Review: Shutter (nothing to shutter about with this one)



Now this little gem had been sitting on my shelf for a while before my best book friend pushed me to read it. She highly recommended this as it did live up to the expectations for her. Sadly, it did not for me.

This story opens with the protagonist, Micheline Helsing, in the midst of hunting a ghost. “Tetrachromat” is the technical term for what she is, meaning she can see auras of the undead. She is also one of the last living decendants of the orignal Van Helsing line. Micheline has been trained since she was very young to hunt and destroy the undead. She does not use more modern means of “slaying” the vapors and such, she has learned to use her camera that is equipt with a special lense that traps the ghost on the film. Micheline is not alone on her hunts, she is always surrounded by her crew: Oliver, Jude, and Ryder. The hunt this team is on when the story opens is not a typical hunt. Micheline and her crew are going to encounter a ghost that is not like the others. This ghost is on a mission to bring Micheline and the Helsing line to an end. Will Micheline and her crew be able to save themsevles and stop this demon from winning?


The blurb makes this story sound amazing and scary as hell. Unfortunately, I found myself rather bored and lost in the massive info-dump, long family history, tech speak, and clinical verbiage. From page one, the reader is hit full force with insane amounts of tech speak. The author created such complex words to describe simple abilities or instruments, then proceeded to spend another two to three pages explaining exactly what this item/ability was for, why it was developed, who else has the capability to use said item, and exactly how it works. It was just too much. If I stammer over how to pronounce a word in my head, you have lost me. I’m not the smartest reader/person by any means, but I know what my reading limits are. This book pushed them and not in a good way. Plus, the idea of the MC being able to “trap” ghosts/vapors/demons/spirits/whatever on film with the use of a very special camera and lense made me roll my eyes. Stick to good ol’ fashion ghost hunting techniques, like mirrors, and you would have kept me.

The characters themselves did not make any sense. For starters, I hated the protagonist’s name. Micheline is not a good character name. I kept thinking of car tires every time I saw her name. She was so wishy-washy I almost started cheering for the ghoul to win. I understood that she had a lot of pressure to live up to the family name and daddy-dearest, but the way she acted and handled herself proved that she was just a teenager acting on pure emotion. She always walked with a chip on her shoulder, an axe to grind, and something to prove. That did not equate to a good MC for me. And now let’s discuss her “crew”. These boys made zero sense. First, Ryder. He is the love interest for Micheline, yet I felt zero chemistry between them. It felt forced and convenient. Ok, so he’s the baddest of the bunch but why does Micheline feel so connected to him? It. Was. Never. Explained. Or if it was, it was not done well. Now Jude and Oliver. I am lumping these two together because  wanted more from these back-up characters. They felt like they were there just to round out the group. They took the Micheline and Ryder show form a duo to a “crew”. Uh… ok. But they felt like they were there because the author wanted more people. I did not feel any of these characters were developed at all. By the end of the story, I didn’t care what happened to any of them.

The plot itself felt weak to me. I saw the ending coming a mile away and sort of wish I had DNFd the book. When it came time for me to pick up this book and read, I quietly groaned to myself. I was never scared, nor was I worried what was going on because I did not care. I stayed with this until the end because I really hoped it would get better but it did not. It was just more tech speak, family history, and clinical jargon. There were random times a new “instrument” was introduced which just felt too convenient. That lead to another long winded description of the who/what/where/where/why/how that bored me to tears. I just started skimming because I wanted it to be done. The ending did not leave me with any type of closure. It felt like the author cleaned everything up to give the reader a happy ending in which everything was fixed. groan Don’t do that, please. If it needs to be sloppy and messy, make it sloppy and messy! Don’t give me the perfect ending with a shiny new bow because I won’t believe you for one minute.

Overall, no, I did not like this story. As usual, I am not sorry I read this but I am sorry it was so poorly delivered. It felt like the author threw a bunch of words together in a mixer, set it on high, let it go for a few minutes, then dumped out the contents and called it a book. Harsh? Probably but that is how it felt to me. I would not recommend this to anyone unless you understand hard core tech speak and you prefer that over an actual horror story.




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