Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Release Date: February 3, 2015
Rating: 4 STARS
Micheline Helsing is a tetrachromat; in simple terms, this means that she can see the undead - ghosts, poltergeists, zombies - everything. As one of the last remaining direct descendants of Van Helsing, Micheline has been training her entire life to hunt and destroy monsters. Armed with her analog SLR camera, she is able to take down even the most heinous of spirits by capturing their energy on film. Along with her boys - Oliver, Jude, and Ryder - they are efficient at tracking down the undead and keeping the general population safe; but, their good luck won't last forever. When a routine hunt goes horribly wrong, the four hunters become the hunted as they are infected with a deadly curse called a soulchain. Micheline, Oliver, Jude, and Ryder have seven days to find the ghost that infected them and exorcise it; otherwise, they will all die.
I have never been able to get into a book intended to scare the reader - until now. Courtney Alameda's writing was captivating, and the story she told was unlike any other. She went to great lengths to put intricate details into her story, but not so much that things were hard to keep track of. Up to this point, I have always found stories involving Van Helsing, Dracula, etc. like characters to be hokey; however, if more writers would weave their story and make it believable as Alameda did, I would be more likely to read them. Within the first few pages I had goose bumps crawling up my arms and I had to ensure that all the lights in my apartment were turned on before I could continue reading.
When I first saw that there were three main male characters involved, I was instantly worried about a love triangle (or would that be a love square?). Thankfully, this was not a problem. Micheline and Ryder are adorable together, and they only have eyes for each other. The way that these two characters interact makes the reader hope and pray that there will be a happily ever after.
Overall, I was very pleased with this book. The pacing was good, the characters themselves were enjoyable and their interactions with each other were natural and believable, and the conflicts were resolved in a manner that made sense and left me satisfied. My only problem with the book was that I had a hard time staying focused on it. The story was interesting, but for some reason it was difficult for me to stick with it for long periods of time. Despite my inability to focus on the book, I would still recommend this to anybody who is a fan of horror novels, loves YA, or is just looking for a fresh new story.
Humor was a superfluous talent in a family bred for killer instincts and courage.