Author: Courtney Alameda
As a descendant of Abraham Van Helsing, Micheline has spent her life being trained to exorcise ghosts and other entities. As a tetrachromat, Micheline can see the “auras” of ghosts and just happens to be the daughter of Leonard Helsing, leader of Helsing Corps, an organization dedicated to protecting civilians from the paranormal. When her team gets a call about a possession at a hospital, they are quick to respond. But this isn’t a routine exorcism and when Micheline and her team are infected with a paranormal soulchain, they must find a way to track down the ghost that cursed them before it’s too late.
“The empty corpse hit the floor, the mists roiling. The ghost extended a flickering fist toward me, opened its fingers, and dropped a handful of teeth to the ground. They tracked blood on the floor and rebounded off my boot, making pings on the linoleum that rattled in the roots of my molars.”
Courtney Alameda’s Shutter is a thrilling paranormal read that will give you chills and have you reconsidering whether lullabies really are harmless. Micheline’s life has revolved around the family business and the expectations placed on her by her father. She has experienced loss in a way that no one can truly understand and it is this tragedy that shapes her relationship with her father. Convinced he only sees a failure when he looks at her, Micheline, though she may not admit it, is constantly trying to prove herself. There is a power struggle between the two and their mutual grief sometimes expresses itself as contempt, resulting in unwise choices on both sides.
Micheline’s constants are the members of her team, three very different boys that ground her in different ways. Oliver Stoker is best with facts and has been a part of Micheline’s life forever. Ryder, an outsider trained to protect Micheline from physical attacks, feels protective of her in a way that isn’t allowed. Jude, the resident bad boy, has his own unique ability. With a single touch, he can see a person’s potential death. I found Jude to be the most interesting of the three. There is a layer of insecurity in his otherwise confident demeanor and I thought more time could have been spent exploring this along with the other boys’ secondary stories.
Shutter was a fun, ghostly adventure featuring a highly-motivated and complex protagonist. If you’re a fan of the paranormal, I recommend picking this one up.