Autumn Thorns by Yasmine Galenorn (Whisper Hollow #1)
Published by Penguin on Oct. 27th, 2015
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Page Length: 292 pages
How I got my copy: BookLender
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In an all-new series, New York Times bestselling author Yasmine Galenorn invites readers to Whisper Hollow, where spirits walk among the living and the lake never gives up her dead…
Fifteen years ago, I ran away from Whisper Hollow, Washington, a small town on Crescent Lake in the Olympic Peninsula. But truth is, if you were born here, you can never really leave. I’m Kerris Fellwater, and when I returned, I inherited my grandmother’s house—and her gift. As a spirit shaman, it’s my responsibility to drive the dead back to their graves, because around Whisper Hollow, people—and secrets—don’t always stay buried.
When I was little, I was told my mother ran off. But now it looks like she was murdered. With the help of my mysterious neighbor Bryan, we begin to unravel the mystery of her disappearance, and in doing so, unearth a dark force seeking to bury Whisper Hollow. Now I must work with the dead, rather than against them, because our enemy will do whatever she can to destroy the town, and she means to start with me.
- Autumn Thorns opens with a bang by which I mean a list of rules that one should follow in the town of Whisper Hollow if you want to survive. They include warnings not to go near the lake, not to wander the woods at night, and to perform rituals over the deceased because otherwise they definitely will rise and wander around. I love snarky rules lists ;-).
- A lot of books in this genre start with the heroine ending up somewhere without knowing about her magical/supernatural heritage/destiny/whatever. Not so with Autumn Thorns. Kerris was raised in Whisper Hollow watching her mother and grandmother perform the duties of the spirit shaman and saw what they were fighting against. She knows ghosts are real and she has been fighting them in Seattle. This is the story about her coming home and learning more deeply about what is going on.
- I have completely gotten on the paranormal romance bandwagon. I knew who the love interest would be immediately because it’s obvious and expected. That didn’t stop me from absolutely loving the build up of the relationship since even though it is obvious to the reader, it is not obvious to Kerris. I loved the chemistry and the pace of the romance.
- The romance isn’t the whole book, however! Kerris’ grandmother died under suspicious circumstances and she never found out what happened to her mother all those years ago, so there are plenty of mysteries for her to solve.
- I need books to walk this fine line when it comes to creepy/scary. I love a little bit of scariness to get my blood pumping, but if it gets too much or too stressful, I’m not finishing that book. Autumn Thorns walked that line perfectly for me. The ghosts and ghouls are creepy and unique (Lady of the Lake!), but Kerris is confident she can handle them, so I was never outright terrified and looking in the shadows of my house for ghosts.
- I used to think that romance sex scenes were all ridiculous and unbelievable. This is the second book that I can declare believable in the sex, including condoms and consent! Like, this is an awesome primer on a healthy relationship with a paranormal being! And wow, those sex scenes were steamy.
- I’m struggling here. The one thing that still sticks out weirdly to me is the whole idea of a spirit shaman. At first I thought it was going to be based on a Native American mythology which had me nervous. But they explicitly discuss that Kerris’ family started this back in Ireland and worshipped the Morrigan. I don’t doubt that it could be based on real Irish mythology, but I just wasn’t convinced within the story.
Have you read this one? What did you think? Are you excited for it if you haven’t gotten to it yet?
Autumn Thorns by Yasmine Galenorn
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