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Shutter by Courtney Alameda


by Courtney Alameda

Series: Shutter (1)

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1552577,049 (3.86)3



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Micheline and her father are both still reeling from the deaths of her mother and brothers. Her father handles his grief by completely ignoring her and immersing himself in his job as a reaper and Micheline does everything she can to please her father in the hopes that he will actually notice her. When an unusually vengeful ghost sets its sights on Micheline and her group of reapers, she sees it as the perfect opportunity to gain her father's respect once and for all but she soon finds that she's in way over her head and she's once again in a position to lose everyone she loves.

I'm only mad about 1 thing...where oh where is book 2??!! This isn't a scary story but it is definitely a gory, action-packed, creepy thriller that will keep you guessing, engaged, and hanging on the edge of your seat from start to finish. ( )
  DMPrice | May 21, 2018 |
My original Shutter audiobook review and many others can be found at Audiobook Reviewer.

Micheline and her team are a group of ghost hunters. They have been trained since they were young teens, to attack and remove paranormal entities. At the beginning of the story, Micheline decides to dive in and catch this new ghost on her own. The idea is there, she doesn’t want it killing anymore, but the technique is not. She rushes in purposefully, knowing full well she’s leaving her team behind, even though they’ve been trained to do the opposite. It’s frustrating because when it goes wrong she blames herself and starts whining about it.

The narration by Pamela Lorence is amazing but also picked up on Micheline's whine and the first portion of this was difficult to listen to. The narrator and narration were fantastic, as audios go this is top notch, but the character herself was driving me nuts. I blame the main character for this, not the narrator! The first portion of the book was extremely difficult to get through. Every time she whined about something else, I just wanted to stop! It drove me crazy. Especially since it was all her own doing.

Admittedly, the girl is going through a lot but in the first few pages, I didn’t know that. Still, it drove me nuts just trying to get past her constant worry. Much like Bella Swan. It’s a weird comparison, but this is exactly how Micheline Helsing acts in the first few chapters. If this were just Kindle Unlimited and not something for another website, I probably would have put off reading it even longer!

This is page 60. Ok, again, Micheline is going through quite a bit, and the backstory is starting to come out, although it’s slow. I think the second biggest reason the first part failed, for me, is that there is a lot of explanation about how to capture these entity's. Too much information. Later in the book, Micheline has a succinct explanation that was much better, easier to understand, and easier to read than the first half of the book.

That said, once I got to Night two, I started getting more interested. There are still some cliche moments, getting better though. Micheline is starting to come into her own and is willing to risk her own skin to save her friends. This is where her strength really shows. It takes nearly half the book to get there, but once she does, not only is the plot getting better, but her characterization, and the girl I thought was in there, is surfacing. She is kick ass. Still vulnerable, like all characters are to a point, but not so vulnerable that she’s going around whining about it, even when it is completely acceptable to do so!

The other characters had decent characterization but the blended too easily together. I needed something a bit more to make their voices shine. There are four guys on her main team and they are all contaminated with this soulchain. I would imagine they would all react differently, but for the most part, they blindly follow Micheline. They are also sort of ordered to do so, but still, having a chain of command does not mean you cannot fully voice your opinion on how screwed up a situation is. I think having their voices heard, even a little bit more, would have gone a long way into creating a memory of these guys and what they would do for Micheline.

What I loved was as Micheline digs deeper into this mystery ghost, Courtney Alameda’s imagination shines! The horrific portions of this, and what Micheline’s team is up against, is fantastically imaginative and on the edge of horror. Much like Clive Barker’s Hellraiser. It’s unique in the ability of catching the ghosts, but also in the ghosts themselves. They come up with a myriad of ways to freak the team out, and in turn will freak out many readers!

What frustrated me in the beginning with Micheline, was forgotten as the story went along. The narration by Pamela Lorence did help, although Micheline still sounded a bit wounded (ALL THE TIME), but there were plenty of pauses and the tempo was perfect for listening. I did like Ryder's voice. I think he sounds more confident, even though Micheline was the team leader. The audio itself was perfect, no background noises or anything that took away from the story.

As a lover of horror, this doesn’t quite hit the horrific mark as much as I would like, but I had some moments where I was cheering. Not only for Micheline but also just for the imagination of all of this.

In short: I’m glad I finally got to this. It was an interesting story. A bit long winded at points, but that is before it really gets going. Once it does, it’s a great ride!

Audiobook was provided for review by the narrator. ( )
  audiobibliophile | Mar 21, 2018 |
Wow. Just...wow. ( )
  ZoeWashburne | Feb 16, 2018 |
A gripping thriller complete with ghost hunters, exorcists, and some science too. To be read with the lights on! Excellent! ( )
  mjolorenz | Jun 30, 2017 |
Fast-paced, gory and pretty darn scary! A great read for those who love the TV show Supernatural, or any of the Ghost Hunter shows. ( )
  kayceel | Jun 28, 2017 |
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Seventeen-year-old 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.… (more)

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