The Prophet (Graveyard Queen) Mass Market Paperback – 24 Apr 2012
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Amelia Gray has returned to her life in Charleston, and a chance meeting with John Devlin brings her back into the haunted detective's orbit. Devlin is investigating an old case--the murder of an undercover cop known as The Prophet. Original.
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Top Customer Reviews
The Prophet is set some months after The Kingdom and Amelia is back in Charleston. Even though she received a text message from Devlin saying he needed her back there she hasn't seen him since her return. However she is lured back into his life by a nightingale bird and his ghost daughter Shani who wants something from Amelia. Another person who wants something from Amelia is Robert Fremont who we met in book 1. He wants her help so badly he is even going so far as to blackmail her. Then we have the new character Darius Goodwine, a strange scary man from Devlin's past who becomes enamoured with Amelia and is yet another person that wants something from her. All are related to the same cause somehow with the common factor in all three cases being Devlin. Amelia just has to work out how they are all connected.
Once again I couldn't figure out the plot, it kept me guessing throughout and the interesting things I learnt in this book were about root doctors and their plants. All of the characters from book 1 make an appearance and we find out lots about their pasts and Amelia's powers.
I really like Amanda Steven's writing style it is quite detailed and slow but not slow paced if you know what I mean and I really want to visit Charleston now. The only negative thing I can say about this book was that the ending seemed rushed but that can't detract from the book as a whole and I am giving it 5 stars.
As you'll recall from The Restorer, the Prophet is actually a man named Robert Fremont. A police detective and former friend of John Devlin who was murdered on the same night John's wife and child died in a car accident. This story unravels the events of that night with some startling outcomes. Amanda Stevens is the queen of red herrings. She even made me doubt characters I totally trusted for a few seconds here and there. The way the story was told was both gripping and emotionally charged.
I felt there was a definite shift in our main character Amelia's opinion of herself and her role as well. She mentions often a need to fulfil some kind of higher calling. That perhaps her father's rules regarding the ghosts- which are basically to pretend like heck you can't see them so they don't haunt you for eternity- might not actually be the answer. Maybe she should be doing something else, like helping them move on. I hope this is something she continues to explore as the series goes on.
And go on it will. After the way this book ended I have no doubt that the next book will be equally full of revelations and shocks. Not all of them good. I can't wait!
It is difficult to write a spoiler-free review for anyone already familiar with the series, so will just point out a couple of things if you're trying to decide whether or not to buy this book.
Amanda Steven's writing is glorious; I could see, hear and even smell every scene. The sensuous gothic atmosphere is definitely my kind of thing and Amanda Stevens does it to brilliant effect. Passages to look out for are anywhere she describes Amelia's garden, the practices, herbs and rituals of root doctors and of course, the chemistry between Amelia and Devlin.
Yes, John Devlin is back in this one!
Finally, we get the answers to the questions set up in the first book; the truth about Robert Fremont's (The eponymous Prophet) murder and more about the lives and deaths of Devlin's wife and daughter.
The Graveyard Queen series is delectable. It is a truly thrilling ride with knife edge tension, mysterious characters and a strong emotional hook.
Buy this book!
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amelia is back in Charleston. She quickly gets back involved in the life of John Devlin. John is a Charleston police detective that she met during The Restorer. They had started a romance but Amelia ended it because John was still being haunted by his dead wife and daughter. Losing Miriama and Shani left him feeling both grief and guilt. Seeing ghosts herself, Amelia had been raised by his father to never have anything to do with a haunted man.
Getting close to Devlin, allowed other ghosts to come to her too. In the mythology of this story, ghosts are like "parasites drawn to our energy, feeding off our warmth. If they know you can see them, they'll cling to you like blight. You'll never be rid of them. And your life will never again be your own." The most persistent and least ghostlike of the ghosts that haunt Amelia is Robert Fremont. He, Devlin, and Tom Gerrity all graduated from the police academy together. He and Devlin were rivals for the affection of Devlin's dead wife. He wants Amelia to find out who murdered him. Amelia is also haunted by and sympathetic to Shani who was Devlin's four-year-old daughter.
Her efforts to find Robert Fremont's muderer and find a way to send Shani to her rest lead Amelia to explore a lot of the ancient African beliefs of the Charleston area. She has to deal with spells, and potions, and magical visitors. She also manages to learn a lot about the relationships between Devlin, Fremont, Gerrity, and Ethan Shaw. Shaw is another forensic anthropologist and the son of a paranormal investigator who has been acting as a mentor to Amelia.
As Amelia untangles the twisted relationships between all the players and delves more into the magic around her, the creepy atmosphere gets even more intense. This was an excellent mystery with wonderful paranormal aspects. I recommend it to fans of ghost stories.
Amelia is back in Charleston in this one and Devlin is back in her life full force. As Amelia comes to terms with the fact that she has gotten the attention of some scary sort of ghosts from the other side, she also deals with her feelings for Devlin. Should she stay away like she knows is best? Should she tell him about his ghosts? I really loved that we were back into this story line, it felt almost like coming home after book two's detour into a new setting and new love interest. This book made me love Devlin more than the first, I'm not sure why. Something about him in this book was even more sexy. Maybe because he and Amelia spend some more quality time together and we get to actually learn more about him.
At the end of The Restorer, book one in the series, we met Robert Fremont and discovered he was actually a ghost - one that can come out during the daytime, speak, and appear to be fully human. We learned that he is very powerful and that he wanted Amelia's help to solve his murder so he could finally rest in peace. Of course, in attempting to do this, Amelia's path crosses with Devlin's time and time again as she learns more about he and Fremont's friendship prior to his murder. I was really interested in this plot line and I thought it was laid out nicely. Although I figured out the culprit before Amelia, I still thought everything was well written and not overly predictable.
Alongside this plot there is also the ongoing situation with Devlin's ghosts, his wife Mariama and daughter Shani. This was my favorite part of the plot in book one, and I was disappointed that both ghosts were pretty much nonexistent in the sequel. So I was super excited that they were back in this book! Mariama is as creepy as always, hanging on to Devlin and showing her obvious disdain for he and Amelia's "relationship". Shani is my favorite ghost in the series, as I would imagine she would be for many readers since all the other ghosts are terrifying! Shani reminds me of that scary little girl in The Sixth Sense that at first is completely horrifying but then we come to learn that she just wants Hayley Joel Osment's help. That's Shani. In this one she goes to extreme lengths to get Amelia's help and I loved watching her story play out. We also get to learn much more about Mariama, her relationship with Devlin prior to her death, and her and Shani's death itself. In fact, author Stevens really wraps up their story and leaves me wondering where the next book will go.
Did I say "next book"? Yep. Stevens recently announced that there will at least three more books in this series (*does happy dance*).
Reccommended for fans of: ghost stories, voodoo, cemeteries, and sexy police detectives.
-- “Never bargain with the dead. We have nothing to lose.”
I liked the Kingdom well enough, but something was missing for me, it was John Devlin. The forbidden romance of the original Graveyard Queen was like a gaping hole that needed to be filled. Thane was an interesting character but I missed the haunted detective and wanted Amelia to get back to Charleston so that we could explore that story line more.
The Prophet picks back up on the story lines from the Graveyard Queen with Devlin who is haunted by his dead wife and child. Amelia has avoided him, hoping that she could forget about the detective, but he haunts her dreams and his dead partner Robert Fremont has worked his way into Amelia’s life and wants a favor from her. Robert Fremont needs Amelia’s help to find his killer so he can move on, he claims the time is right now everything has aligned and all the players are now in place for him to have a chance to move onto the other side.
Everything is lining up and there are synchronicities leading Amelia down a path she can’t deny. A path that includes John Devlin, but is he ready to admit he is haunted and even if he does will he decide to choose the living or the dead?
-- “What is it about the house that frightens you? What is it about me?”
My gaze went past him to the house. I could see Shani in the window and Maiama hovering in the doorway. Maybe it was my imagination, but I thought I saw the glimmer of faces in every other window. “You know why,” I said breathlessly.
“What are you talking about?”
“You know, John. You just refuse to admit it.”
The first 50% of this book moved really slowly. Amelia was doing everything she could to avoid certain characters and deny her feelings. It got a little tedious for me and the only parts I really liked were her interactions with Shani, Devlin’s dead daughter who also wants her help to move on.
There is a departure from the original storyline into a slightly sinister use of Grey Dust and some African hoodoo voodoo type magic. It was a little distracting but fell into Mariama’s past and the discoveries of why Robert Fremont might have become a target.
Thankfully at about that 50% mark things started to pick up considerably. People actually had heartfelt conversations and worked out a few things. While I was slightly bored with the first half, I was totally riveted by the second and couldn’t wait to see how things worked out. FINALLY Amelia and John talked and I loved all of their page time together.
-- “That’s because I’m haunted.”
“What haunts you?” he asked softly.
So many revelations were made and it really took off and snowballed that last half. If I were to rate the book solely on that it would be 4.5 but the first half was only a 2 for me.
I hope in the next book we get a better idea of what Amelia can really do with her power and if/what the consequences of her actions in this book really entail. The slow southern role of this book still catches me and I love the imagery and romanticism of this haunted story.
From Amanda's website:
Never acknowledge the dead.
Never stray far from hallowed ground.
Never associate with those who are haunted.
Never, ever tempt fate.
My name is Amelia Gray. I am a cemetery restorer who sees ghosts. In order to protect myself from the parasitic nature of the dead, I've always held fast to the rules passed down from my father.
THE PROPHET is the third instalment in The Graveyard Queen paranormal series by Amanda Stevens. Amelia Gray is a caulbearer-born behind the veil in the Gray-the place between the Light and the Dark. With her ability to see and speak to ghosts, Amelia dismisses her father's warning and inadvertently acknowledges a couple of ghosts who's spirits have refused to move on. But these ghosts have a history-one is the young daughter (Shani) of her ex-lover and the other is a cop murdered in one of the cemeteries that Amelia was restoring-and somehow these two ghosts were haunting Amelia for her help.
The ghosts are drawn through the veil (The Gray) by a hunger for human warmth or a desire to rejoin the living. But there are some who continue to be earthbound-beyond their control-when a lover or family member refuses to let go.
John Devlin is a police officer and Amelia's ex-lover. He does not understand why Amelia has pushed him away. But Devlin is haunted by guilt and the ghosts of his deceased wife and daughter, and it is through these associated hauntings that Devlin has inadvertently released the spirits that continue to draw on Amelia's life force. But when Robert Fremont (aka The Prophet), the murdered police officer, is able to cross onto the hallowed grounds where Amelia lives she knows she now has a much bigger problem. Her sanctuary was her protection and now the ghosts are able to make contact. And Robert needs Amelia's help to solve his murder and cross-over. But it is through Amelia's search, that she soon realizes that Robert's murder and the death of Devlin's wife and daughter are connected and it is up to Amelia to solve the case, and allow Devlin's hauntings a peaceful retreat. But not all ghosts are so easily convinced and one in particular is willing to disrupt and haunt Amelia for as long as it takes.
We are introduced to a cast of eccentric characters who live and haunt the cemeteries and homes of Charleston. Ethan Shaw a forensic anthropologist and his father Dr. Rupert Shaw-who heads the centre for parapsychology studies: Darius Goodwine-Shaman and brother to Devlin's late wife Mariama: And Isabel and Clemetine Perilloux-sisters with a long-standing connection to John Devlin.
There is plenty of storyline surrounding the use of African medicine and the practice of witchcraft and voodoo. Some religious cultures believed in the rite of passage for the young initiates to enter the spirit world and converse with their dead ancestors-before being accepted into the cults. With their ability to pass through into another realm by consuming plants with magical powers and it is these medicinal plants and their powers that will be at the apex of Amelia's investigations.
Blackmail, drugs, murder, ghosts, witches, shamans and voodoo all play an important role during Amelia's search for answers. But it is the persistence of a small female ghost that will push Amelia further into a world that she may never return (from).
THE PROPHET is a well-written story about murder, hauntings, spiritual beliefs and the use of powerful hallucinogens. I did not read the first two storylines in the series and I was somewhat at a disadvantage through much of the novel, when the author made reference to incidences in the previous books. I would highly recommend reading THE RESTORER (book 1) and THE KINGDOM (book 2) before attempting THE PROPHET. I am looking forward (or backward ) to reading the first two books in this series.
Copy provided by Netgalley
see all of my reviews at : thereadingcafe.com
I thought this was the best book of the series—lots of creepy ghost encounters and a well-done murder mystery, all wrapped up in thick romantic tension. We finally get some answers about Devlin and his past, and some of the answers took me by complete surprise. The ending was well done and unpredictable, and it provides closure to the characters and storylines. However, the door is left open just enough to leave room for another book in this series.