Wednesday, October 31, 2012
The Restorer by Amanda Stevens
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is a good spooky ghost story and mystery. I liked Amelia and I liked the atmosphere that Stevens created, it was a good balance of lovely and suspenseful. The cast of characters and the Southern setting were used to full advantage. I liked that Amelia was pretty normal, for a woman with major haunting issues of course. But the way she responded to the murders wasn't UF superhero Mary Sue perfection. She had her freak outs, she made mistakes, she felt like a real person. It definitely had that cozy mystery feeling with the regularly person getting drawn into investigating a murder, but it made sense why she was involved, much more so than most cozies. I also like that Stevens isn't rushing the romance, despite the strong connection the characters feel. I was worried that with her extensive background in romantic fiction that this wouldn't be as much to my taste (not a judgement at all, just where my preferences are these days) but it had a good balance of romantic tension but seems like the series will take some time to let the characters get to know each other.
My only real complaint was the constant heavy-handed foreshadowing technique the author used. I got it from the story, I didn't need the constantly-repeated-in-nearly-every-chapter explicitly spelled out reminders that that their destinies were already entwined but they didn't know it yet, or she should have listened to her father's rules or whatever. I got it, it was dangerous, she was dumb, yada yada, you don't have to keep spelling it out over and over again. Also, the story is from Amelia's point of view so every time she suddenly commented from this omnipotent perspective it just felt so weird, completely jerked me out of the flow of the story instead of intriguing me like it was supposed to.
Overall I thought the thing that really stood out the most was the atmosphere that the author created; it was an eerie, always looking over your shoulder, yet somehow lovely and haunting book. If you like somewhat spooky cozy mysteries with a touch of romance then I think you'll like this book.
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