Monday, February 2, 2015

Review - Shutter

Written By: Courtney Alameda
Published By: Feiwel and Friends (MacMillan)
Release Date: February 3, 2015
Pages: 384
Genre: Horror, Paranormal
Source: ARC from my local indie

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.

Shutter was one of those books that I was just crazy excited about getting my hands on.  If for some reason you didn't know I'm a HUGE horror fan so to have a YA book being published that hails the author as the new name of horror is very exciting.  I've learned the hard way that the hype that a publisher places on a book isn't always the way I see it, but thankfully this was not one of those times.  From the very first page of this book the action and horror was ramped up full force, sending little chills down my spine from time to time and keeping me on edge.  The world that Courtney created was fascinating, and the fact that she based it all off of Dracula was even cooler.  It's actually rather impressive how well thought out this book was, especially considering it was a debut, and although there were a few bits here and there that got a little bogged down with the details (the first few chapters had a little bit of an info-dump) overall it kept me interested the entire time and I was compelled to find out what happened.  I think it's hard to write scary because so often in the movies we rely on those moments of tension coupled with suspenseful music that ultimately leads to the reveal of the big bad thing where it jumps out from around the corner and yells "boo!" but in books it's so much harder to do that.  You're not physically showing a person those things and you don't have the background music to help set the tone, you're forced to rely totally on words on a page, and Courtney has managed to do that.  She's managed to do it not just with the typical creepy setting but with her descriptions of everything, morphing the ordinary into the grotesque just by weaving words together and comparing mundane things to horrific ones.  It was fantastic.  A note to the faint of heart, it wasn't just the descriptions of ordinary things, buildings and the like, that were gross, but the ghosts and the creatures and the death, so this book, it's not for the weak willed.  That being said I can say that fans of horror, especially those who are also fans of the YA age group, will find this to be a delightful read.  The action is non-stop and while there's a little bit of romance is isn't overwhelming.  I can honestly say that this won't be a book for everyone , there are going to be people who won't like it, but as a horror novel it stands its own and I really do hope that Courtney is able to continue the story because while most things are wrapped up there's potential for more.  Fingers crossed that will happen (on both Courtney and MacMillan's end)!

On a separate note I can totally see this is a movie too, and if it was done right it would be SO COOL!!!

4.5/5 stars

No comments:

Post a Comment