Review – Autumn Thorns (Whisper Hollow #1) by Yasmine Galenorn

Reviewed by: E
Autumn Thorns cover image

In an all-new series, New York Times bestselling author Yasmine Galenorn invites readers to Whisper Hollow, where spirits walk among the living and the lake never gives up her dead…

Fifteen years ago, I ran away from Whisper Hollow, Washington, a small town on Crescent Lake in the Olympic Peninsula. But truth is, if you were born here, you can never really leave. I’m Kerris Fellwater, and when I returned, I inherited my grandmother’s house—and her gift. As a spirit shaman, it’s my responsibility to drive the dead back to their graves, because around Whisper Hollow, people—and secrets—don’t always stay buried.

When I was little, I was told my mother ran off. But now it looks like she was murdered. With the help of my mysterious neighbor Bryan, we begin to unravel the mystery of her disappearance, and in doing so, unearth a dark force seeking to bury Whisper Hollow. Now I must work with the dead, rather than against them, because our enemy will do whatever she can to destroy the town, and she means to start with me.
This blurb came from Goodreads

I had a slight head’s up that Galenorn was starting a new series so I was pretty excited when Autumn Thorns showed up. From the very beginning when I saw the rules for Whisper Hollow, to the importance of a lament singer, spirit shaman, and shapeshifter (protector for the spirit shaman) all working together to lay and keep the dead at rest I was hooked. Meeting the different characters and seeing how they interacted even as their callings changed and became more dangerous was fun.

Kerris was a strong determined character. She left her home and her beloved Grandmother after a series of arguments with her Grandfather reached the point of no return. While she made her living in a mundane fashion, she was forced to utilize her calling as a spirit shaman in order to keep from going insane. She benefited by developing some unorthodox techniques but always thought she would have time to receive formal training from her Grandmother but then she was called back to Whisper Hollow. Upon her arrival she discovered her grandparents were both dead, taken by the Lady of the Lake, and the town itself was feeling unsettled. The dead were stirring and becoming more resistant to the triad. Watching Kerris try to find her way among new relationships, secret organizations, secrets, the hidden past, and deadly threats was an adventure I didn’t want to end.

Whisper Hollow was very vividly drawn and I could completely understand how and why it took people of a certain mental type to feel comfortable and part of the town. I also saw why those who were part of the town never fully left. I was concerned a bit about the potential level of inbreeding given the town’s insular nature but as Autumn Thorns progressed, I saw how at least the one element of the required triad could come from outside the town. I really enjoyed how the three didn’t have to be within a certain age range of each other nor was there a requirement for romantic or sexual relationship because it really opened up the possibilities and avoided the “fated mate/life partner.” I was able to enjoy the building tension and trust, which lead to the romance and sexy times without feeling like the relationship was forced.

In addition to the physical and mental/spiritual atmosphere of Whisper Hollow the people added a third dimension. Secrets, secret organizations, politics, money, lies, broken promises, vengeance, and an obsession for power all impacted both the living and the dead. As tense as things became and even with a few secrets discovered I really think this was just the first or testing round. Kerris is still partially trained and even with the help she received she continues to receive warnings about being careful taking even those who seem to have her best interests in mind at face value. I am really looking forward to discovering more about the tangled knot that Whisper Hollow has become.

Autumn Thorns was a great opening to a series I anticipate thoroughly enjoying. Vivid characters, breathtaking landscape, mystery, murder, intrigue, romance, and a lot of unknowns have captured my attention. Galenorn’s fertile imagination has once again taken fruit in a new and yet not totally unfamiliar world.

I give Autumn Thorns an A

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1 thought on “Review – Autumn Thorns (Whisper Hollow #1) by Yasmine Galenorn”

  1. I love her books so very much, can’t wait to read this one myself. Yasmine is very excited about it herself as well. I just hope it is not as dark as her Indigo Court series.

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