Genera(s): Paranormal Romance/Horror
Subjects: supernatural, ghosts, spirits, hunters, abilities, psychic ability
Setting: San Francisco, California
POV/Tense: 1st person POV, past tense: Micheline Van Helsing
Age/Grade Level: Teen
Length: 367 pgs.
List Price: $17.99
Publisher: MacMillan: Feiwel & Friends
Summary/ product description: “Horror has a new name: introducing Courtney Alameda.
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.”
My Review: I got a lot more than I expected reading this book. I though this was going to be about a group of friends that are ghost hunters, the main one who can see ghosts and is armed with a camera. I didn’t realize that our main character, Micheline Helsing, was a descendent of Van Helsing. The book is set in San Francisco. I didn’t think that the setting would be a an alternate world in which the public is aware of spirits and the undead being real and that Helsing Corps reapers are the people who trap or kill this creatures.
Oliver Stoker is descended from Bram Stoker, a historian, who’s Dracula tale was actually based off a true account. Jude Drake has vampire blood, but is not a vampire. He can read blood and see visions of a person’s potential death when touching someone. Ryder is from Australia and he’s part aboriginal. He’s also Micheline’s boyfriend, and her father doesn’t know. Leonard Helsing has quite the temper and he’s the leader of Helsing corps.
Micheline (not sure how it’s pronounced) Helsing is a tetrachromat. She has four cones in her eyes, which makes her to see more color than the normal person. Some believe they can see ultra-violet light. Tetrachromats are a real genetic mutation, often caused by sex-linked chromosomes. They are usually females and they usually have a father who is colorblind (dichromat). Tetrachromats in this book can see ghostlight, which comes in different color depending on the speed/intelligence of the entity. Red for necros or zombies, the slowest. Violet for ghosts, the fastest.
The book starts off in a hospital where Micheline, Ryder, Jude, and Oliver are tracking a ghost and planning the exorcise it. Micheline’s special camera, which captures ghostlight, fails to exorcise the ghost and the group ends up swallowing a smoky gas (miasma) coming from the ghost. This causes an infection called soulchains and the group must find a way to free themselves before the soulchains trap them forever. The gather knowledge, weapons and help along the way. They even discover thing they never though of.
The book has action and a lot of unique weapons (like mirrors and ameras). It’s full of fun and horror. I really enjoyed the humor, especially Jude’s funny comments. The characters are all pretty interesting with their own quirks. This book reminds me of Unbreakable by Kami Garcia and Shine by Jeri Smith-Ready. I love it when a book contains multiple paranormal creatures. I kind of got sick of only-vampire books. Ghost, demons, and zombies. If you love creeptastic YA tales, you’ll enjoy Shutter.
Cover Art Review: Awesome creepy cover. Very scary. Would not want to see that in my own photos.