Mini-Review – Shutter by Courtney Alameda

shutterHappy Halloween, fellow readers.

Shutter will be published in February 2015 and I usually wait to post reviews of ARCs until about 30 days before they come out.  But, come on, this is the perfect book for me to tell you about on Halloween.  So, I’ve decided to do a mini-review to whet your appetite.  You need to mark your calendars so you can get this the day it is available!

From Goodreads: “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.”

Who would’ve thought that a YA horror novel written by a first time (published) author would be so successful?  Alameda does a great job with the world building, character development and storyline.  She took something we know (Dracula, Van Helsing, etc.) and made it fresh.  The powers that these kids have are not your standard fare.  I loved that Micheline uses a type of photography to fight ghosts.

Some readers have tired of YA because of the love triangles and Mary Sue female characters.  While there is a small love story, no triangles are to be found.  And, Micheline is far from a Mary Sue.  She would kick Mary Sue’s butt.

A great debut novel and I highly recommend.  5/5 stars.  February 3, 2015.  Don’t forget.

Thank you to the publisher for providing an ARC through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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