Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Review: Shutter by Courtney Alameda

Title: Shutter 
Author:   Courtney Alameda
Publisher:  Feiwel & Friends
Publishing Date: February 3rd 2015
Pages: 384
Genre: YA Supernatural Thriller 
Series:  Shutter #1
Source:  Hardcover

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.

I came into this book expecting something totally different than what I read. I'm not sure what I really expected but I don't think cover and the title really match the read. I expected something different but I am really happy with what I got. I really enjoyed this book. It was fun and it was different. 

So Micheline is a descendant of Van Helsing and she works for a place... her dad is head of.... somewhere that hunts monsters and things evil. The employees are descendants from cool people like Stoker and things like this. They are trained to hunt and kill evil things. Things like camera's are used to hunt ghosts... the shutter speed is important for catching them.... that is where the title comes from. Well one hunt when Micheline is capturing the ghost, the ghost fights back and lands her team in a whole a lot of trouble and this trouble leads to bigger trouble and a big bad ghost that is hunting Micheline. 

This book was well done Like I said I didn't know what to expect when starting this book. I thought more horror than it was maybe because of the cover. Not sure. The book is a horror but not as creepy as I thought more of a thriller. There are big bad things int he book, but I got more of a Scooby Doo or Buffy the vampire slayer feel instead of a grudge feel. Which I was happy about. 

The story is very interesting and I liked the idea of the descendants of Van Helsing and Stoker hunting down haunts. I liked the history between the characters, I liked the main story of the big bad coming after Micheline. The only thing I had a bit of trouble with was the entire camera aspect. It was done well. Explained well. Made sense. It just took away from the feel of the book for me. It was hard to see Micheline  all bad ass on the hunt, stalking and planning the death of a haunt when she pulls out a camera instead of a gun or a stake or a crossbow. Like I  have always seen. Now its just me.... I didn't feel it... but the author did a great job on finding its place. I just couldn't see it in my head. 

The character were just awesome. I loved them all. I can't even say which was my favorite. I just loved them. Oliver was the techy.... Jude was the playboy, the not so serious dude. Micheline was the planner, the boss, the ready to go at any moment gun ho kind, and Ryder was the sullen, quiet, serious type. They made a great team and their connection to each other ran deep with loyalty and friendship. They bickered and taunted each other and it was just fun to watch them interact. 

Yes there is romance and I loved it. It was there before the story began but was never explored. A relationship between Ryder and Micheline cannot be. Her father has in mind for her to marry another descendant to keep the bloodlines going. But Micheline  has other plans. She loves Ryder and he loves her but they they have learned to keep it tame... keep their distance physically The relationship gets explored during the book and its a very hot slow burn. My only complaint is that I wanted more of it. There just wasn't enough. Too much of their time was spent trying to stay alive. So I hope in the next book... more romance. 

So yes I liked this book. It was not creepy and crawling like the cover suggests. It was awesome, thrilling, interesting, and fun. 

Really enjoyed this book and want to read more. 

Courtney AlamedaCourtney 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.


  1. Great review. Been curious about this one for a while now. Too bad it wasn't more creepy than insinuated by the cover. I thought it would be too lol but glad you still liked it.

  2. I was afraid of mirrors after reading this book!

    Kate @ Ex Libris


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