Book Review | Shutter by Courtney Alameda (Shutter #1)

Shutter (Shutter #1) by Courtney Alameda

Published by Feiwel & Friends on February 3, 2015

Genres: Young Adult, Horror, Paranormal

Pages: 384

Format: Hardcover

Source: Goodreads Giveaway

Goodreads: ★ 1/2

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.


If you are a lover of young adult paranormal, run to the nearest bookstore and pick up Shutter. This horror novel is the first in a new series by Courtney Alameda, and features a great cast of characters as they go on an epic adventure to kill the ghost who has infected their bodies and is literally killing them from the inside out. I raced through this novel, and highly recommend it to anyone looking for a dark and thrilling tale.

My favorite thing about Shutter is Alameda’s writing style. She is able to create a dark aura surrounding her words that evokes a real sense of eeriness for the reader. The tone reminded me a bit of the Blood of Eden Series by Julie Kagawa, though the stories are quite different, of course.

Alameda also excels in character development. Shutter has four main characters – our narrator is Micheline Helsing, a descendant of Van Helsing who is trained to hunt the undead. Her reaping team is made up of three young men, Ryder, Jude, and Oliver, who each have a distinct personality. These four characters work so well together, and each is likable both individually and as a team unit.

My critiques of the novel are very few, and they are quite trivial. First, there are a few instances in the novel where traditional gender roles are accepted. However, these moments are fleeting one-liners, and probably only stick out to someone like me who is keenly aware of gender relations in all that I read. I also found the beginning of the novel to be a bit complicated, as the world building threw a lot of vocabulary and technology my way all at once. Luckily, as the novel progressed, I quickly grew to understand the world.

Other than those small issues, I loved everything about Shutter, and I cannot wait for the next book in the series to be released. Whether you love ghost stories, or perhaps you’re looking to break into the young adult horror genre, I highly recommend Shutter. It’s a dynamic read that is sure to keep you turning pages to the very end.

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