Book Review: THE KINGDOM by Amanda Stevens

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Series: The Graveyard Queen, #2
Publisher: Mira
Released: March 27, 2012
Source: Review copy from NetGalley

Deep in the shadowy foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains lies a dying town…

My name is Amelia Gray. They call me The Graveyard Queen. I’ve been commissioned to restore an old cemetery in Asher Falls, South Carolina, but I’m coming to think I have another purpose here.

Why is there a cemetery at the bottom of Bell Lake? Why am I drawn time and again to a hidden grave I’ve discovered in the woods? Something is eating away at the soul of this town—this withering kingdom—and it will only be restored if I can uncover the truth.

———

Last year THE RESTORER was one of my favorite books, and I’ve been waiting on pins and needles for the sequel to be released. I couldn’t wait to find out where Amanda Stevens would take her Graveyard Queen next. After finishing THE KINGDOM, my initial thought is WOW! I may have liked the second book a smidge more that the first. Where THE RESTORER was more paranormal mystery/romantic suspense, THE KINGDOM is the perfect blend of mystery and eerie Southern Gothic fiction.

If you’re not familiar with the series, I’ll briefly tell you about Amelia Gray. She’s known as “The Graveyard Queen” because her life’s passion is restoring old, dilapidated cemeteries. But what really makes her unique is her ability to see ghosts. Her adoptive father also has this gift (or curse, as the case may be), and he gave her strict rules for dealing with restless spirits. His most important rule was to IGNORE them, a rule Amelia broke in the first book, and it got her in a heap of trouble.

In THE KINGDOM, Amelia is hired to restore a cemetery in the remote town of Asher Falls, hidden in the mountains of South Carolina. Immediately upon her arrival, Amelia knows there is something peculiar about Asher Falls. Much of the town has been deserted, and there’s something “off” about the ones who remained. Amelia can sense an evil presence there, yet something compels her to stay in this majestic yet wicked place. Somehow she’s connected to Asher Falls, and she’s determined to find out how. The secrets and mysteries in this town run deep, and there are certain residents that want Amelia silenced before she discovers the truth.

I would love to talk more about the plot and supporting cast, but I don’t want to spoil this fantastic story for anyone! I highly recommend that you read the series in order, because you’ll definitely want to know Amelia’s history with John Devlin. Though he doesn’t make an appearance in THE KINGDOM, Amelia mentions him a lot. Hopefully we’ll get more of John in the third book.

THE KINGDOM is the type of story that grabs your attention and doesn’t let go. The plot was fast-paced with many surprising twists and turns along the way. Amanda Stevens has a talent for making the reader a part of her story. I loved the vivid imagery of the mountains surrounding Asher Falls. I could hear the ghostly chimes over Bell Lake myself. Chilling! Fans of creepy ghost stories and Southern Gothics shouldn’t miss this series.

Rating: 5 Stars

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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