Source: Audiobook Boom – I received this in exchange for an honest review. I received no compensation.
Publisher: Forever Young
Narrator: Pamela Lorence
Edition: Audiobook, 11 Hours 49 Minutes
Genre: Young Adult Horror
Purchase: Amazon / Audible / Barnes & Noble
Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
Micheline Helsing is a tetrachromat—a girl who sees the auras of the undead in a prismatic spectrum. As one of the last descendants of the Van Helsing lineage, she has trained since childhood to destroy monsters both corporeal and spiritual: the corporeal undead go down by the bullet, the spiritual undead by the lens. With an analog SLR camera as her best weapon, Micheline exorcises ghosts by capturing their spiritual energy on film. She’s aided by her crew: Oliver, a techno-whiz and the boy who developed her camera’s technology; Jude, who can predict death; and Ryder, the boy Micheline has known and loved forever.
When a routine ghost hunt goes awry, Micheline and the boys are infected with a curse known as a soulchain. As the ghostly chains spread through their bodies, Micheline learns that if she doesn’t exorcise her entity in seven days or less, she and her friends will die. Now pursued as a renegade agent by her monster-hunting father, Leonard Helsing, she must track and destroy an entity more powerful than anything she’s faced before . . . or die trying.
Lock, stock, and lens, she’s in for one hell of a week.
Shutter is modern day Gothic horror at it’s best. Quick to pull me in and keep me enthralled with moody language and hauntingly creepy scenes.
Micheline Helsing is a part of the legendary Helsing corporation which takes on the undead head first. She’s headstrong and a bit brash, and after some rather horrifying events of her past she wants to prove to herself and others that she can hold the Helsing name on her shoulders. She is also tetrachromat, meaning she can see ghost light and tell what sort of undead she and her team will be dealing with. I found everything about the technical aspects fascinating; from the ghost light to the use of mirrors and silver in luring and trapping the entities. There is a bit of a romance angle, and in a gothic horror that’s to be expected, but it is one that hogs bunch of page time. Instead we get plenty of time to see them work together and build upon their relationship slowly. I really love Ryder ad Micheline together. They both know their strengths and their weaknesses, and despite the danger around them they know that they are both capable hunters. That’s really I ever ask of romance in YA. I just want the chemistry to be strong and for them both to understand each other limits, no over protecting and no constant ‘saving’ of a character who can handle themselves a vast majority of the time.
The world building is pretty phenomenal in my opinion. I love seeing the frame work of Dracula being built upon and used in a really cool way. The Helsing’s, Harker’s, Seward’s, and Stoker’s are all prominent and important families responsible from the creation of the Helsing corps and the medical facilities used to prevent infection and stay on the cutting edge of ghost light tech. I think the coolest thing about this is that all the added tech it never loses it’s Gothic moodiness. Even the more modern horror elements really fit well with the mood and atmosphere, so not only do you get that gloomy and creepy feel to the entire story but there are some genuine freaky parts that i wouldn’t recommend to the feint of heart. I’m sort of in love with the monsters in this, as weird as that may be. The necros are terrifying and gross, but there are a few scenes that involve them that I’m kind of happy with haunt my nightmares.
The narration is another big accomplishment for me. Pamela Lorence’s treatment of the book is clean and crisp, with plenty of attention paid to the perfect amount of emotion. She keeps the story moving at a nice clip and really knows when to slow down and focus in on those tiny little atmospheric details.
I’m so glad I requested this one! I finished it up in a matter of two listens and immediately wanted to buy a physical copy for my shelves! I’m looking forward to more books by Courtney Alameda and more audios from Pamela Lorence.