Thursday, May 7, 2015

Book Review: Shutter

 Title: Shutter
Author: Courtney Alameda
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Publication Date: February 3, 2015
Genre: Young Adult // Horror // Romance // Ghosts
Format: Physical
Source: Library

Horror has a new name: introducing Courtney Alameda.
Micheline Helsing is a tetrachromat—a girl who sees the auras of the undead in a prismatic spectrum. As one of the last descendants of the Van Helsing lineage, she has trained since childhood to destroy monsters both corporeal and spiritual: the corporeal undead go down by the bullet, the spiritual undead by the lens. With an analog SLR camera as her best weapon, Micheline exorcises ghosts by capturing their spiritual energy on film. She's aided by her crew: Oliver, a techno-whiz and the boy who developed her camera's technology; Jude, who can predict death; and Ryder, the boy Micheline has known and loved forever.
When a routine ghost hunt goes awry, Micheline and the boys are infected with a curse known as a soulchain. As the ghostly chains spread through their bodies, Micheline learns that if she doesn't exorcise her entity in seven days or less, she and her friends will die. Now pursued as a renegade agent by her monster-hunting father, Leonard Helsing, she must track and destroy an entity more powerful than anything she's faced before . . . or die trying.
Lock, stock, and lens, she’s in for one hell of a week (goodreads). 

Shutter is a fast paced novel with the amount of badassery that you would expect. Unfortunately with so much action, I could never lose myself in the novel. 

Plot: Courtney Alameda does not waste time getting you into the story. No, the first chapter opens with Micheline and her crew showing up to a hospital massacre and a pretty big baddie. What should be a simple ghost capture goes awry and Micheline finds herself in the middle of a pretty big mystery. At first I liked that Alameda kind of through us in the action, but call me crazy, I think I would have preferred some more set up. Alameda world of demon hunters and descendants of famous demon hunters is interesting from the get go, and she does a wonderful job of making this world something new entirely. Unfortunately I found myself pretty lost with all of the lingo and was never able to fully connect with the world and its characters. 

Characters: The most interesting element of Shutter is without a doubt Micheline and her family. Like most famous families, hers has a very dark and sad history. I rooted for Micheline throughout the book and I thought that her story wrapped up nicely. The other main characters were also very well well developed and flawed. Their flaws is what made the bond they all shared so much more endearing. 

World Building: Like I said earlier, Alameda takes our world today and completely makes it her own. I loved the idea of the Van Helsings running the world and it sort of had a The Demon Trapper's Daughter feel to it. I would love to read more about this world and tag along with Micheline and company as they hunt more ghosts!

Short N Sweet: Shutter brings the gore and the world building, although maybe a bit too much world building, I would have preferred a slower paced novel but I truly enjoyed Alameda's creativity. 


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