Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The Sinner ~ Amanda Stevens (earc) review [@AmandaStevensTX @MIRAEditors @HarlequinBooks]

The Sinner (Graveyard Queen #5)
September 27, 2016
384 pages
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I am a living ghost, a wanderer in search of my purpose and place…

I'm a cemetery restorer by trade, but my calling has evolved from that of ghost seer to death walker to detective of lost souls. I solve the riddles of the dead so the dead will leave me alone.

I've come to Seven Gates Cemetery nursing a broken heart, but peace is hard to come by…for the ghosts here and for me. When the body of a young woman is discovered in a caged grave, I know that I've been summoned for a reason. Only I can unmask her killer. I want to trust the detective assigned to the case for he is a ghost seer like me. But how can I put my faith in anyone when supernatural forces are manipulating my every thought? When reality is ever-changing? And when the one person I thought I could trust above all others has turned into a diabolical stranger?

At first, I was a little disappointed that there weren't more ghosts in The Sinner. It is, after all, something I've come to expect with the Graveyard Queen books. As the story progressed, though, I not only didn't mind, I liked that this tale was a bit different. There are absolutely still otherworldly, supernatural things that Amelia experiences, sees, hears - it's just a bit different.

It works not only for The Sinner's specific story in Ascension and around Seven Gates Cemetery but also for Amelia's character and her development. She's no longer just the ghost-seer we met in The Restorer. During the series, especially in the book prior to this one The Visitor, both we readers and Amelia herself have learned more about her abilities, some oft he 'why' and about who and what she is - that it's a lot more than she ever expected. This book was a great follow-up to The Visitor with her still figuring some of those things out.

Devlin's absence from this book was noted and (as much as I did miss him), what that meant for and to Amelia during the book and what we learn about some of the, possible, reasoning has me really hoping to see it all explored more in the next book. (And hopefully for him to be back!)

The author did a fantastic job introducing us to new characters, while still involving some of the ones we're familiar with the story in unexpected but really smart ways. Amelia's job as a  cemetery restorer is not only one I want, but it gives her a unique knowledge base that always lets her know things that are really interesting and that you're not likely to hear elsewhere. It also lets her travel to new locations with each book that pull her into a new town, with new lore and secrets -- and characters.

I really enjoyed reading The Sinner, Amelia's summer in Ascension with all of its unexpected occurrences, secrets, supernatural history and even the danger. Her character has undergone some excellent growth and development since the series started and I'm really looking forward to where things end up for her, both personally and with her 'ghostly' abilities.

review copy received thanks to publisher, via NetGalley

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