Release Date: Out now!
Amelia - still caught between life and death - must fight for every moment of her relationship with the human boy Joshua. They can hardly even kiss without Amelia accidentally dematerializing. Looking for answers, they go to visit some of Joshua's Seer relatives in New Orleans. But even in a city so famously steeped in the supernatural, Amelia ends up with more questions than answers . . . and becomes increasinly convinced that she and Joshua can never have a future together.
Wandering through the French Quarter, Amelia meets other in-between ghosts, and begins to seriously consider joining them. And then she meets Gabrielle. Somehow, against impossible odds, Gaby has found a way to live a sort of half-life . . . a half-life for which Amelia would pay any price. Torn between two worlds, Amelia must choose carefully, before the evil spirits of the netherworld choose for her.
The second installment of the Hereafter series, ARISE, continues the tale of Amelia, a teenage ghost who is currently living in-between the worlds of life and death along with a human boy named Joshua, a Seer, who can not only speak to Amelia in her ghostly form but he can also see and touch her as well. And he's dating her too! But as Amelia struggles with her natural state of being and trys fending off as many demons (and other spirits) as possible who want to claim her and her soul, and adding onto the fact that she is dealing with all sorts of new Voodoo magics, she will also need to question her future with Joshua - whether to stay with him forever and continue on with a lie or leave him behind for his own good?
ARISE was definitely a worthy sequel to live up to the most hyped up first book, Hereafter, a book that I adored so very, very much. While I still believe Hereafter remains to be my favourite book of the trilogy so far, because it was one of the best ghosts books I've ever read, but I still loved how the author dealt with this book this time round, making it much more thrilling, mysterious and completely dark and eerie which was then wrapped up neatly with familiar blends of the paranormal and a small romance . . . all into one. I really enjoyed it! With the characters being further developed as well as meeting some new additions to the cast as well, but probably my favourite part of all and the two things that had really stood out to me the most was the new setting and the new magics we were introduced to - that being New Orleans and Voodoo magics. There's something crazy about New Orleans and the Voodoo magics (which they are known for having) and I don't know about you guys, but I find it all so very fascinating! I mean, New Orleans is very spiritual in terms of ghostly spirits, the night of the dead and with their cemeteries too . . . so you know, I can't help but be fascinated by everything about New Orleans, so it totally fits in perfectly for a storyline such as this one and I'm really happy the author chose to write this because it was awesome to say the least!
Amelia, our ghostly main heroine, remains to be the strong but careful type which isn't exactly a bad thing because she's a ghost and everyone wants a piece of her in the afterlife - or what's left of it anyway. But it's more than that! Amelia is also the type of person who really and truly cares about everyone around her - even when if they're alive and she's dead - and I actually came to like her even more than I did from the previous installment, which surprised me. But in this sequel she has somehow . . . matured and she went with her gut instinct when it came down to the dangers in her "life" . . . so I really loved Amelia this time round!
As for Joshua's character, Amelia's human and living boyfriend, he was yet another character that stayed true to his character arc and he was still as swoon-worthy as always. Oh Joshua - how can you not feel for this guy? He loves Amelia and takes everything in their relationship so seriously, even if its the impossible love kind, and boy he's the sweetest thing ever in this sequel! *Squee* I admit, there is still plenty of scenes between him and Amelia, though I wished there was more of him in this sequel . . . still . . . what I did read of him was so worth the read!
Overall, ARISE was the perfect middle book and didn't disappoint me in the slightest way. With fantastic new characters being introduced and voodoo magic playing a major role in this entertaining sequel, I have to say I'm eagerly waiting to read what else Tara Hudson has up her sleeve for the final conclusion of the Hereafter series because I know it's going to be awesome!
4 1/2 / 5 stars