Friday, June 3, 2016

Review: The Visitor by Amanda Stevens

The Visitor (Graveyard Queen, Book #4)
by Amanda Stevens
Release Date: March 29th 2016
2016 MIRA
Ebook Edition; 384 Pages
ISBN: 978-0778315179
Genre: Fiction / Paranormal
Source: Review copy from publisher

3 / 5 Stars

Restoring lost and abandoned cemeteries is my profession, but I'm starting to believe that my true calling is deciphering the riddles of the dead. Legend has it that Kroll Cemetery is a puzzle no one has ever been able to solve. For over half a century, the answer has remained hidden within the strange headstone inscriptions and intricate engravings. Because uncovering the mystery of that tiny, remote graveyard may come at a terrible price.

Years after their mass death, Ezra Kroll's disciples lie unquiet, their tormented souls trapped within the walls of Kroll Cemetery, waiting to be released by someone strong and clever enough to solve the puzzle. For whatever reason, I'm being summoned to that graveyard by both the living and the dead. Every lead I follow, every clue I unravel brings me closer to an unlikely killer and to a destiny that will threaten my sanity and a future with my love, John Devlin.

My Thoughts
The Visitor is the fourth book in the Graveyard Queen series, and while I absolutely loved the previous entries in the series, I wasn't as crazy about this entry.  I felt like the story line veered quite a bit from the original as Amelia's abilities became stronger, but at the same time, more mysterious. 

First of all, one of the things I really liked about the previous entries was Amelia's profession, a restorer of abandoned cemeteries, and I especially liked some of the creepy things that happened in said cemeteries, and some of the things we learned about cemeteries.  I love cemeteries myself and have spent many an hour happily lost in them when I was younger, so I can understand Amelia's obsession with them.  While Amelia spent some time at her business, and was given the prospect of possibly restoring an old cemetery, nothing really came of it other than a few creepy visits, but it was just part of the story line.  

Amelia did learn quite a bit more about her family background in this one, and some of the things that appeared in previous novels were also explained as well.  While it is not necessary to have read the previous novels in order to understand this book, it certainly would be helpful as the author doesn't explain previous events, assuming you are already familiar with them.  It certainly seems like there are a lot of family secrets in her family, and they also get more and more complex the more she learned.  I actually thought this was quite interesting, but at the same time, this is where the novel kind of went in a different direction from what I was expecting, and I'm not sure what I think about that.  While the paranormal definitely played a key role in previous novels, in this one it played the major role and I just felt like something got lost in all of the paranormal stuff, including Devlin and Amelia's relationship, which seemed off right from the beginning.  There were also a lot of secrets being kept from Amelia on Devlin's part as he dealt with his grandfather and some of his family issues, but sometimes all of this keeping of secrets can work against an author if there is just too much.  In this case, I really felt like the characters and their development were shuffled to the background and I was extremely disappointment in that area of the novel.  After three books, and many dramatic episodes, you'd think more credit would be given to Devlin for what he'd seen and heard.  And Amelia was a bit annoying in this one as well; get over whining about everything and deal with issues.  To be fair, this Amelia seemed different than the one we saw in the previous novels, and she dealt with situations a bit differently, almost as if she needed to be rescued.  

The Visitor is one of those novels that I couldn't wait to read, but was a bit disappointed when I finally did get my hands on it.  While there were some genuinely interesting and creepy moments, I had to suspend my disbelief way too often; the novel took a turn in the paranormal I'm not really sure I'm crazy over as I liked the way it was in previous novels.  I really wanted there to be more "story" to the story as I felt like it was just a set-up for the next book in the series rather than a story on its own.  As for whether I read the next book in this series, we'll see as I'm not sure.  


  1. It doesn't quite sound like my proverbial cup of tea, but good review!

  2. I felt the same way as you. I have really enjoyed the series so far, even loved it but this was a disappointment and only a step to the next book. I will read the next when it comes out with hopes that Amanda Stevens redeems herself. I'm wondering if a new partnership has anything to do with it????