Shutter by Courtney Alameda
Published February 3, 2015
I read this book for my book club and while I somewhat enjoyed it, majority of my book club and I agreed that the world building in this book needed a lot of work. I was extremely confused for the entire duration of the book. I’m pretty sure the author literally had two pages for world building and then essentially thrusted us into a world full of different necros, different abilities that humans had, different supernatural creatures, etc. There is a lot of terminology that, without an adequate explanation, were lost to the readers.
Micheline, the main character, was a complicated character. For some parts, she seemed like a badass strong female character – taking things in stride, trying to save her friends, dealing with scary creepy ghosts, etc. However, at the same time, she had major daddy issues. It was very dysfunctional, to say the least. To be honest, I can’t decide if I liked or disliked her because she was complicated. Also, since she is the direct descendant of Van Helsing, she was placed with the responsibility of providing a next generation. However, I had a major problem with this – I would understand this if she was the only descendant left but as my fellow book clubbers pointed out, she had relatives in Europe who were also descendants of Van Helsing. How come she was the only one with the responsibility/burden? And while she wasn’t particularly okay with it, she never actually verbally said otherwise to anyone. That put her seemingly badass strong female character to shame – if she was actually a badass strong female, she would straight up go against it.
Anyways, enough about Micheline. The boys in her group ranged from the typical nerd/geek, the player and the one who had her heart. I suppose the author thought that having an example from each group was important. I didn’t connect with any of the side characters – they all seemed to follow Micheline with very little to no objections. Again, I wish that there was more of a world building with some backstory that shows exactly why the boys were more than willing to follow her. To me, the reader, they followed her because she was the descendant of Van Helsing but there has to be more than just that, right?
I think this book had a lot of potential with the descendants of Van Helsing, Stoker, and all the important families but I think this book fell a bit flat. It was very confusing to me and somewhat predictable especially who that ghost was. Also, I just want to state that the cover of the book is a huge misrepresentation of the content of the book. It was in no way scary yet the cover freaked me out. Overall, I wouldn’t particularly recommend it nor not recommend it especially since there is a second novel (apparently) so maybe the author will read these reviews will take them into account for the sequel.