The afterlife sure can be a bitch. Just as Amelia from Arise by Tara Hudson, the newly-released sequel to Hereafter. After all, navigating a human-ghost romance is no easy feat on its own – but add to that demonic entities on the prowl, exorcism-happy Seers, and a slough of other complications, and it’s no wonder Amelia’s afterlife isn’t all clouds and harps.
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 increasingly 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.
Hereafter wrapped up Amelia’s story nicely, though it left a few lingering questions. These questions are what propel the plot forward in Arise, as Amelia searches for ways to save her father from a shadowy demon world and control her ghostly powers, all while trying to forge a somewhat normal relationship with Joshua.
Amelia’s search for answers take her and Joshua to New Orleans, where new characters offer both new hope for the unlikely couple and new challenges. All the peace Amelia sought to claim at the end of Hereafter is shaken up in Arise, and the ending leaves her afterlife in chaotic disarray – and ending that will leave fans anxious for the third and final volume in Hudson’s trilogy.
Of course, readers will swoon over the romance and grow anxious over the thickening plot – but the real star of Hudson’s story is its location. Her vivid descriptions of New Orleans bring the city to life on the page. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but Hudson’s words are worth a thousand pictures when it comes to feeling the vivacity of such a culturally unique city.
Anyone who fell under the spell of Hereafter will want to get their hands on Arise, in stores now.
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