Review: The Prophet by Amanda Stevens

Filed in 4 1/2 Stars , Amanda Stevens , featured , Review , The Needy Lover Posted on April 26, 2012 @ 11:00 am 4 comments

Format read: ebook via netgalley
Series: The Graveyard Queen, #3
Genre: urban fantasy
Release Date: April 24, 2012
Number of pages: 352 pages
Publisher: Mira
Formats available: ebook, paperback
Purchasing Info: Goodreads, Author’s WebsiteBook Depository, Amazon Kindle

Book Blurb:

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.

Read an excerpt from The Prophet

My Thoughts:

This series is like Alice in Wonderland‘s rabbit hole; like a thousand-piece puzzle; like a foggy day in London Town. Having read through the book–savoring as much as possible of its language, imagery, and complexity–I know I’ll still need to read it all over again to really grasp the magnitude of the major developments and the nuanced connections between the more subtle revelations.

Ultimately, this book (as well as the previous one, in my opinion) is largely about protagonist Amelia’s self-discovery. Sure, the main plot thread revolves around Amelia’s investigation of an unsolved murder, but in attempting to do so she realizes that she carries an as-yet undiscovered purpose, one that will require her to embrace her unique mystical abilities and surmount her fears related to the Beyond. It’s rather cool, getting to discover her as she discovers herself. I haven’t yet figured her out, but that might be the point; she herself is just as much an enigma as any murder mystery.

Though there’s a lot going on within the pages of The Prophet, this book requires a slower, more deliberate read…and a good bit of patience. You have to be in the mood for a slow-moving mystery. More often than not, the plot progresses through sudden, unexpected occurrences–synchronicity, as Amelia defines it–rather than through consistent, deliberate action. This makes for many tense, creepy moments. It may also make one feel as though the plot isn’t driving forward with a clear direction–hence the need for patience. Rushing through this story won’t give it its due; and believe me, the patience pays off. ^_^

One thing about the structure of this book is constant: the lush detailing and the moody atmosphere. So much attention is paid to surroundings and small details in this Deep South setting. It’s easily my favorite part of Stevens’s stories, because the visuals just leap off of the page. Envisioning Amelia’s world is absolutely easy to do–which means that the scares and thrills are just as readily evocative. I’ll admit that I was not as outrageously creeped out as I was when I read first book–which I attribute to getting somewhat used to the dark unknowns, kind of like Amelia learns to get used to her ability to see the dead–but there’s always an undercurrent of chilling, unsettling mystery that’s undeniable.

I’m very excited that the romantic element plays more a bit more significantly into this story than in the past. Detective John Devlin is a darkly enigmatic character, full of an alluring mystery that’d been niggling at me throughout the first and second books. Finally, some more of his character is revealed through Amelia’s attraction to him–which is admittedly gushing, at times, even to me. Devlin and Amelia, both haunted in the literal and figurative sense of the word, make for a very intriguing pairing, and I was clamoring for more of the two, right up to the end.

And as for the ending, well. It’s not a cliffhanger in the most maddening sense, so don’t worry. But this book provides enough twists and turns that you’ll be really eager to continue exploring Amelia’s journey and the mysteries that continue to develop right up to the last page.

Bottom Line: If you’ve not yet read the first two books, make sure you do before picking this one up. The Prophet builds upon its predecessors marvelously, exhibiting the same lush visuals and chilling mystery that’s becoming a hallmark of the series. Its complex, lingering developments prove that this series is just getting going–and considering its awesomeness thus far, that’s saying something. ^_^



I give  The Prophet 4.5 stars

***FTC Disclaimer: Most books reviewed on this site have been provided free of charge by the publisher, author or publicist. Some books we have purchased with our own money and will be noted as such. Any links to places to purchase books are provided as a convenience, and do not serve as an endorsement by this blog. All reviews are the true and honest opinion of the blogger reviewing the book. The method of acquiring the book does not have a bearing on the content of the review.

About Alisha

Alisha, the bespectacled and ever nerdy California girl, simply won't leave home without a book in hand. She loves language learnin' and is working toward becoming a bonafide grammar ninja. On any given day you'll find her haunting local libraries or baking scores of cupcakes and sweet treats.

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Join the Discussion
  • aurian April 26, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    Great review Alisha, I have been eying this series, but I really think it is too scary for me. Glad you enjoyed it so much.

  • Jen at Red Hot Books April 26, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    The last 1% of this book almost gave me a heart attack. I’m so glad the series will continue.

  • Susan April 26, 2012 at 6:41 pm

    I’m glad I read your review. For some reason, I had it in my mind that this was a trilogy. I hope to start this series sooner rather than later, so it’s nice to know in advance to not expect a bow-wrapped package at the end of #3. (Altho it does sound as if I’ll need a defibrillator!)

  • LSUReader April 27, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    Thanks for the review. I’m reading The Prophet now and I’m enjoying seeing Amelia stand up for herself and grow into her powers.

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