Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Book Review: The Kingdom...The Much Hotter Brother

The Kingdom (Graveyard Queen #2)

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.

I reviewed the first book in this series, The Restorer, in an earlier post.  I was less than thrilled with the somewhat choppy, repetitive pace, but hopeful that the author would work out the kinks for the second book because it is a compelling story.

I'm happy to report that The Kingdom did not disappoint.  It really was the much hotter brother, being everything I hoped it would be.  Creepy and dreamlike...oozing mystery that only the Deep South, with it's crawling ivy and spanish moss, can conjure up.  I'm a sucker for a southern ghost story, having cut my teeth on the likes of Jefferey...and Other Ghosts, but a southern ghost story must be approached delicately, with grace and a gentle hand.  Stevens's way of writing makes you feel drugged, like you could die sweetly smothered by the thick, cloying South Carolina air.  I've seen many a small town in the likes of Alabama, Georgia, the Carolinas...they are portals to another time, another life.  It's easy to discover hidden things about yourself in those towns.  Some good...some better left to the grave.  Amelia encounters both.  She is kept always slightly off-kilter, constantly racing to catch up with what everyone else already knows,  and when she discovers the truth...about the town, about herself...it almost proves to be her downfall. 

Can she escape?  Does she want to?  Or does she want to fling the door wide open to whatever destiny has in store for her?

We'll find out in book three, The Prophet.

This Goth Girl Gives It:

The strongest ties are blood and land.  They are constant.  Romantic love is all too fleeting.

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