Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Kingdom ~ Amanda Stevens (eARC) review

The Kingdom (Graveyard Queen #2)
March 27, 2012
376 pages
add to Goodreads/buy on Amazon /or Book Depository

may contain minor spoilers for the first book in the series, The Restorer, find my review of that here


Amelia Gray has been called to the town of Asher Falls, South Carolina to restore the old cemetery there, Thorngate. Restoring an old cemetery is definitely not out of the ordinary for Amelia, in fact it’s her job – they call her the Graveyard Queen. What is different, however, is that her restoration is being paid for by an anonymous donor. And the cemetery she’s restoring isn’t the only one in Asher Falls – there’s also another one, flooded, at the bottom of Bell Lake.

All of that and she feels like there’s something drawing her to the town. The town and the mysterious, hidden grave she finds in woods outside of Thorngate.  There’s something wrong in Asher Falls, something eating away at it – can Amelia uncover what it is – and restore not just the cemetery but the entire town?

In Nina LaCour’s The Disenchantments Alexa, one of the characters has a notebook she keeps with a list of possible professions – everything from florist to tightrope walker to literary agent. After reading The Kingdom, the second in Amanda Stevens Graveyard Queen series, not only do I think cemetery restorer should be on the list, I think it sounds like a really interesting job. If you know, there were less ghosts and murders involved with the job.

The Kingdom picks up after The Restorer the first book in the series but without requiring readers to have too much knowledge of that novel. (Those who do read it will get more out of this book, extra character knowledge but those who haven’t read it won’t be lost.) I was a bit disappointed at first to see how separate the two seemed to be, but The Kingdom also has a different tone that I really loved.

While The Restorer was more of a murder mystery that involved ghosts, The Kingdom has much more of a Southern Gothic feel to it. It’s creepier, there are more ghosts – it’s more of a ghost story. Amelia does keep it consistent for being a series book.

The main male character in this book, Thane, felt a bit flat to me. He was in the story the same amount as Devlin (if not more) was in The Restorer but I never felt much for him – as I did with Devlin last book. The rest of the story was intriguing and captivating enough, though, that he didn’t take too much away from it.

I appreciated that there was symmetry between the two books even with their different tone – and really loved that this one was that bit creepier – and am really anxious to see where the third book takes things.

Rating: 8/10

huge thank you to NetGalley and Harlequin/MIRA for the opportunity to read and (honestly) review this 

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