A review by lala_tour
Shutter by Ramona Emerson

adventurous dark emotional hopeful mysterious tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated


Something about this novel left me feeling unsatisfied. The writing was good, the concept was great, but I feel like the author pulled back from the horror. I think the protagonist felt somewhat removed from the action and unable to deliver deep into her feelings, which made this reader feel disconnected as well.

I think what would have helped me connect would be hearing more about the Navajo perspective of death. It is alluded to but never really delved into in a meaningful way. Without that piece, that clearly makes Nina a person who straddles two cultures and two worlds, I think the concept of her seeing ghosts falls a bit short.

I also felt like the author pulled her punches when it came to the horror. Sure there were some disgusting mutilated bodies, but the horror and dread of having to see the dead but not acknowledge them seemed more fertile ground. (There was the one scene in the hospital that was terrifying... Where the unseen ghosts were gripping her and would let go...)

Overall, I felt more terrified by the crooked cop. Maybe that was on purpose?