Arise (Hereafter #2)
by Tara Hudson
Release Date: June 5th, 2012
2012 Harper Teen
Softcover Edition; 404 Pages
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
Source: Review copy from publisher
3.5 / 5 Stars
Number One Cemetery
A night there can change a life . . . or a death.
worried that dark spirits will carry out their threats and hurt the
people she cares for most, Amelia is ready to try anything to protect
them. And for his own very different reasons, Joshua has come to this
cemetery at midnight to join her in a powerful ritual.
that once Amelia steps inside the Voodoo circle and the beautiful girl
from the Conjure CafE begins the cere-mony, everything will change.
Hudson's enthralling sequel to "Hereafter" escalates the danger and
excitement, bringing a new dimension to her already mesmerizing story of
a haunted love.
Arise is the second novel in the Hereafter Series and although I enjoyed the first novel, I wasn't as crazy about this installment in the series. And while this one tended to focus much more on the paranormal aspect of Amelia's world rather than on Joshua and Amelia's relationship, I felt like there was something missing in the story, something that just didn't draw me in enough to really care wholeheartedly about the story or the characters.
As always though, any time a story is set in New Orleans, I take an immediate interest as I just love the atmosphere of that city. There is just something fascinating and intriguing about the history of New Orleans and when the author can weave that magic into the book, it can definitely elevate it to another level of reading. And while there were some elements of intrigue and interest in Arise, I don't feel like the author really captured the atmosphere of New Orleans like I have seen it done in other novels, like those written by Anne Rice, Barbara Hambly or James Lee Burke. I felt like the elements just jumped from scene to scene, and never really got a chance to fully develop to their potential.
While I was glad to have the setting moved to New Orleans, I wasn't overly crazy about the plot. I will admit however, that I was glad to see the emphasis shift from Amelia and Joshua's relationship issues to the darker elements that surrounded them, as it made it more interesting. As Amelia began having nightmares and began fearing for the safety of Joshua and his family, she spent a lot of time agonizing over whether to stay with him or leave him. While I understand how difficult this ghost-human relationship thing can be, the whining was somewhat annoying and I wanted to just get on with the story. What was the darkness? Who was doing the nightmares? And why do they want her so badly? I don't really feel like any of those questions were really answered in this novel however, so perhaps more answers will be forthcoming in the next installment. It was interesting though, to see what Amelia was becoming through her various voodoo practices, if you want to call it that, and I am curious as to what the author will do with Amelia now that she is no longer what she was. Is that obscure enough without giving away too much relevant information?
I did like the introduction of the various new characters although I don't feel like I got to know any of them at all. Joshua's sister got on my nerves the most as I couldn't fully understand her behaviour. I can understand how she might be miffed at her brother's ghostly relationship, but that same ghost saved her life and she could at least show some gratitude once in a while. And for a family full of witches/seers not to figure out that another witch/seer may be under a spell, well...not very good witches/seers are they? I did like to see Joshua and Amelia explore their difficulties and differences a bit more as the complications of their relationship must cause Joshua problems in his real world. He would have been heard speaking to himself on a number of occasions and I'm sure, as parents, they would be wondering what was wrong with their son. I did really like the ending though, as it was somewhat heart-wrenching and not what I expected at all. Amelia certainly understands the realities of the relationship, but I don't think Joshua does, and he is way too understanding and compassionate. Does he ever get angry?
Arise is an interesting follow-up in the Hereafter Series, and while I didn't quite enjoy it as much as the first novel, there are still quite a few elements I found intriguing. Amelia's situation is still precarious and the changes that have happened to her lead to a potentially very interesting third novel in this series and I am looking forward to seeing how these changes will impact the relationship between herself and Joshua as well as with the rest of the family. Arise doesn't have the feel of the middle book of a trilogy though, as the emphasis in this one was quite different than in Hereafter and I liked that very much. The pacing was also rather quite good, and the author manged to keep up the tension and suspense very well throughout. While I don't quite feel like a lot of things were fully explained in this novel, and many interesting developments were sort of glossed over, and the characters were not developed as fully as they could have been, I will probably still read the third novel, Elegy, if only to find out what will happen to Amelia.