(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)Published by Macmillan on February 3rd 2015
Genres: Horror & Ghost Stories, Legends, Myths, Fables, Other, Young Adult
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 love a good Horror story and I thought Shutter by Courtney Alameda was very well done. There were great characters, an interesting story, and I found the science behind how the hunters did their ghost hunting only added to the story.
Micheline Helsing is a descendent of the original Van Helsings and she has been training since she was a little girl to join her father in hunting and destroying the monsters that surround them. As the story progresses, we find out that as a child, Micheline lost her mother and brothers to an attack and since then, her relationship with her father has been somewhat strained. As the story opens, she and her friends (Oliver, Jude, and Ryder) are on their way to a hunt but without the backup they should have with them. This is where things go terribly wrong.
When Micheline gets to the scene she finds something she didn’t expect and she and the boys end up infected with a soulchain. A curse that will kill them if they don’t find the ghost that infected them and exorcise it.
I enjoyed Micheline as a main character. She was smart and stubborn and cared about her family and friends. Obviously things were tough with her father and I have to admit….he made me angry after what he did…really angry. I loved the boys and they all seemed to balance out the group and provide different benefits to the team.
A lot happens in this story and it is fairly non-stop action as the group has a limited timeframe to resolve their problem. As they hunt, Micheline finds out a lot about her father as well as the evil that is really out there. There were some twists and turns I didn’t expect and I loved how Alameda created this world of monsters that seemed a part of the norm. I also loved how Alameda tied in the back story of that horrible day when Micheline’s family fell apart and we learn what really happened and how it ties back to what is happening now.
If you are looking for a different approach to a horror novel, definitely consider checking this one out. I found myself unable to put it down as there were a number of surprises and I needed to know what was going to happen to these characters. Plus, some of the creatures that Alameda has dreamed up are definitely from some sort of nightmare! The end was left wide open so I will be curious to see if this comes out as a series. Don’t worry – You get a full story…it only means that (in my opinion) Alameda could definitely write more of this story and it wouldn’t be weird.
Thank you to Macmillan for the review copy!