Author: Tara Hudson
Publisher: HarperCollins Childrens
A stranded spirit, and a love story that crosses the divide between the living and the dead...In this hauntingly lovely sequel to HEREAFTER, Amelia - still trapped somewhere between life and death - continues to fight for her relationship with her mortal love, Joshua. Looking for answers, they visit some of Joshua's relatives in New Orleans. But even in a city so famously steeped in the supernatural, Amelia just ends up with more questions...and becomes increasingly convinced that she and Joshua can never have a future together. Then Amelia meets other spirits in-between and begins to seriously consider joining them. Caught between two worlds, Amelia must choose carefully, before the evil spirits of the nether world can choose for her.
So I've been sitting on this review for a while now and I've come to the conclusion that I'm not sure how I feel about this. It was good overall but I guess it just wasn't as good as book 1 and some parts dragged. That's all. Aside from those two points I really did like this book and I definitely captivated me.
I'm gonna start off by talking about the setting. This was primarily set in New Orleans and New Orleans is somewhat of a sticky subject for me. Apart from interview with a vampire new orleans has always disappointed me with literature and sometimes it can be taken a bit too far but I was willing to see what hudson would do with it and she nailed it. Maybe it was her descriptive text but I saw New Orleans in a whole new light and I can honestly say it provided the perfect location for Arise.
The story had a killer storyline. So much happened in this novel and so much of it was so interesting I could barely peel my eyes away. And the twists and turns in this were relentless! The shocks and surprises were amazing and I felt like this could quite easily fit into the mystery genre as well. With hidden secrets etc this really was like a jigsaw puzzle that slowly fitted together throughout the series and I loved it so much.
I also loved the introduction of Voodoo as it's not something you see loads off in YA fiction. I loved the new realm and exposure to the magic and it definitely helped the reader to understand the ins and outs of being a ghost and what and how it meant. Of course this was briefly touched on in book1 but Arise gave a better understanding that to Gabi.
As I mentioned above in some place this novel did drag a little but with a little perseverance you'll definitely get to a better parts that will throughly entertain you.
The characters in this one definitely expanded as a whole group of Joshua's family were introduced and a hidden villain. I felt like we didn't get to know Josh, Jill or Amelia any better than before because we were being introduced to all these new characters so there wasn't really any space or time for that but I really did enjoy have the new characters to spice this book up because otherwise it would have been a tad mundane. Also Josh and Amelia have fairly similar personalities so having the extra people really brought the book together and to life.
The writing, as ever, was beautiful and Hudson's descriptive style of prose really made this novel spectacular, building this incredible vision of New Orleans in my mind and the overall effect was just stunning! I'm not going to comment too much on the writing because very rarely does the quality/ style of writing change between books in a series and it didn't really change in this.
Overall I really did like this. Yes there were some bumps in the road but overall it definitely satisfied me as the second book in the series and my review for book 3 will be up shortly.