Monday, March 2, 2015

{REVIEW} Shutter by Courtney Alameda

Title: Shutter
Author: Courtney Alameda
Series: Stand-alone
Genre: Young Adult, Horror
Publication: February 3rd, 2015
Rating: ★★★★★

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.

First of all: Oh my god! 5 freaking-awesome-creepy stars!! I've been dying to read this ever since I laid eyes on the cover - it's disturbing but so, so cool! I just knew I have to read this, no matter what.

In Courtney Alameda's debut, we follow the story of Micheline, who's a descendent of Van Helsing and was trained ever since she was a little girl to rid the world of undead creatues such as zombies, vampires and ghosts. Along with her 3 friends Ryder, Jude and Oliver she hunts an entity that murdered lots of innocent people in a hospital. What sucks is that this entity isn't quite as easy to kill as the usual creatures they're dealing with and so the crew ends up getting soulchained and only has a week to find and excorcise the ghost before they would all die.

"I used to think I'd always be loyal to your old man," Ryder said, so softly I almost couldn't make out the words. "But now I know it's you I'll always be loyal to, not him." 

I'd like to start with the amazing characters because seriously, I was so surprised at how awesome they all were! I liked the fact that it's about HELSING and STOKER and all that and to me they felt all very real and well developed. They have special abilities - at least Micheline, who is a tetrachromat, which means that she can see the spiritual energy of creatures, and Jude, who can predict someone's death by touching them - and are all really close to each other. It's almost like they're family but even better - their relationship was one of my favorite parts actually. Especially the one between Micheline and Jude - I loooved their scenes together and how they interacted with one another ... it's just so awesome and I couldn't get enough of these two. Jude just stole my heart - I think he's super interesting with his ability and that he's the "quiet" but also kind of playboy/though guy, which only attracted me more - so many different sides of him, ugh!

Ryder was Micheline's love interest and is such a good choice for her! Their relationship starts off slow and easy, since they're just friends but it's clear that there's more between the two although Micheline doesn't really want to - or can't - give in. He's protective but also supports her and respects her desicions which I loved! And Oliver is the smart one! He's the brain of their crew and not so much a fighter but knows everything else - I also really liked him.

"He cut us loose with those kisses, and now we roamed in foreign territory with no map, no compass but our own hearts ... and mine couldn't even find true north to be begin with."

There were some really creepy moments in the book that kept my heart beating so fast and thinking back to them now it's actually like a horror movie. I could picture that so perfectly (I have some specific scenes in my head, woah!), which made everything so much more real and awesome. Even the first 66 pages were pure action and were already fast-paced and great, I just knew this would be epic and it didn't disappoint! There were also some pretty emotional scenes where I really felt with Micheline and just wanted to be there for her ... even though she's such a strong and brave character.

"The problem with a cross is ... It fails the unbeliever."

Especially the last few "chapters" were really awesome! I don't want to spoil anything but I loved the scenes in the Obscura because they were so creepy but just unbelievably cool! And the ending itself was also great - there are a few things left unanswered so I hope there'll be a sequel to this sometime in the future because I need more. Seriously. I'm hooked!

Overall I enjoyed this so, so much! Even though it confused me in the beginning and there were loads of words I didn't know and had to look up, I loved it more than I expected at first. I'd totally recommend this to anyone who loves horror stories, wants to get a little bit scared and needs something that keeps you on the edge of your seat - if you want this, definitely check it out! It's worth a read, believe me!


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