Monday, February 27, 2012

Book Review: The Prophet by Amanda Stevens

Title: The Prophet (Graveyard Queen #3)
Author: Amanda Stevens
Publisher: Mira
Release Date: 04/24/2012
ISBN: 0778313395

I was lucky enough to be able to read this shortly after finishing the previous book in the series, The Kingdom, and boy am I really jonesing for the next book! This was fantastic!

My name is Amelia Gray.

I am the Graveyard Queen, a cemetery restorer who sees ghosts. My father passed down four rules to keep me safe and I’ve broken every last one. A door has opened and evil wants me back.

In order to protect myself, I’ve vowed to return to those rules. But the ghost of a murdered cop needs my help to find his killer. The clues lead me to the dark side of Charleston—where witchcraft, root doctors and black magic still flourish—and back to John Devlin, a haunted police detective I should only love from afar.

Now I’m faced with a terrible choice: follow the rules or follow my heart.

In the last book Amelia got a deeper taste of darkness as well as some answers to her questions about her past. She may have discovered who her birth mother was, but there's still far more questions about what she's capable of and what exactly that means to her. The previous book also left off with a text message from Devlin, which of course means that her relationship with him will figure heavily into this book.

Fans of Amelia and Devlin's relationship will be glad to see some progress made in this book as well as progress with Shani and Mariama. (Not saying how far it goes, but there is definite progress.) I have to admit that I wasn't as fond of him in this book as I was in the first one and I have to say that I hope that he manages to move on more from his past so Amelia can finally have a love interest that isn't overly invested in a past love. Then again, I think that this might be due to some of his actions in the book, which involves him cuddling with another woman earlier in the book and then kissing Amelia later on. This does get explained in some format later on in the book, but it definitely makes me raise an eyebrow as to how Devlin could so easily do this. I know that there's a magnetism between Devlin and Amelia, but so far she's the only one doing any compromising. A soul mate-esque connection can only go so far and Devlin needs to show that he's worthy of Amelia. I can't wait for Thane to make a reappearance later on in the series. (Of course I think he's coming back- he's too good to only appear once!) He took Amelia's abilities in stride and I felt that he gave her an acceptance that Devlin only grudgingly gives her.

Other than that, I really enjoyed the read- especially the look into the supernatural angle of the book. Part of the supernatural focus in this book was vodun and Stevens seems to have really done her homework here and tries to avoid an overly Hollywood depiction of the religion. It's good that she does this, as this is a religion/practice that really doesn't need to be gussied up to the nth level. It can do that on its own. This is really part of the charm of this series. Rather than give us a completely fantastical version of magic and the supernatural, Stevens tries to be as realistic as she can without being over the top.

We get a pretty intriguing new character here by the name of Darius Goodwine, a dark practitioner of vodun with big (read evil) plans for Amelia. Darius is shown as a sinister and evil force here, but there seems to be other aspects to his character that haven't been shown and I can't wait to discover them.

This is a good addition to the series and while it wasn't as "OMG! MUST FINISH THIS OR I'LL DIE RIGHT NOW" as the previous book, it was still a fun and entertaining read that will make it a required read this spring and summer.

4 out of 5 stars

(ARC provided by Netgalley)

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