I received this book for free from Feiwel and Friends in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Shutterby Corutney Alameda
Published by Macmillan on February 3rd 2015
Genres: Horror, Young Adult
Source: Feiwel and Friends
Buy the Book • Goodreads
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.
First of all you should all know I am a wuss when it comes to horror. I stay far, far away from anything scary. However, I requested Shutter for a few reasons
1) It’s about a ghost hunter who uses photography to trap ghosts and has a vintage camera collection
2) I know the author as a local publicist and librarian in a library that really needs to be exorcised because of its creepy history. (For real, I know the story behind the beautiful historic Provo Library and… wowza)
3) It was Halloween when I first opened Shutter, and who doesn’t read something creepy on that holiday?
Courtney did not disappoint. The writing is poetic and atmospheric, down right creepy and at times gross. It reminded me of Ghostbusters meets kick- a female heroine with an attitude and a bit of a past. This is not a book for the faint of heart. After the gory opening scene, prepare yourself for more 🙂
I loved main MC’s relationship with Australian Ryder and the character development she goes through to heal from the wounds of her childhood. There is mention of Van Helsing’s Dracula and lots of action as well as likable sidekick ghost hunter teens. My only apprehension was a tad bit of political agenda in regards to women holding the priesthood which was slipped in. (The author contacted me and said it is not intended as personal belief or agenda, just that it fits the character)
Overall, loved this debut. It was unique and sticks with you long after you’re finished. Thanks MacMillan for the sneak peek!
Content: moderate swearing, mention of sex, heavy paranormal violence, domestic and child abuse.
Courtney Alameda’s spent her entire career trying to con and cajole people into reading great books. A veteran of the big-box bookstore trenches, Courtney now works as a librarian for the prettiest library you’ve ever seen, where she spends her time ordering large stacks of YA books, doing readers’ advisory, and dressing up as various mythical creatures for a variety of library events.
Courtney has an affinity for brightly colored lipstick, urban exploration, cosplay, video games, and Twitter. If she’s listening to music, it’s usually Florence + the Machine, Marina and the Diamonds, Rodrigo y Gabriela, or Jason Graves. Her addiction to Dr. Pepper is legendary.
Courtney holds a B.A. in English Literature with an emphasis in Creative Writing from Brigham Young University. She is represented by the amazing and talented John M. Cusick of Greenhouse Literary. A Northern California native, she now resides in Utah with a legion of books and a tiny, five pound cat who possesses a giant personality.