(Graveyard Queen #2)
My name is Amelia Gray. They call me The Graveyard Queen. I've been commissioned to restore an old cemetery in Asher Falls, South Carolina, but I'm coming to think I have another purpose here.Why is there a cemetery at the bottom of Bell Lake? Why am I drawn time and again to a hidden grave I've discovered in the woods? Something is eating away at the soul of this town—this withering kingdom—and it will only be restored if I can uncover the truth.
The wonderfully eerie Graveyard Queen series continues with book two, The Kingdom.
In this one, Amelia is in a new location surrounded by new characters, including a new handsome and mysterious man. An odd choice by the author, to write a plot for this sequel that differs so much from the first, especially with the way things were left at the end of book one regarding John Devlin and a ghost who sought Amelia out for her help. Amelia is the same of course, haunted by her knowledge of ghosts and the fact that she can see them, or rather, try extremely hard not to see them. Her parents and aunt are also in this one for a bit, much like the first in the series, but they are the only characters from The Restorer that appear in this sequel. That's not to say I didn't enjoy the book - in fact, I did. I rated it the same four stars that I gave The Restorer, just for different reasons.
In The Kingdom, we follow Amelia as she temporarily moves to the town of Asher Falls to restore the town's Thorngate Cemetery. Asher Falls is almost a character itself, a strange and unnaturally feeling place. Amelia feels immediately drawn to the town, like she is supposed to be there for whatever reason, despite the odd personalities of the town's inhabitants and a group of women reminiscent of The Heathers. Asher Falls is the perfect locale for a ghost story - an isolated island with a tragic past, run by a family with old money. Unfortunately, the ghosts don't really play much of a part in this book. Most of the plot is driven by Amelia's feeling of a strange connection to the town and her discovery of an unmarked grave in the woods near the cemetery. While this story line was interesting, it just doesn't have the same sense of urgency as the ghostly murder mystery being solved in book one. I did appreciate the background info about Amelia that we got from this story. There are some secrets about Amelia's heritage that are finally revealed and this helps to set up what I imagine will be the plot in the upcoming book three.
My favorite thing about The Kingdom, other than the awesomely creepy town itself, is the character Thane, who replaces Devlin as Amelia's love interest. I found him to be more personable and a better match for Amelia, especially considering that in book one we spend more than half the book wondering if Devlin is even interested in Amelia. Thane doesn't come attached to two ghosts either, although he is haunted by less ghostly things that do work against the possibility of a long-term relationship. I am hoping that in the next book we get to see both men - oh, wouldn't that be fun! There is also a secondary character that I quite liked, Sidra. She has much in common with Amelia and I hope she somehow works her way into the next book because I was left with some questions about her.