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My Need to Read

I love to explore genre fiction, and while I usually go for books with a romantic thread running through it, I just love great character and world building. And since I can hardly stand to let go of my favorite characters, I like series.

The Prophet

The Prophet - Amanda Stevens Rating: 4.5Note: Review originally posted 4/26/2012 at Book Lovers Inc.This series is like Alice in Wonderland‘s rabbit hole; like a thousand-piece puzzle; like a foggy day in London Town. Having read through the book–savoring as much as possible of its language, imagery, and complexity–I know I’ll still need to read it all over again to really grasp the magnitude of the major developments and the nuanced connections between the more subtle revelations.Ultimately, this book (as well as the previous one, in my opinion) is largely about protagonist Amelia’s self-discovery. Sure, the main plot thread revolves around Amelia’s investigation of an unsolved murder, but in attempting to do so she realizes that she carries an as-yet undiscovered purpose, one that will require her to embrace her unique mystical abilities and surmount her fears related to the Beyond. It’s rather cool, getting to discover her as she discovers herself. I haven’t yet figured her out, but that might be the point; she herself is just as much an enigma as any murder mystery.Though there’s a lot going on within the pages of The Prophet, this book requires a slower, more deliberate read…and a good bit of patience. You have to be in the mood for a slow-moving mystery. More often than not, the plot progresses through sudden, unexpected occurrences–synchronicity, as Amelia defines it–rather than through consistent, deliberate action. This makes for many tense, creepy moments. It may also make one feel as though the plot isn’t driving forward with a clear direction–hence the need for patience. Rushing through this story won’t give it its due; and believe me, the patience pays off. ^_^One thing about the structure of this book is constant: the lush detailing and the moody atmosphere. So much attention is paid to surroundings and small details in this Deep South setting. It’s easily my favorite part of Stevens’s stories, because the visuals just leap off of the page. Envisioning Amelia’s world is absolutely easy to do–which means that the scares and thrills are just as readily evocative. I’ll admit that I was not as outrageously creeped out as I was when I read first book–which I attribute to getting somewhat used to the dark unknowns, kind of like Amelia learns to get used to her ability to see the dead–but there’s always an undercurrent of chilling, unsettling mystery that’s undeniable.I’m very excited that the romantic element plays more a bit more significantly into this story than in the past. Detective John Devlin is a darkly enigmatic character, full of an alluring mystery that’d been niggling at me throughout the first and second books. Finally, some more of his character is revealed through Amelia’s attraction to him–which is admittedly gushing, at times, even to me. Devlin and Amelia, both haunted in the literal and figurative sense of the word, make for a very intriguing pairing, and I was clamoring for more of the two, right up to the end.And as for the ending, well. It’s not a cliffhanger in the most maddening sense, so don’t worry. But this book provides enough twists and turns that you’ll be really eager to continue exploring Amelia’s journey and the mysteries that continue to develop right up to the last page.Bottom Line: If you’ve not yet read the first two books, make sure you do before picking this one up. The Prophet builds upon its predecessors marvelously, exhibiting the same lush visuals and chilling mystery that’s becoming a hallmark of the series. Its complex, lingering developments prove that this series is just getting going–and considering its awesomeness thus far, that’s saying something. ^_^