Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Early Review - The Kingdom (The Graveyard Queen, Book 2) by Amanda Stevens (5/5 stars)

Reading level: Adult
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Size: 384 pages
Publisher: Mira
Release Date: March 27, 2012
ISBN: 978-0778312772
Stand Alone or Series: 2nd book in the Graveyard Queen series
Source: eGalley from NetGalley.com
Rating: 5/5 stars

This is the second book in the Graveyard Queen series. The third book in the series, The Prophet, release in April 2012. I got an advanced reading copy of this book to review through NetGalley(dot)com. I absolutely loved the first book in this series, The Restorer, and was very excited to read this book. I loved the haunting setting, the beautiful writing, and the tragic characters. We learn a lot about Amelia's past in this book and it was a wonderful read.

Amelia is leaving Charleston behind to travel to the isolated mountain village of Asher Falls to restore a cemetery there. Upon arrival she meets the dashing Thane Asher who tells her about the first cemetary underneath what is now Bell Lake. Why did they flood this cemetary? Who hired Amelia to restore the newer, Asher cemetary? Why is Amelia so drawn to this town and to the secret grave she finds at the bottom of the cliffs? There is an evil the haunts this town and Amelia needs to solve the riddle behind it before the evil takes her too.

I love Stevens writing style; it is haunting, mysterious, and beautiful...just an absolute joy to read. The plot is creepy, compelling, and made the book impossible to put down. This book has a very southern gothic feel to it.

Amelia is a great character. She has a backbone and is brave, yet still comes across as vulnerable at times. There were a few times in this book where Amelia did some really stupid and dangerous things, these were those moments in a horror movie where you yell "No! Don't go into the dark forest by yourself!" So a couple times I was exasperated with her, but I still just love her character so much and love how her curiousity drives her.

Devlin isn't in this book at all. We see a couple letters to Amelia from him and Amelia pines for him, but he is never present. Instead the playboyish Asher Thane is the male lead. I enjoyed Asher; he was a complex character, that had mysterious motives. His character worked wonderfully with Amelia and he gives Devlin a run for his money.

The plot is wonderfully woven; elements from the first book are woven into the story seemlessly and you can really tell that Stevens meticulously planned this whole story out. I loved the mystery, the creepiness, and the way everything was woven so neatly together. Some of the things revealed in the second half of the book will absolutely blow you away; I was surprised and stunned. The book does end with a pretty big cliffhanger...so I am excited that I got the third book The Prophet for review last week....I will be reading it soon.

Overall I just loved this book. The writing is so beautiful and easy to read; it just flows so nicely. The characters are realistic, complicated, and absolutely endearing. The plot is complex, mysterious, and very well woven together. The book was incredibly engaging and I just had a ton of trouble putting it down. This book is very much a gothic paranormal mystery of sorts. It is different from all the other urban fantasy out there, but should really appeal to fans of that genre. I highly, highly recommend this series to fans of gothic literature or fans of urban fantasy/paranormal stories. This is seriously one of my favorite series right now. I cannot wait to read The Prophet!

This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
- Horror and Urban Fantasy Challenge
- 150+ Books Reading Challenge

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