Saturday, May 21, 2011

Amanda Stevens: The Restorer

In her debut novel Amanda Stevens brings us a haunting tale of a women who must always follow the rules or she will literally lose her life.

Amelia Gray is a graveyard restorer. Her life has been centered around the graveyard since she was young as her father was a graveyard caretaker. It was during some time with her father that Amelia discovered that she has the ability to see ghosts. Her father is disappointed that his daughter will have to have the same curse that he has. So come fourth his rules to survival. Never Acknowledge the dead; Never stray from hallowed ground; Never get close to the Haunted; Never ever temp Fate. All these rules are put to the test when a murderer is using the graveyard Amelia is restoring as a dumping ground. She becomes a key part of the investigation because of her knowledge of the area. This not only puts her on the radar of the killer but the lead investigator John Delvin is a haunted by ghost and Amelia is not sure that she wants to stay away from him.

Stevens has created a fantastically haunting tale, that will grab a hold of all your curiosities about ghosts. Amelia Gray has had the ability to see ghost since she was nine. She was taught by her father to never acknowledge the ghosts for once you do they will slowly seep the life out of you. We are also introduced to Delvin who is haunted by two ghost and you are able to see them slowly leeching his life away. Secondly, the tale that Stevens has chosen to write is one that I will not forget and would recommend to anyone that reads the paranormal genre. Stevens has created a world that will have you believing about ghosts before you are done the book. The story draws you in on so many different aspects that you find yourself with the haunting inability to put the book down.

I applaud Stevens use of research within this book. It was not too much that she was writing a history book about graveyards and tombstones, but one that was well integrated into the novel and one that becomes a key aspect with the murders that are occurring. I find myself with wanting to take a trip to an old cemetery to see if there are gravestones that have these mark and symbols that represent who has died.

Amelia is shown as both strong and weak character with neither characteristic being at the forefront for the entire book. She is struggling with everything she knows, main rules given to her by her father that she has lived her life by, but living in an almost imposed isolation is that really living ones life? Amelia is questioning everything that she has been taught in life and that is a hard thing to over come. I am glad that Amelia was able to grow but was not done completely within this book. I think a life change like this will need to happen in more than one book, I like that Stevens did not push Amelia too much as a character.

My only confusion within the book was on Amelia and her relationship with her family. We find out early on that Amelia was adopted however, there are some statements made by her farther made it sounds like Amelia inherited her "curse" from her father. A small aspect within this book, but just a little bit confusing to me. I think that more may come to light about this in the book.

If you have read Casey Daniel's Pepper Martin series and wanted the book to be something more than just mainly a funny paranormal romance then The Restorer is for you. Stevens has created a well written and well thought out story that has something for everyone in the paranormal genre and I would recommend you pick this book up. The characters are well defined, and there is room for growth and exploration in future books within the series. I look forward to reading more by Amanda Stevens.


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  1. I enjoyed this as well..the details were fascinating

    Shelleyrae @ Book'd Out

  2. Such an interesting storyline! I love the ideas.

    Great review.

    I'm following.

  3. Some of them choose to embrace their gift. Some of them, however, must not give in to the temptation. Because once you allow yourself to embrace that gift, to give in to the dead, it opens up a whole new dimension - one that changes your life drastically. The ghosts will follow you until you give them what they want. Most just need closure to move on. Some of them are after your soul. For Amelia Grey, her Papa has always given her simple rules to follow. She saw her first ghost at a young age. Confused, she turns to her father for questions. And that's when he tells her his four rules. Because Papa can see them, too.