- Paperback: 384 pages
- Publisher: Square Fish; Reprint edition (June 21, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1250079969
- ISBN-13: 978-1250079961
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 76 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #642,303 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Shutter Paperback – June 21, 2016
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“This debut novel features a dark, compelling story and more than enough gore to please the most demanding horror reader.” ―VOYA
“A paranormal ghost-hunting story that is a standout in the genre . . . Frightening from the first page, this is sure to please horror fans, particularly those familiar with ghost and vampire legends.” ―School Library Journal
“Alameda keeps the fear dripping from the walls as she plunges headlong into this full-scale thriller . . . A page-turner for thriller fans.” ―Kirkus Reviews
“Alameda succeeds at creating hideous creatures that are the stuff of nightmare. The rapid pacing, advanced technology, and limitless weapons just add appeal for readers seeking a supernatural thriller.” ―Booklist
“Alameda’s worldbuilding is strong―this alternate version of San Francisco is dangerous and unpredictable― and her characters evoke shows like Buffy and Supernatural.” ―Publishers Weekly
About the Author
Courtney Alameda is a veteran bookseller and librarian. She holds a degree in English Literature with an emphasis in Creative Writing from Brigham Young University. She lives in Salt Lake City, Utah.
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Alameda has a sharp writing style, the sort that cuts the setting into tiny pieces in order to blend description in with the story's pacing. The result is a serrated-edge atmosphere, where even San Francisco's famous blanket of fog promises frightful things hidden and patiently waiting for a new victim. It worked most of the time, but there were times that it was just too much for a scene; I'd call it flowery writing if it were any other genre and any other book, but for THIS genre and THIS book specifically, I'll describe it as barbed-wire. It tangles through the story, and at times it adds weight to a sentence that wasn't really necessary to the scene in question. (That kind of writing needs to be treated like seasoning in a dish; too much salt can tire the tastebuds.) I didn't really see it as a flaw, though; it was a little over the top, but it fit well with the protagonist's personality.
I enjoyed many aspects of the book, but the writing as a whole had some issues. The good news is, these are issues that I believe Alameda will iron out when she writes her next book. The bad news is, these issues prevented the story from reaching its full potential.
I had a hard time pushing through the middle of the book. There is never a dull moment in the story, but the book failed to keep me engaged and had me eyeing the other books in my collection waiting to be read. I figured out why after some thought: the start of the book is missing some crucial character development. Not for Micheline -- she's a strong personality from the get-go -- but the characters surrounding Micheline aren't given the stage long enough for the readers to get to know.
There is a heck of a lot of telling going on, but not enough showing. Micheline tells us she loves her boys like they were her brothers but that's not going to convince me to love them, too -- and when your stakes involve the potential loss of the lives of those closest to your protagonist, you better make sure those relationships have meat to them. We're limited to Micheline's POV, and Micheline is so concerned with her own troubles that the fear we're supposed to feel when the boys are in danger simply isn't there. There is a romance subplot, too, but again, we're given so little incentive to like her love interest that the reader ends up feeling like a third wheel. (I didn't much care for the romance subplot, either, and I ended up skimming over parts that focused on the love interest instead of the story.)
Writing the middle part of any book -- and keeping a reader engaged -- is a tough feat to master. Alameda keeps the action going to combat a sagging middle, but with the fast, high-action pace of the writing, we aren't allowed those quiet moments to soak in the horrors of Micheline's predicament. We aren't given those moments to catch our breath, to squint into the shadows of the story and feel any real fear. It's all adrenaline, but little suspense.
The stakes never seemed high enough, and I almost gave up on the story, but I cared enough about Micheline to power through. And I'm glad I did, because in the final few chapters of the book, the story improves drastically! The conclusion to the novel was well-written and brimming with creepiness, and we get to know at least one of the other characters, to which I say 'better late than never!' If you find yourself stuck in the middle, please continue reading. It's worth it.
Shutter was a story full of adventure, told by a protagonist well-deserving of her name. I may like it more if I read it again one day, but I'll definitely keep an eye out for a sequel. And I'm eager to read more of Alameda's work in the future! Alameda is an author with a lot of promise and I can't wait to see more from her.
This book reads better than some of the horror movies that are out in theaters. Courtney Alameda does an excellent job at building suspense and terror in her readers. Forcing you to turn the pages to see what horrors await you at every turn. I don’t know what Stephen King of school the author went to but she does a hell of a job in creating the most horrifying, frightening, blood thirsty monsters imaginable.
Shutter is one of the best YA horrors that I’ve read in a long time. And that is saying something. Not too many books in the genre that catch my eye or attention the way this book as. Most often than not YA horror misses the mark. Even the book is too boring or not scary enough for my taste. Not this one. It’s the perfect recipes for success. With all its gory, blood-curling, terror inducing greatness. This is one intense, electrifying god*mn good book.
Yes, the main character does some stupid, idiotic thing to get herself and the people around her into a spine-chilling mess but it’s horror. Somebody always does something dumb that opens the gates of hell. This time it’s worth it. I dare you to read Shutter. GET SCARED!
Originally posted on creatyvebooks . com
What I liked about the characters is that they knew what they had to do and even against rules and possible death they went into the darkness and kicked ass. They came back out injured, bloody, weary but still whole whereas others would've broken. The main character, despite her grief and guilt, still held it together even in the darkest moments because she had a duty and by God she would do it even if it meant dying.
I hope there is a second book!