Thursday, 23 August 2012

Review and Giveaway: Amber House by Kelly Moore, Tucker Reed, Larkin Reed


Amber House

Amber House by Kelly Moore, Tucker Reed, Larkin Reed
  Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books
  Publication date: October 1st 2012
  My Rating: 4 stars
  
 

Sarah Parsons has never seen Amber House, the grand Maryland estate that's been in her family for three centuries. She's never walked its hedge maze nor found its secret chambers; she's never glimpsed the shades that haunt it, nor hunted for lost diamonds in its walls.

But all of that is about to change. After her grandmother passes away, Sarah and her friend Jackson decide to search for the diamonds--and the house comes alive. She discovers that she can see visions of the house's past, like the eighteenth-century sea captain who hid the jewels, or the glamorous great-grandmother driven mad by grief. She grows closer to both Jackson and a young man named Richard Hathaway, whose family histories are each deeply entwined with her own. But when the visions start to threaten the person she holds most dear, Sarah must do everything she can to get to the bottom of the house's secrets, and stop the course of history before it is cemented forever.

Sarah Parsons’ Grandmother Ida has just passed away.  She wasn’t very close to her growing up due to some falling out between her Grandmother and her mother, Anne.  In fact, Sarah had never seen the famous family estate, Amber House, before coming out for the funereal.  Amber House is a beautiful famous house that’s been in the family for three centuries.  It’s one of those wonderful mansions complete with ballroom, conservatory, grand halls, hidden staircases, and secret rooms.  Sarah immediately makes friends with Jackson who seems to know a lot about her.  Jackson tells her stories of diamonds hidden somewhere in Amber House, so they team up to find these diamonds.  In the process, Sarah realizes she can see echoes from the past; echoes that glimpse a family history much darker than she ever thought possible. 

Sarah won’t have much time to hunt for diamonds or uncover the mysteries of her family, because her mother has decided to sell the house and everything in it.  Her mother wants nothing more than to be rid of it.  To aid in that, Sarah’s mother enlisted an old high school friend and his good-looking son, Richard to help.  Richard immediately shows an interest in her but Sarah is suspicious of his motives. 

It was easy to connect to Sarah, as the story was told in her POV.  Sarah is a typical teenage girl dealing with a strained family dynamic.  Her parents are currently estranged and she’s feels a lot of frustration towards her cold mother.  You can’t help but feel anger and frustration at her mother right along with Sarah.  In so many scenes I wanted to shake that mom because she showed very little love towards Sarah.  Sarah was more of a pawn in her manipulations.  I loved that in spite of all this Sarah had a determination to keep her five year-old brother, Sammy safe and happy.  As for the love interests, there is a mild love-triangle going on but nothing unbearable. It may not even be continued into the next book.  We shall see. 

It’s been a long time since I read a spooky mystery, complete with “ghosts” and haunted house and I thoroughly enjoyed this one.  There are a few delicious mysteries to keep you occupied in this story: you have the search for the diamonds, the mystery behind all the bitterness between Anne and Ida (Sarah’s mom and grandmother).  Also, why is Sarah seeing these visions?  Are they harmless to her?  Why is Jackson not surprised by her abilities?  There were some scenes that literally gave me goose bumps.  Seriously creepy!  I was totally immersed this story.  The rich descriptions of Amber House and the different periods of time made you feel like you were right there. 

Going in I wasn’t aware that Amber House is a planned trilogy but I found out at the end!  This is an ingenious mind-bending plot that certainly did NOT wrap up at the end and I’m left to wonder: what’s going to happen next?!  Next book please!

I forgot to mention that the cover fits perfectly with this story. The house is exactly as it is described right down to the maze in the garden. Also, Sarah wears the dress you see pictured for her party. Yay for a pretty cover that fits the story!
As a way to show our appreciation to you lovely readers, we’ve decided to giveaway a SIGNED Advanced Readers copy of Amber House*.  The giveaway is INTERNATIONAL.  So fill out the rafflecopter below for a chance to win!  The only requirement is that you follow the blog via GFC. The giveaway will run for two weeks, so make sure you get your entry in soon.  Good luck!

*Please note that the cover is not the same as shown above.  When this ARC was released the cover was not yet final.  The image right is the cover we received. 











a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

16 comments:

  1. So glad you enjoyed Amber House. I dont read a lot of spooky stories. I wasn't aware Amber House was a series either. Very nice review!

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  2. Thanks for the chance to win :D

    -Dannielle

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  3. Ooh! I love spooky mystery and ghost stories! And yes, creepy! So glad you enjoyed this Rachel. I really like the sound of this one and I think this might be a good book for me. Sarah seems like a very likable character. And I'm very curious with all the mysteries behind the Amber House. Fantastic review as always, hun! Thanks for the giveaway! :)

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  4. I've heard so many good things about this book, so I just have to pick it up soon! I love the dark and mysterious cover and I'm so glad you were able to connect with the characters Rachel, as that's always important for me. Wonderful review! :D

    ~Keertana
    Ivy Book Bindings

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  5. I'm excited for this one Rachel! Even though I'm a complete wuss and always manage to freak myself out when reading a ghost story, I still love them. I like that this one gave you goosebumps, sounds like a winner:)

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  6. I love that this book left you wanting more. Spooky/creepy reads are some of my favourites, even though it doesn't take a lot to freak me out. It probably doesn't help that I mostly read at night in the dark. ;) I'm glad you liked this, Rachel! Brilliant review! :)

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  7. This sounds brilliant and creepy! I'm a proper wimp with ghost stories but every so often I'll pick one up. Thanks for sharing your lovely review with us. :D xxx

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  8. Oh my, this sounds so creepy and so AWESOMELY plotted! I'm already intrigued about all the characters you mentioned. I camt wait to read this one, Rachel! Thanks for the giveaway :D

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  9. The cover s eye cathching...the review awesome...I need to read it at once

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  10. Ahhh! I love the sound of this! Though it wouldn't be one that I read late at night... Sarah sounds so easy to connect with, and the whole premise of the novel is exciting. Even a wimp like me would like to pick this one up. :P

    And huge thanks for the giveaway, Rachel!(:

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  11. I love how mysterious this sounds, very spooky indeed! And I seem to be on a bit of a kick with books involving horrible parents, so part of me is looking forward to reading this so I can be angry at her mean mother!

    Great review, Rachel and thanks for making the giveaway international!

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  12. Awesome review Rachel! I keep going back and forth with this one but after reading your review I am SOLD! I am still loving the creepy and from what it sounds this book definitely delivers lol. Thanks for the giveaway =)

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  13. Great review, Rachel! Of course I want this book...it has my name in it! Lol. Thanks for the give-away.

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  14. Okay your review has me intrigued! Thanks for hosting this giveaway! :D

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  15. if the story matches the cover, then it's got to be good! I'm sold. Thanks for the review.

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