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Publisher's Summary

Micheline Helsing is a tetrachromat - a girl who sees the auras of the undead in a prismatic spectrum. As one of the last descendants of the Van Helsing lineage, she has trained since childhood to destroy monsters both corporeal and spiritual. The corporeal undead go down by the bullet, the spiritual undead by the lens. With an analog SLR camera as her best weapon, Micheline exorcises ghosts by capturing their spiritual energy on film.

She's aided by her crew: Oliver, a technowhiz and the boy who developed her camera's technology; Jude, who can predict death; and Ryder, the boy Micheline has known and loved forever. When a routine ghost hunt goes awry, Micheline and the boys are infected with a curse known as a soulchain. As the ghostly chain spreads through their bodies, Micheline learns that if she doesn't exorcise her entity in seven days or less, she and her friends will die. Now pursued as a renegade agent by her monster-hunting father, Leonard Helsing, she must track and destroy an entity more powerful than anything she's faced before - or die trying.

Lock, stock, and lens, she's in for one hell of a week.

©2015 Courtney Alameda (P)2016 Forever Young Audiobooks

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

this doesn’t quite hit the horrific mark

Micheline and her team are a group of ghost hunters. They have been trained since they were young teens, to attack and remove paranormal entities. At the beginning of the story, Micheline decides to dive in and catch this new ghost on her own. The idea is there, she doesn’t want it killing anymore, but the technique is not. She rushes in purposefully, knowing full well she’s leaving her team behind, even though they’ve been trained to do the opposite. It’s frustrating because when it goes wrong she blames herself and starts whining about it.

The narration by Pamela Lorence is amazing but also picked up on Micheline's whine and the first portion of this was difficult to listen to. The narrator and narration were fantastic, as audios go this is top notch, but the character herself was driving me nuts. I blame the main character for this, not the narrator! The first portion of the book was extremely difficult to get through. Every time she whined about something else, I just wanted to stop! It drove me crazy. Especially since it was all her own doing.

Admittedly, the girl is going through a lot but in the first few pages, I didn’t know that. Still, it drove me nuts just trying to get past her constant worry. Much like Bella Swan. It’s a weird comparison, but this is exactly how Micheline Helsing acts in the first few chapters. If this were just Kindle Unlimited and not something for another website, I probably would have put off reading it even longer!

This is page 60. Ok, again, Micheline is going through quite a bit, and the backstory is starting to come out, although it’s slow. I think the second biggest reason the first part failed, for me, is that there is a lot of explanation about how to capture these entity's. Too much information. Later in the book, Micheline has a succinct explanation that was much better, easier to understand, and easier to read than the first half of the book.

That said, once I got to Night two, I started getting more interested. There are still some cliche moments, getting better though. Micheline is starting to come into her own and is willing to risk her own skin to save her friends. This is where her strength really shows. It takes nearly half the book to get there, but once she does, not only is the plot getting better, but her characterization, and the girl I thought was in there, is surfacing. She is kick ass. Still vulnerable, like all characters are to a point, but not so vulnerable that she’s going around whining about it, even when it is completely acceptable to do so!

The other characters had decent characterization but the blended too easily together. I needed something a bit more to make their voices shine. There are four guys on her main team and they are all contaminated with this soulchain. I would imagine they would all react differently, but for the most part, they blindly follow Micheline. They are also sort of ordered to do so, but still, having a chain of command does not mean you cannot fully voice your opinion on how screwed up a situation is. I think having their voices heard, even a little bit more, would have gone a long way into creating a memory of these guys and what they would do for Micheline.

What I loved was as Micheline digs deeper into this mystery ghost, Courtney Alameda’s imagination shines! The horrific portions of this, and what Micheline’s team is up against, is fantastically imaginative and on the edge of horror. Much like Clive Barker’s Hellraiser. It’s unique in the ability of catching the ghosts, but also in the ghosts themselves. They come up with a myriad of ways to freak the team out, and in turn will freak out many readers!

What frustrated me in the beginning with Micheline, was forgotten as the story went along. The narration by Pamela Lorence did help, although Micheline still sounded a bit wounded (ALL THE TIME), but there were plenty of pauses and the tempo was perfect for listening. I did like Ryder's voice. I think he sounds more confident, even though Micheline was the team leader. The audio itself was perfect, no background noises or anything that took away from the story.

As a lover of horror, this doesn’t quite hit the horrific mark as much as I would like, but I had some moments where I was cheering. Not only for Micheline but also just for the imagination of all of this.

In short: I’m glad I finally got to this. It was an interesting story. A bit long winded at points, but that is before it really gets going. Once it does, it’s a great ride!

Audiobook was provided for review by the narrator.

Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog.

[If this review helped, please press YES. Thanks!]

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great clean fun

Ghost aren't usually my thing, Zombies are!
However I really enjoyed this world. Jude, Micheline, Ryder & the rest of the gang are pretty bad ass.
The book would be great for teens. No sex & no cursing that I can remember.
The world created is very well fleshed out. I love that the Van Helsing, Harker & other vampire genre lineage fill up the cast. There is even a sweet love story for all the romantics. I am pretty certain there could be a sequel continuing this story line or creating a new one. Not to say there is a cliff hanger because it is pretty well wrapped up only a few ends not so tightly wrapped.
Courtney is set to be a great story teller & I look forward to reading more of her work in the future.
Pamela did an excellent job as narrator.

This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of Audiobook Boom.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Utterly Wonderful

Shutter is modern day Gothic horror at it’s best. Quick to pull me in and keep me enthralled with moody language and hauntingly creepy scenes.

Micheline Helsing is a part of the legendary Helsing corporation which takes on the undead head first. She’s headstrong and a bit brash, and after some rather horrifying events of her past she wants to prove to herself and others that she can hold the Helsing name on her shoulders. She is also tetrachromat, meaning she can see ghost light and tell what sort of undead she and her team will be dealing with. I found everything about the technical aspects fascinating; from the ghost light to the use of mirrors and silver in luring and trapping the entities. There is a bit of a romance angle, and in a gothic horror that’s to be expected, but it is one that hogs bunch of page time. Instead we get plenty of time to see them work together and build upon their relationship slowly. I really love Ryder ad Micheline together. They both know their strengths and their weaknesses, and despite the danger around them they know that they are both capable hunters. That’s really I ever ask of romance in YA. I just want the chemistry to be strong and for them both to understand each other limits, no over protecting and no constant ‘saving’ of a character who can handle themselves a vast majority of the time.

The world building is pretty phenomenal in my opinion. I love seeing the frame work of Dracula being built upon and used in a really cool way. The Helsing’s, Harker’s, Seward’s, and Stoker’s are all prominent and important families responsible from the creation of the Helsing corps and the medical facilities used to prevent infection and stay on the cutting edge of ghost light tech. I think the coolest thing about this is that all the added tech it never loses it’s Gothic moodiness. Even the more modern horror elements really fit well with the mood and atmosphere, so not only do you get that gloomy and creepy feel to the entire story but there are some genuine freaky parts that i wouldn’t recommend to the feint of heart. I’m sort of in love with the monsters in this, as weird as that may be. The necros are terrifying and gross, but there are a few scenes that involve them that I’m kind of happy with haunt my nightmares.

The narration is another big accomplishment for me. Pamela Lorence’s treatment of the book is clean and crisp, with plenty of attention paid to the perfect amount of emotion. She keeps the story moving at a nice clip and really knows when to slow down and focus in on those tiny little atmospheric details.

I’m so glad I requested this one! I finished it up in a matter of two listens and immediately wanted to buy a physical copy for my shelves! I’m looking forward to more books by Courtney Alameda and more audios from Pamela Lorence.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderfully Thrilling!

I ABSOLUTELY ENJOYED THIS BOOK FOR SO MANY REASONS! I couldn't stop listening or biting my nails. SPOOKY from start to finish with just enough sappy love. I actually listened to it twice within a two week period. There's a lot of characters and things going that I enjoyed it so much more the second round. Pamela Lorence's narration is GREAT bringing all the characters to life! I'm definitely looking into more books by Courtney Alameda! LOVE, LOVE, LOVED this one!

"This audiobook was given by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review via Audiobook Boom."

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

WHAT A GREAT FIND!!!!

WHAT A GREAT FIND!!!! I love, Love, LOVE THIS BOOK!!! I had never heard of Courtney Alameda or the Narrator Pamela Lorence!!! LET ME TELL YOU I'M SO HAPPY I FOUND THEM BOTH!!! This Story is ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!! The Narrator did a Really Great Job!! I could RAVE ABOUT THIS BOOK FOREVER BUT ALL I'M GONNA SAY IS GRAB A COPY!!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Scary and suspenseful YA

Would you consider the audio edition of Shutter to be better than the print version?

YES! Hearing SHUTTER read out loud enhanced the suspense.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Micheline was my favorite character because she presented a strong female protagonist.

What does Pamela Lorence bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Her different voices for all the characters really made them come alive for me. I thoroughly enjoyed the narration.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

This book gave me chills for weeks!

Any additional comments?

I had the chance to hear Courtney Alameda speak at a YA book convention. She was wonderful and I'm looking forward to her next book release!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Slow narration

I had to listen to the narration at 1.25x to make it sound sort of normal.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Impressed

Note: In exchange for an unbiased review, the author, publisher, and/or narrator were kind enough to provide an audio version of this book at no charge via AudiobookBlast.

This was my first exposure to author Courtney Alameda and narrator Pamela Lorence, and I was impressed. First off, the premise of the story was interesting (using a camera to capture/banish ghosts), second, it wasn't your typical teen angst/romance book ... it had depth and heartache to it that I appreciated, and third, the narrator had a pleasing voice ... crisp, clear, and soft. More about that: her voice was so soft and soothing it was almost like an ASMR experience. That could be a good thing, but there was one drawback: during moments of intense action or emotion where people were screaming and running around and fighting and such, her voice was often the same soft, soothing pitch. Due to the action/emotion at those particular moments in the book, the situation demanded a bit more of a realistic representation of what was going on. In no way does this mean it was an unpleasant listening experience - it's obvious she has talent - that was just something that stuck out to me. I understand this is the first book in a possible series, and I look forward to the next one.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A very interesting concept

I really enjoy books having to do with hunters of the supernatural. I especially enjoyed that it had to deal with the descendants of Van Healing and his team. I liked that there was a darker side to the book while keeping some humor to the story. The only thing that caught me off guard was that it sort of turned into a teen heartthrob novel. Besides that I really liked listening to this book.

The narrator for this book had a very good voice but I was disappointed that it never really changed throughout the book. All the characters sounded the same so I had a hard time knowing what character was speaking. Also her volume never changes when it came to exciting or tense parts of the story.

I received this audiobook from the author narrator or publisher for free via audiobookboom in exchange for an unbiased review

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Good Story-Great Performance-Better Left to Print

I thought Shutter was a unique way of taking the history of famous supernatural hunters like Helsing, Stoker, etc. and showing their lineage play out into a modern scenario where the world understands monsters exist and there are people trained to help.

I also felt that the disease aspect of ghosts played in really nice along with the method of trapping them with film. In all, a very very interesting and imaginative world created by Alameda. The only parts that didn't chime with me, and it could have been because certain audiobooks don't convey the same, were the areas of characters and plot development.

I feel the author did a great job with plot, but it kind of became overshadowed when I was trying to remember who people were and how they were related and then monster-shit started happening. I don't know, but it felt rushed and fast paced in areas when I was trying to hang onto what was happening and why. I think the print version would have been better in this instance since I could have gone back, or slowed down.