by Amanda Stevens
Book 4 of Graveyard Queen
Restoring lost and abandoned cemeteries is my profession, but I'm starting to believe that my true calling is deciphering the riddles of the dead. Legend has it that Kroll Cemetery is a puzzle no one has ever been able to solve. For over half a century, the answer has remained hidden within the strange headstone inscriptions and intricate engravings. Because uncovering the mystery of that tiny, remote graveyard may come at a terrible price.
Years after their mass death, Ezra Kroll's disciples lie unquiet, their tormented souls trapped within the walls of Kroll Cemetery, waiting to be released by someone strong and clever enough to solve the puzzle. For whatever reason, I'm being summoned to that graveyard by both the living and the dead. Every lead I follow, every clue I unravel brings me closer to an unlikely killer and to a destiny that will threaten my sanity, and a future with my love, John Devlin.
If I wanted to be honest, it was truly the writing and the mystery of Kroll Cemetary that drew me into this book. Amelia's destiny and her hauntings as well as Devlin's mysterious secrets were really second string.
While I've liked Amelia in the past, I'm not entirely sure that I'm feeling a whole lot of character development in her, despite the new twists that her character is taking on in this book. At the same time, I'm still not really all that enamored of John Devlin either.
The romance between them is even harder for me to relate with, if only because Amelia's obsession with Devlin, as well as their mutual attraction to each other seems to be the only thing linking them together. They don't talk to each other, they keep secrets, they don't even trust each other. Their relationship has always felt one-sided.
I enjoyed the moments that Amelia spent at Kroll cemetary with Dr. Shaw, or even discovering little clues left her by the blind ghost who looks like her. In contrast, I didn't care much for the scenes whenever Devlin was around with her, save for a few moments when they seemed to be able to talk freely with each other. I feel like the two of them could make a great team if they would just stop keeping secrets or learn to listen to each other.
But the writing is beautiful as usual, and the series' overall conflict continues to be intriguing, and you get drawn into Amelia's world readily. Just for the writing style and the atmosphere of the book alone, I gave a higher rating.