The intense draw between her & Devlin is pretty tangible, yet understated at the same time. Stevens takes her time with this pairing, which works well considering all of the elements & story details divulged throughout the story. (No spoilers!)

The only drawback is that at times the story seemed to be a little overly slow, so some readers might get a little frustrated at the slow buildup. Stick with it because the payoff at the end of this novel is pretty fulfilling, although I'll give you a warning. This is the first in a series so not all of the questions will be answered in this book.

Then again, after the creepy imagery at the end of the book, most readers won't really care. They'll be too busy shivering & demanding more.

(ARC provided by NetGalley)


  1. This sounds pretty cool! Might have to hunt down a copy come pay day.

  2. Stevens is pretty good. I love how different she is from many of the other books in the field.

  3. Amelia is the perpetual outsider who unravels just enough secrets to reveal a darker mystery that underlies the series. Devlin is reminiscent of the great tortured heroes of the classics-REBBECCA's Maxim de Winter, JANE EYRE's Rochester, and even the haunted Heathcliff-and, like them, the reader isn't sure if he's the hero or the villain. And neither is Amelia. I loved this book and had only one complaint-that it ended and I have to wait for the next in the series to get more!