The Prophet (Graveyard Queen #3) by Amanda Stevens
April 24, 2012
Reviewed by Tori
Favorite Quote: “Never bargain with the dead. We have nothing to lose. “
Amelia Gray has come back to Charleston on the heels of a text supposedly sent by the man she loves, Detective John Devlin, telling her he needs her. She returns only to find him in the arms of another woman. Amelia feels betrayed but knows she has no rights to Devlin since she was the one who pushed him away and severed all ties with him. As Amelia settles back into her life, taking back up the restoring of Twin Oaks cemetery, she finds herself once again submerged in the mystery that surrounds Devlin and his deceased family. The past and present come together when Amelia is commanded by the ghost of a former police detective to solve his murder. A ghost whose death may answer every question Amelia has about Devlin, herself, and the taint that surrounds them all.
Amanda Stevens’ The Prophet, is the third in her bone chilling Graveyard Queen series. Picking up right behind The Restorer, Ms. Stevens’s once again submerges us into her world of gothic horror, infused with the slick heat and superstitions that make up the fabric of the South. Poetic musings and dark descriptions hold you hostage in its insidious embrace as we are gently guided through the story. Ms. Stevens’s strong voice wraps around you in each chilling scene. Amelia’s world is a frightening one and it translates well across paper.
Amelia continues to be an addictive protagonist whose gifts or curses feature prominently in her life. Amelia seemed stronger in the The Kingdom, and I was disappointed to see Amelia fall back into her old secretive ways. However, Ms. Stevens’ does a good job of showing us the strong hold Devlin has over Amelia, which goes far in explaining Amelia’s emotional and mental disintegration in here. I found some of her actions to be careless in light of what she knows but in hindsight, her feelings for Devlin override her good sense. She would do anything for him, even at the expense of her own well being. Devlin comes back to play a strong role in this installment. Still tortured and living in the past, he is closer to solving the mystery surrounding his wife’s and child’s death. I like that he continues to be an enigma; straddling the line between good and evil. He is a dark, complex character that slowly rises from his despair as we are given more clues to his past and the reasons behind his hauntings.
The relationship between Amelia and Devlin remains convoluted though definite strides are made towards solidifying it. The chemistry between them is electrifying, creating both excitement and frustration as they gravitate towards each other while pushing each other away at the same time.
“You’re very light,“ he said “you’ve lost weight since last spring.”
“That’s because I’m haunted.”
He paused. “What haunts you?”
They are each other’s destiny, yet for all their attraction, there is still feelings of mistrust on both sides; creating secrets fueled by fear and jealousy. Boundaries are pushed and secrets revealed that only serve to open more doors for these star crossed lovers to tread lightly through.
The secondary characters remain as intense and secretive as our protagonists; adding even more suspense and horror to the story as each contributes to the entire puzzle. Some answers are given and some aren’t. The multiple sub plots continue to wrap us in deception and betrayal. The path to the answers remains a twisted maze of complexity as Ms. Stevens’ finally shows us the past, the present, and the ties that bind them all.
I was disappointed to see nothing of the fallout from book two. I would have loved to see Thane Asher make an appearance in Charleston. Having someone firmly in Amelia’s corner would have made some of her decisions seem less desperate acting I think. Though as stated above, I understood her emotional state, I really felt she took some steps backwards after her triumphs in The Kingdom.
Though this is the end of the trilogy, this is not the end of the series. Ms. Stevens has made noises this is not the end of Amelia and Devlin’s story. The Prophet attempts to wrap everything up yet the complexity of this storyline and its characters visibly struggles to reassert itself to the very end; leaving you feeling a little unsatisfied with the conclusion. I look forward to visiting this world again very soon.
Overall Rating: C+