Reviewed by Tori
Favorite Quote: “Everyone’s just a little bit mad.”
Welcome to the town of Whisper Hollow. If you’re here, then you were meant to be. Nobody stays in Whisper Hollow unless the town wants them to. My name is Kerris Fellwater. I left home fifteen years ago. Now I’m being called back. My grandmother, the town’s spirit shaman, has passed away and as her heir it is my job to take up where she left off. But something is wrong in Whisper Hollow. The past, like the dead, refuses to stay buried and I will have to work with the dead instead of against them if I want to find out who or what is determined to destroy Whisper Hollow and me along with it.
If you see the Girl in the Window, set your affairs in order.
Autumn Thorns is the first book in a new paranormal romance series by Yasmine Galenorn. Some people are labelling it Urban Fantasy but Galenorn herself has spoken and said it is NOT urban fantasy. Set up in the fictional town of Whisper Hollows, Washington, Galenorn builds a dark deadly world filled with spirits, mythology, mystery, murder, & romance as a young woman comes home to claim her destiny & discover the truth behind her parent’s disappearance. Autumn Thorns is strong setup book in both in terms of world and character building. Heavily character driven, there is a vast array of characters whom Galenorn introduces us to and gives tantalizing light back stories about. Each character has a secret agenda that casts a wide net over the storyline & assure us that this new series has the ability to go the long haul. The world building is solid & easy to follow; punctuated with plenty of action & humor. Filled with wonder & horror, magic & mayhem; you are given the impression that this town is easy enough to find if it wants you to.
If you hear someone call your name in the forest, don’t answer.
A solid heroine is the base on which this story is built-Kerris Fellwater. Smart, opinionated, & comfortable in her own skin, Kerris left home to escape her abusive grandfather. She settled in Seattle & built a life for herself; using her gifts to help her survive. When she begins to receive signs that her presence is requested back in Whisper Hollow, she pays heed as she was taught so long ago.
If the Crow Man summons you, you follow.
She arrives home to learn her grandparents have died in a suspicious car accident. Her grandmother, like her mother, & her mother before her, was the town’s spirit shaman. NOw that role falls to Kerris. As the new spirit shaman, it is her job, along with two partners (a shapeshifter & lamont singer) to help send the newly depart into their graves & keep them there. Secrets shroud this creepy little town as Kerris reconnects with friends & learns that her childhood was a series of lies. Told her mother deserted her when she was young, Kerris discovers that this was not true and spends her time investigating what happened to her while seeking a crash course in the training she should have been receiving all along.
Never interrupt Ella when she’s playing to the dead.
Galenorn slowly gives us the whole story behind Kerris’s childhood, her leaving town, and her mother’s apparent defection. Her need to discover what happened to her mother & father forces her to question everything she thought true & she learns darker forces are at play, pitting two immortal forces against one another with the town & its residents in the middle. I enjoyed watching Kerris find her feet while she reacquaints herself with her new life & the town. Galenorn always has such interesting & strong heroines who are given the opportunity to find their way through the pitfalls that life places in their paths & often persevere despite the odds.
Try not to end up in the hospital.
A cast of mysterious secondary characters help to fill in the story, giving us romance and stability. Bryan, Kerris’s love interest, is certainly a sexy devil and I enjoyed his and Kerris’s chemistry. I loved meeting everyone and getting some insight into their lives & the roles they are playing though the focus does remain centered on Kerris & her issues. The conflicts wrap up with a bang, firmly resolving while leaving the door wide open for the arc to continue to expand. I did feel the book stayed a little too focused on introduction to this world rather than the story it was telling. I felt I was constantly meeting someone new or having another layer of the world revealed to me.
Autumn Thorns is definitely an intriguing Urban Fantasy that offers action, suspense, mystery, mysticism, romance, and the potential for more to come.
RT Book Reviews