From the Back Cover:
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 Restorer was one of my favorite books of 2011 and I was anxiously awaiting it's sequel. The Kingdom did not disappoint. The spook factor begins on page one, as Amelia makes her way to the remote town of Asher Falls to restore the small town's cemetery. Amelia's grateful for the change in scenery. She needs a break from Charleston, from the events of the past few months, and she's running away from the man she loves, John Devlin, and the ghosts that haunt him.
But Asher Falls turns out to be nothing like Amelia was expecting. From the moment she arrives she knows something is off. The town seems half-empty, and the folks that are around are strange, and not entirely welcoming. She soon learns who the major players are: an eccentric old millionaire, a disfigured sheriff with a chip on his shoulder, a coven of witches, and a smokin' hot playboy, Thane Asher. Amelia thinks his interest in her is easy to figure out: she's new and different and something for Thane to toy with to alleviate the boredom of being trapped in a small town life, as heir to a family legacy he doesn't even want. But Asher Falls starts having a powerful effect on Amelia, as the ghosts start to rise, the cemetery starts to reveal its secrets, and something evil stalks her from the woods, and Thane may be the only person who can protect her physically and mentally. Keeping her secret becomes difficult, as the ghosts she sees seem to have personal connections to her, and as the townspeople watch her as if waiting for a reaction. When she starts digging in to the town's mysteries and how she plays a role in them, someone--or something--becomes determined to stop her.
And that's where I'll stop to avoid spoilers. The plot is tight and twisted and deliciously spooky. The cemetery at the bottom of the lake aspect was creepy as hell, with ghosts rising like mist off the lake each twilight. The small town mentality, family secrets, witches, curses, sexy Thane Asher, and that thing in the woods all combine for a hair-raising good read. Aside from the difference in setting, this book has quite a different feel from the first book. But the story still had that power to suck me in and keep my spine tingling and on the edge of my seat all night long. And it is full of answers. Amelia finally learns who she really is and where she came from. I could not put it down. And though I loved it, I did really miss Charleston and John Devlin, but the last line of the book--what a way to end it!--promises plenty of both in the next installment of the trilogy!
My Rating: 4.5 Stars out of 5
*Please Note: This review references an advance digital copy received from the publisher via NetGalley, and therefore the final published copy may differ. Though I received this book from the publisher, these are my honest and unbiased thoughts, and I was not compensated in any other way for reviewing this book.