Micheline Helsing takes on more than she can handle; a mistake costs her. As a result, soulchains threaten her life, along with the well-being of her friends. She has seven days to find a solution, yet she knows she must break the rules she’s lived by since she can remember. Running from her father and the company she’ll one day inherit, she doesn’t hesitate to place herself in the sights of the most powerful entity she’s ever encountered.
(WARNING: This review contains minor spoilers.)
The last read and review of the Ladies of Horror Fiction readathon! I don’t read a lot of young adult; I wouldn’t even typically gravitate toward YA horror. There’s nothing wrong with appealing to a younger audience, but I dislike the tropes most tend to fall into. I can almost count them off on my hand: the rebellious teen acting without thinking, the prior loss of a parent(s), and the romance that takes up about fifty percent of the content. This one was no different in regards to those roll-your-eyes clichés. The further I progressed, the more they screamed from the pages. Yes, I’m complaining about a genre that’s not really my thing, because I think young readers deserve more. Why not protagonists that actually use their brain, and don’t rely on their irresistible, and more often than not, beautiful and hunky love interests? I don’t know about you, but as a teenager I never got the boy I had a crush on. I also didn’t entirely understand what being in love meant.
I started off truly enjoying Micheline’s crisis, and despite my above rant, I didn’t find this a bad book. It set up a genuinely intriguing world with a rich history involving monster hunters, specifically the lineage of Helsing and Stoker. It reminded me of the Urban Fantasy novels I used to be obsessed with; a paranormal entity causing a ruckus and in need of being destroyed, in the same vein as Buffy the Vampire Slayer. There were moments of excitement, and the narrative could reach tremendously absorbing heights. It got a little tedious with Micheline rushing into situations out of her control, but I tried (I swear I tried) to focus on what worked for me.
The whole tetrachromat aspect – being able to see the auras of the undead and classify them accordingly – was extremely engaging. I also adored the ins and outs of banishing those creatures using a mirror and lens. Alameda clearly put a lot of effort into the details, for there was a substantial amount of information on those intricate techniques. I do appreciate when an author strives to make their story elements as believable as possible. There’s nothing worse when it’s too far-fetched, without sufficient explanation.
The identity of the big bad in the end didn’t surprise me even slightly – with the many hints it was easy to work out. I would have preferred more mystery behind it, because it’s all too common when the reader knows what’s what, and yet the character is still oblivious. That said, I liked the big bad; he had a certain charm.
In conclusion: I had my issues with Shutter, but I found enjoyment in the world-building and the perilous adventure. It included creepy monsters, action scenes that were thrilling, and a larger story left open-ended for possible future instalments.
Bloodlines and last names didn’t make a man extraordinary–the extraordinary existed in what we did in life, not in who we were.
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