Friday, May 10, 2013

Book Review: Amber House by Kelly Moore, Tucker Reed, Larkin Reed

Title:  Amber House
Authors:  Kelly Moore, Tucker Reed, Larkin Reed
Series:  The Amber House Trilogy #1
Genre:  YA fantasy/paranormal/Gothic
Pages:  368

Rating:  A

Synopsis from  Sarah Parsons has never seen Amber House, the grand Maryland estate that's been in her family for three centuries. She's never walked its hedge maze nor found its secret chambers; she's never glimpsed the shades that haunt it, nor hunted for lost diamonds in its walls.

But all of that is about to change. After her grandmother passes away, Sarah and her friend Jackson decide to search for the diamonds--and the house comes alive. She discovers that she can see visions of the house's past, like the eighteenth-century sea captain who hid the jewels, or the glamorous great-grandmother driven mad by grief. She grows closer to both Jackson and a young man named Richard Hathaway, whose family histories are each deeply entwined with her own. But when the visions start to threaten the person she holds most dear, Sarah must do everything she can to get to the bottom of the house's secrets, and stop the course of history before it is cemented forever.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Opening line:  "I was sixteen the first time my grandmother died."

When I saw this book on goodreads, I didn't really give it much thought, especially when I saw it was listed as paranormal.  I don't tend to read a lot of paranormal or ghost stories, but the cover intrigued me.  So when I was at my library, looking for something non-Dystopian, and saw it there on the shelf, I impulse grabbed it.  And I wasn't disappointed.

Amber House is amazing.  It's got plenty of drama and romance and spookiness.  The way they portray the paranormal happenings in the house is interesting.  The focus is more on suspense and history rather than trying to scare you.  I also loved the very Gothic feel of the story with its old Southern plantation mansion and hedge maze.  

The characters have great emotional depth, and even the secondary characters seem real and relatable.  My only complaint (and it's a small one) is that in the beginning of the book, it seems like the authors struggled with the one character's voice.  Sarah's brother Sam is supposed to be five years old, but sometimes he sounds five, sometimes twelve, sometimes three.  They eventually figure out how he should sound, but it threw me off a little in the beginning.  But that's a teeny issue and easy to get past.

I'm so excited to read the next book.  Amber House could easily have been a stand-alone book, especially with that awesome ending.  It blew my mind!  But it also works really well as an epic start to a trilogy.  I hope the next two books are as great as this one.  A

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