Published by Macmillan on Feburary 3, 2015
Genres: Action & Adventure, Horror, Love & Romance, Mystery, Paranormal, Supernatural, Young Adult
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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 techno-whiz 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 chains spread 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.
HOLY HELL. (Pun always intended)
OH. MY. GOD. I’m going to admit, it was the cover of Shutter that drew me in (and Lynne Matson’s recommendation). I’m not a huge paranormal, ghost, or horror fan. (In order: Usually has cliches, usually isn’t unique, and I’m a huge wuss.) But ohmydearsweetgod, Alameda makes me want to run out and grab everything remotely similar to Shutter.
First things first, the science. It’s absolutely amazing and it’s not something you’d expect in ghosts, is it? But there are talks about a ghost’s energy, electrons, souls, logistics, mirrors, buffers, and the cameras? With the quartz-lenses? Everything is so well thought out I can’t even express how amazing the world is and how real it feels (which is actually pretty creepy.) There’s no doubt that there was a ton of research involved, including a few myths and legends.
Typically ghosts can be caught with bibles. Priests. A rag-tag group of teenagers who no one believes. And while our characters were a rag-tag group (and a fantastic one), I loved how the Helsings’ were a nation wide company/name. Everyone knew them, everyone respected them, and they had an organized method of containing and killing ghosts–which is sort of a small detail, but it’s just so unique in itself that I absolutely adored it. This alternate version of Earth was bloody brilliant. (As Ryder would say.)
Ryder. Ryder was amazing. Can I have Ryder? I’ll kidnap him if I have to…I’ll probably end up being crushed by Micheline, but still. Totally worth it. But more on him later.
We should, after all, start with our main character, Micheline who was absolutely amazing. Talk about a badass character! She never called herself brave or courageous or any of those things–she acted it. She was a natural leader and her character never felt forced. She had an air of supremacy around her and the way she managed to deduce things so quickly and her determination…she’s definitely one of my favorite YA heroines. It’s seriously shocking how she manages to be so kickbutt armed with only a camera (and guns once in a while. A bullet in the undead flesh can’t hurt, right?)
Okay, but now Ryder. Ryder and Jude and Oliver. Despite all the testosterone going on there, all their personalities were so distinct and they all had their weaknesses and talents and strengths. If it was one thing they had in common, it was how badass they were right along Micheline, and their loyalty to her. Honestly seeing all their bonds with each other and our fabulous main character was one of the best aprts of the book. Their friendship was amazing since we had snark on one side, stubbornness on another, intelligent bluntness on the other, and just pure determination on the fourth.
Ryder though. Our swoony love interest. He and Micheline have had a sort of thing going on for a while and it’s just adorable how the two manage to be independent but still lean on each other when they can. I adore the two of them together and I just can’t get enough of them! MY BBYS.
Shutter is an absolute must-read. Absolute. It’s not often when I recommend paranormals, so you know I mean it. The descriptions of the deaths are sort of gory, yes, but gloriously so. (Shhhh, I’m not weird.) But Alameda just does a terrific job of bringing the creepiness to life with her words, and the ghosts/necros themselves? Holy shit. They’re terrifying. But despite all of that, Shutter did also give me a bit of heartache. There are moments in the book that are just filled with sorrow and it just rounds out this book in a beautiful way. Seriously. Put this on your TBR and read it as soon as humanly (and maybe ghostly) possible.