Shutter (Shutter #1) by Courtney Alameda
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Source: eARC provided by NetGalley and Hardcover (purchased)
Goodreads link: (click here)
What's it about?
Micheline Helsing is one of the last descendants of the Van Helsing lineage. With the name, of course, comes great responsibility as well as a few supernatural advantages. Micheline can see the auras of the undead, she's a tetrachromat, which comes in handy when she's busy doing the family business. She is a hunter of the undead. Monsters, ghosts, demons...whatever you want to call them. Sometimes they go down easy, but most of the time they put up a fight. When they are in ghost form, she uses her camera, outfitted with special lenses and film to capture them. When they take over a body of flesh and blood, she'll take them down with a bullet. She's trained since she was a child to battle the things that go bump in the night. Micheline is a deadly weapon against the darkness, and she and her crew fight the good fight to keep San Francisco safe. Fighting by her side are Oliver, who handles the technical side of things, Jude, who's visions keep them from dying horrrible deaths, and Ryder, a fierce fighter, who she's loved for as long as she could remember. Unfortunately, Micheline's father, the renowned and feared monster hunter, Leonard Helsing, would never approve of their relationship. Micheline and Ryder try to keep it hidden and attend to business as usual (killing bad things) in a professional manner.
One night, an emergency distress call comes in from a hospital that's under attack by a bloodthirsty ghost and Micheline and her crew respond. They arrive to a bloodbath and are faced with a ghost like they've never seen before. Not only that, but the ghost knows Micheline's name and it leaves her and her friends with a deadly parting gift. They soon discover that they are each marked with a deady curse called a soulchain that grows by the hour, threatening to claim their humanity and forever enslave them in the realm of the undead. They have seven days to break the chain by exorcising whatever monster put it there or they will all die.
They can't trust anyone but themselves to track it down, so they go on the run, becoming renegades, in order to save their own lives. The evil they are about to face will test their abilities and possibly destroy them. With guns and lenses blazing, they have to fight for a chance to get their lives back, or die trying.
BOOM! This book is badass!
Shutter is creepy, gruesome, exciting and fun. It's like Supernatural, Ghostbusters and Silent Hill rolled into one freaky and thrilling story with a bit of classic horror on the side. The writing is phenomenal, with so much attention payed to detail, yet you don't feel like things are being described, they just are. It is definitely horror, so expect lots of blood, bullets, disturbing creatures and scary moments. There is also a ton of action and it felt like it needed a kickass soundtrack. Maybe something like this:
Besides being scary and getting your adrenaline pumping, it's also a psychological thriller and a drama. Micheline witnessed the deaths of her mother and her little brothers at the hands of a vengeful spirit, and her father hasn't been the same since. He became withdrawn and violent, often turning to alcohol to numb his pain. Along with hunting, she has her own family demons to deal with at home. Also, the romance between Micheline and Ryder is a forbidden one, but it's something they are both willing to fight for (while they aren't out being badasses and taking on gruesome creatures).
I did, however, figure out who the "big bad" was that was behind the whole thing, but I don't think that's really much of a secret considering that Micheline is a descendant of Van Helsing. I did totally enjoy the thrill ride and can't wait to see where this goes next.