16-year -old Van Helsing descendant Micheline – able to see ghosts thanks to her rare tetrochromatic eyesight- typically has no problem completing a mission. Like her family has done for centuries before her, Micheline has dedicated her life to training as a reaper, someone who hunts paranormal entities to protect mankind. But when a mistake results in her and her team members becoming infected with ghostlight, which becomes lethal if the entity can’t be eradicated within seven days of infecting them, their mission suddenly becomes a race against the clock.
This action-packed story wastes no time, aggressively delving into the action on page one, and doesn’t let up until the uncharacteristically saccharine ending. Secondary characters take on clichéd roles but are given depth through their humor and loyalty, and Micheline brings a flawed strength to the story, making her ring true despite occasionally melodramatic prose. Masterfully crafted pacing helps build a sense of foreboding, and the richly layered background makes for a captivating story that manages to leave room for an anticipated sequel. Shutter is a delectable fusion of Ghostbusters and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Alameda delivers an utterly engrossing, cinematic experience in this paranormal gem.