Review: The Sinner by Amanda Stevens

Posted October 19, 2019 by Sophia Rose in Reviews / 6 Comments

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Review: The Sinner by Amanda Stevens
The Sinner

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Series: The Graveyard Queen #5
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Published by MIRA
Released on September 27, 2016
Pages: 384
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
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The Delight

The Graveyard Queen is back in another chilling supernatural, atmospheric mystery.  It was perfect for my mood of wanting something spooky and just a little hair-raising.


The Sinner is book five in a series that doesn’t work well standalone or out of order.

Amelia has spent a year trying to get over Devlin walking out of his life, but the only help seems to be keeping busy so she takes a job out of Charleston restoring a small town cemetery.  All is going well until she is pulled toward a clearing in the woods where a body, buried alive, is found locked into a mort-safe tomb.
The investigation brings an enigmatic detective that both draws and repels her and she gets visitations that make her struggle to determine reality from illusion.  Someone wants her to discover the truth of the horrors from the past that are shadowing the presence and it isn’t just the return of Darius Goodwine.
With Devlin further away than ever in his dark secrets and new interests, she is on her own and somehow she needs to be enough to stop the evil from harming new innocents and saving herself when that evil has her marked as the next victim.

This one had me riveted for much of it as the heightened sense of danger and the powerful evil villain who may or may not be supernatural is hounding Amelia.  It built slowly after the shocking appearance of the body in the locked mortsafe (cages and bars that were meant to prevent grave robbing).  Amelia’s tremulous mental state of still trying to get over Devlin walking away and also adjusting to her own vulnerability to spirits and other dark shadow creatures makes her struggle hard through this one.

In the past, I found her something of a damp rag at times, but this book was one where I thought she was being proactive and demonstrating a quiet strength.  She wisely holds her secrets close and doesn’t trust easily even though she was tempted to share the burden with the people around her, particularly the detective whom she feels an attraction.  Now, she went a bit far to prove she was strong like staying out in the cemetery alone a lot or traipsing into dark alleys to pursue clues, but she wasn’t being stupid and she knew that this situation was beyond the cops’ abilities since she was dealing with a past evil that never died was gaining power from victims.

As much as I loved this one and certain aspects intrigued me like Was Devlin able to project himself and be her watcher in the woods? I felt the end was rushed.  And, once I had the end, I sat there and realized that the villain passed up so many easy opportunities to kill her which made no sense to me.  Why wait until she figured it all out?  And, that last victim came out of the blue and there was no explanation of how and why.  Yeah, I was left scratching my head over quite a bit so it deflated my excitement somewhat.

Now, I approach the last book in the series and that foreshadowing about the secret society and Devlin was strong so I can’t wait to see how that all pans out for Amelia in her next chilling adventure.

Challenges Met

Mt. TBR #74
Fraterfest #3


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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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Mary Kirkland
2 years ago

Good to know that this series should be read in order. I love the cover.

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Mary Kirkland

Yes, they each build on the last even if there is a new ghost mystery to solve. Oh yeah, proper creepy there for the cover!

Rachel @Waves of Fiction

I wish I could skim the previous books I haven’t read and then read this one. I would just skip them but I think I need to know about the supernatural character pursuing Amelia and other points for this one to make sense. I’m very curious, but as you know I didn’t like the circumstances of the romance before. Sounds like things took a nose dive in that department.

Sophia Rose
2 years ago

Yeah, unfortunately, I think you’re right. Even skimming wouldn’t quite give you the details needed to understand what was going on with that plot thread or even the one with Devlin. Honestly, I seem to like the books more where she’s off Devlin and on her own. 🙂

Carole Rae
2 years ago

Oooo even I’m curious to see what happens next and I haven’t read the books! Awesome review as per normal 😀

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Carole Rae

LOL, glad I could hook you in, Carole. These do seem to be building toward the big moment in the next book. Thanks a bunch for the praise! 🙂