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ARC Review: Shutter by Courtney Alameda (#MustREAD)

I received this book for free from the mentioned source in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book nor the content of my review.

ARC Review: Shutter by Courtney Alameda (#MustREAD)Shutter by Courtney Alameda
Published by: Feiwel & Friends, Macmillan on 2/03/2015
Genres: Horror, Paranormal, YA
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley

View on: Goodreads
Grab it: Buy on Amazon

Review Score:
About the Book:

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.




The Review Banner


Shutter is the debut novel from Courtney Alameda, and after reading this book I cannot wait to hear more from her!  Shutter is a YA horror book that is action packed right from the get go.  A story about proving one’s worth and doing whatever it takes to save those you care about, Shutter is a must read.


Micheline Helsing was born into a very special family.  A descendant of Abraham van Helsing, Micheline’s family has sworn to protect the world from all sorts of undead monsters.  They are also joined by the Stoker family, kept alive by Micheline’s friend Oliver, descendant of Brahm Stoker.  The other families have since died out, but the Helsing organization is still going strong.


The book opens up with Micheline on her way to reap a ghost with her team, Oliver, Jude, and Ryder.  When the reaping goes wrong, however, the four are infected with soulchains, and told they have only seven days to save themselves.  The four must find the ghost who infected them and get rid of it in order to keep themselves alive.


Micheline was a great protagonist.  She has a need to prove herself ever since her mother and younger brothers were killed.  With their deaths, Micheline’s father was never the same, and neither was his relationship with his daughter.  All that Micheline wants is to prove to her father that she still has what it takes to be a great reaper.  Ok, maybe not all she wants.  She’d also like to kick some ghost ass and get the soulchains removed from her.  But getting her dad’s approval would be a nice bonus.


There wasn’t a single individual in Micheline’s team that I didn’t like.  Everyone had their place and everyone was equally awesome.  Ryder was an amazing guy.  He’s a terrific fighter, and the perfect guy for Micheline.  Jude is more laid back, but can still hold his own in a fight.  His sense of humor was my favorite thing about him, as it was really similar to my own.  And then there’s Oliver.  He’s a man after my own heart with his research skills.


The writing was amazing.  Like I said, the book is action packed from the first chapter, and it stays that way throughout the entire story.  There’s never a dull moment, never a time where things were slow or boring.  I was on the edge of my seat for the whole story, which is always a good sign.


I only have one complaint about this book, and it’s that I wish there had been a little bit more world building.  It’s briefly mentioned towards the beginning of the book that there are different types of undead creatures based on the color of their auras, and I would have liked to see that be elaborated on a little bit more.  The book seems like it’s just a standalone novel, but I think it would make a really great series, and I would totally read more if it became a series.


Overall, I am giving Shutter 4 out of 5 score.  It’s an amazing book, great plotline, great characters, entertaining throughout the whole thing; I just wanted to know so much more about the undead.  I definitely recommend picking this one up.


 My Rating

rate 4

Ariel sig