Book Review: THE ABANDONED by Amanda Stevens

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Series: The Graveyard Queen, #0.5
Publisher: Mira
Released: January 1, 2011
Source: Free read from Harlequin

An ebook exclusive prequel to The Graveyard Queen series.

There are rules for dealing with ghosts. Too bad Ree Hutchins doesn’t know them.

When her favorite patient at a private mental hospital passes away, psychology student Ree Hutchins mourns the elderly woman’s death. But more unsettling is her growing suspicion that something unnatural is shadowing her.

Amateur ghost hunter Hayden Priest believes Ree is being haunted. Even Amelia Gray, known in Charleston as The Graveyard Queen, senses a gathering darkness. Driven by a force she doesn’t understand, Ree is compelled to uncover an old secret and put abandoned souls to rest—before she is locked away forever…

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THE ABANDONED is a short and spooky 66-page prequel to Amanda Stevens’ The Graveyard Queen series. The first full-length novel is THE RESTORER, which I will be reading next. THE ABANDONED has me hooked! The Graveyard Queen is a character named Amelia Grey, who is a cemetery restorer and taphophile (someone with a passionate interest in graves and cemeteries – yes, I had to look that up). I’m a bit of a taphophile myself, so I was very excited to come across this series.

While Amelia has a small role in THE ABANDONED, the star of this novella is Ree Hutchins. Ree is a psychology student and volunteer at a psychiatric hospital. After her favorite patient dies, she discovers that the hospital and nearby Oak Grove Cemetery have been harboring dark secrets about the deceased and her family for decades. Ree is soon at the mercy of a ghostly presence hell bent on revenge. She hooks up with recent law graduate and amateur ghost hunter Hayden Priest (in a cemetery of all places!), and together they work to solve the mystery before the evil one responsible silences her forever.

THE ABANDONED was an enjoyable and very creepy tale. I love a good ghost story, and this one had plenty of chilling moments. (It’s not horror, but it was spooky enough for me!) Though it was short, the story was well written with a suspenseful plot and intriguing characters. Ree, in particular, really stood out for me. She’s someone I could easily connect with. There’s definitely more than meets the eye with Hayden. I get the feeling that his story isn’t finished yet. THE ABANDONED is a solid start to Amanda Stevens’ new series, and I’m definitely looking forward to more.

Rating: 4 Stars

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