Book Review: The Kingdom (Graveyard Queen #2) by Amanda Stevens

11162228Title: The Kingdom (Graveyard Queen #2)

Author: Amanda Stevens

Genre: Paranormal Mystery, Thriller, Mystery and Suspense

Age Group: Adult (18+)

Rating: 5 stars

Purchase: Goodreads, Amazon

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.

Of all three books, The Kingdom is my favorite. It starts out with Amelia visiting Asher Falls, a small community in the shadows of the Blue Ridge Mountains. For Amelia it’s the perfect opportunity to get away from Charleston for a while, a welcome escape after the events that transpired in the previous book. She’s also eager to get away from Devlin, who is haunted by his own ghosts, something Amelia can’t have in her life right now. She goes to Asher Falls to restore a cemetary, but the moment she arrives in the small town, she notices things aren’t what they seem around here. The lake at the edge of Asher Falls harbors an ancient cemetery and the old town, which flooded ages ago. There’s a grave hidden in the forest nearby the cemetery Amelia came to restore, a well-kept grave nobody seems to know about. Strange creatures follow Amelia around, and the dead are more active here than ever before. Whatever secret Asher Falls harbors, Amelia is stuck right in the middle of it.

Amelia shines here more than in the previous book. She’s become this interesting person who is so real and solid I can almost imagine her as a real person as opposed to a book character. Her emotions are more streamlined than they were before, and at the same time more conflicted. She’s unsure with the whole Devlin situation, and although she’s glad to get away from him and his ghosts for a while, she also misses him. When she meets Thane, the grandson of the famous Asher family patriarch, the most influential family of Asher Falls, she’s unsure about him at first. He seems like your regular “got it all, thinks he can get anything” type, but the more she gets to know him, the more she realizes he’s much more than that. Thane too has secrets, most of them going back way into his past. And when Amelia starts digging for answers, she comes across some of Thane’s secrets, which put him in another perspective. I have to be honest here and say that I actually liked Thane more than Devlin. He seemed more dependable. With Devlin there’s always the issue of his wife and daughter, who passed away, and Thane was free of any such burdens.

The Kingdom takes it up a notch from The Restorer – it goes beyond everything The Restorer is. Asher Falls has a Silent Hill vibe going on. The town is nearly deserted, there’s a sunken graveyard which I have to say is pretty darn awesome, and there are secrets piled up everywhere in town. Add the creepy monsters that followed Amelia to the cemetery, the appearance of a girl ghost who killed herself years ago but can’t seem to find peace, and the Asher’s secrets, and you’re in for one hell of a ride. This book is sinister and dark, and it mixes everything from romance to thriller to a paranormal mystery. Only a handful of authors really manage to impress me with their writing, and Amanda Stevens firmly earned her place amongst them with this book.

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