Man, it's been awhile since I've written a review! I feel like I'd be doing a disservice if I didn't write one for Amanda Stevens' final installmentMan, it's been awhile since I've written a review! I feel like I'd be doing a disservice if I didn't write one for Amanda Stevens' final installment in the Graveyard Queen series, The Awakening. I'm sad the saga is over, but happy I got a chance to go along for the ride. Isn't that what they say about love, too? Don't be sad that it's over, be happy that it happened? I probably butchered it.
Anyway, The Awakening is book SIX in the Graveyard Queen series, so if you haven't read the first five, stop right here and proceed no further. Then get ye to a bookstore or Amazon, stat! Because these books are amazing!
The Awakening by Amanda Stevens picks up right where The Sinner left off: Amelia and Devlin are still broken up and Amelia just can't seem to move past it. Instead of persevering like the strong independent woman we know she is, she tends to wallow in her misery, finding reasons to go by the Devlin Mansion, where John now lives again with his affluent grandfather, Jonathan, who may or may not be a part of the Congé. Devlin is persisting with his engagement to the gorgeous whats-her-name, who is also powerful, affluent and may be involved in sinister dealings.
Which just goes to show that Amelia's problems do not lay with just the dead.
In the Awakening, she discovers unmarked children's graves in Woodbine Cemetery, a derelict graveyard where the wealthy residents of Charleston liked to bury their secrets. If your eyes got a little big at that insinuation, you are following me. It is through the connection of Woodbine that Amelia is finally able to connect the missing pieces of her past, and be at peace with her future.
I am super sorry to see Amelia's storyline end, but I'm satisfied with the ending she got. Amanda Stevens writes phenomenally, sucking you in with her rich descriptions and The Awakening is no different. I'd really love to see this turned into a television show. Can someone make that happen? I'm not ready to let go yet!This review was originally posted on BookShelfery...more
God, I loved this book! Most definitely, The Sinner by Amanda Stevens is the strongest book in her Graveyard Queen series yet. If you don't have th God, I loved this book! Most definitely, The Sinner by Amanda Stevens is the strongest book in her Graveyard Queen series yet. If you don't have this on your pre-ordered list yet, what are you waiting for?
The Sinner picks up approximately a year after where The Visitor leaves off: Amelia is tending her wounded heart and has decided to temporarily leave Charleston to try to move on, by taking a lengthy and complicated cemetery restoration job about an hour away. Her gifts are continuing to develop, despite that she doesn't know how to use them; she just wants to be normal, after all.
The Sinner introduces many new and intriguing characters to the series. There is the mysterious Lucien Kendrick, a detective on the local police force in Ascension, South Carolina, who fits Amelia's tall, dark, & dangerous stereotype, with the hint of a French accent to add to his sexy, other worldly charm. Officer Tom Malloy, a native to Ascension, who perhaps has seen and heard more than his fair share of the unusual over the years; Annalee Nash, a woman who has a haunting and tragic past tied up in the town of Ascension.
Stevens also re-introduces us to an old frenemy, Darius Goodwine. Nothing good can come from having Darius involved, yet he seems to encourage and push Amelia to the brink of using her gifts, with the plea demand that she save his daughter, Rhapsody, niece to Devlin's dead wife, Mariama, and in exchange, he will help her find her great-grandmother's missing key. A hard offer to turn down for her.
I wasn't sure who to suspect in this novel; at the top of my list were Kendrick, Malloy, Annalee, and Dr. Rupert Shaw. In fact, I've been suspicious of Shaw since the beginning; his ties to the Order of the Coffin and Claw, as well as being deeply entrenched in the occult have always made me suspect he is sort of undercover. Each time Amelia visits with him and gives away a little more of herself, my heart pounds and I cringe.
The Sinner was extra-creepy, if that is even possible. Amelia stumbles upon a caged grave outside Seven Gates Cemetery, with a freshly dead arm trying to claw it's way out of the dirt. She's seeing things, hearing things, and feeling as if she's being summoned places. Is she a sort of reaper? I'm not sure yet, because she's still finding her gifts and her story isn't over. Stevens paints Ascension with southern charm, peppered with tragedy, darkness, and a sinister undertone that you feel as the reader.
Amelia's story isn't over yet and I can't wait to find out what happens next!
*Advanced reading copy courtesy of Harlequin MIRA via Netgalley.
This book may have been provided in exchange for an honest review, and therefore will be noted on the original post. ...more