[Review] Shutter by Courtney Alameda


Title: Shutter

Author: Courtney Alameda

Series: Shutter #1

Publisher: Feiwel and Friends

Release Date: February 3rd 2015

Goodreads Page

Source: Bought


Horror has a new name: introducing Courtney Alameda.

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 about a world where ghosts are real and people are born with the ability to see the different wavelengths of "ghostlight". Micheline Helsing is one of the last in the Van Helsing line, famed for the defeat of Dracula. She uses her camera and special equipment to capture the ghosts on film together with her friends.

The world building in this novel is amazing. Alameda built a world where ghosts are very real and where reaping is a corporation and a business with PR and research. I'm quite sure that a lot of research went into creating this world with the different types of ghosts and also the security precautions taken by the Helsing Corps. The detail is vivid and it really allows you to immerse yourself into the world alongside Micheline, especially in the scenes of her encounter with the ghosts.

Micheline is every bit the stubborn Helsing like her father is. She is brave and headstrong. She is committed to doing what is right despite the rules that her Spartan father imposes on her. Micheline is determined in her duty to keeping the people safe as all others in the Helsing line have previously done. It was clear especially when she recited Van Helsing's words:

"I have a duty to do.
A duty to others. 
A duty to you.
A duty to the dead.
We are not defined by our lack of fear,
but rather what we choose to do when facing the nightmare.
I have a duty to do -
And by God, I shall do it.

Micheline's relationship with Ryder is filled with longing and warmth. As I read their scenes together I couldn't help but squeal a little at their devotion to each other and their chemistry together too. Ryder is Australian and he was chosen by Micheline's father to join the Helsing Corps. He was raised in an abusive home and the offer to join Helsing was the best thing that had ever happened to him. He shows his gratitude through scoring the best out of anyone else in the academy and through loyalty to Micheline's father. However, Micheline and Ryder have chemistry that is hard to deny and they're kept apart by her father who wants Micheline to marry someone worthy to continue the Helsing line.

Overall, this book is great with the incredible world that Alameda has built and the relationship between Micheline and Ryder. This book is action packed, scary and has a kick ass heroine who is dedicated to keeping people safe from ghosts.

Happy Reading!
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