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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Shutter is a clever, nonstop horror-action thriller. Expect lots of supernatural mayhem, with attacks by ghosts, zombies, and other monsters, which are sometimes bloody and graphic. Sexual content is limited to a few passionate embraces hastily broken. "Hell" and "damn" are used a dozen times, "s--t," "ass," "bastard," and "bitch" far less frequently.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
One of the last descendants of the infamous, vampire-killing Van Helsing lineage, Micheline Helsing is a "tetrachromat," able to see the auras of the undead and dispatch them with either a bullet (if they're zombies) or a camera lens (if they're ghosts). What should have been a routine ghost hunt turns deadly, and Micheline and the three male crewmates get infected with a curse known as a soulchain. With only a week to live, Micheline and her friends must unearth deadly family secrets and learn the identity of the powerful entity haunting them before it's too late.
Is it any good?
SHUTTER earns points for bringing a new set of trappings to the traditional monster-hunter story. Using photography as a weapon against ghosts is ingenious, and author Courtney Alameda makes the most of her unusual conceit. Shutter is hip, action-packed, and genuinely scary. The plot feels a bit overstuffed with complications, but most readers are likely to enjoy the wild ride.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why ghosts, zombies, and vampires are such enduring figures in literature and popular culture. Why do writers and readers return to them so frequently?
Why do some writers choose to set their fiction in "alternate" versions of real-life settings? What advantages do they gain by mixing fact and fiction?
What happens when parents and their children have very different expectations of what family tradition means? What are productive ways to express the differences between yourself and the older generations of your family?
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.