Title: After Obsession
Author: Carrie Jones & Steven E. Wedel
May Contain Spoilers
Aimee and Alan have secrets. Both teens have unusual pasts and abilities they prefer to keep hidden. But when they meet each other, in a cold Maine town, they can’t stop their secrets from spilling out. Strange things have been happening lately, and they both feel that something-or someone- is haunting them. They’re wrong. Despite their unusual history and powers, it’s neither Aimee nor Alan who is truly haunted. It’s Alan’s cousin Courtney who, in a desperate plea to find her missing father, has invited a demon into her life-and into her body. Only together can Aimee and Alan exorcise the ghost. And they have to move quickly, before it devours not just Courtney but everything around her.
Filled with heart-pounding romance, paranormal activity, and rich teen characters to love-and introducing an exciting new YA voice, Steven Wedel-this novel is exactly what Carrie Jones fans have been waiting for. Meet your next obsession.
I am a big fan of Carrie Jones’ Need series, so I was eager to jump into After Obsession. A joint effort with author Steven E. Wedel, the book features alternating viewpoints between protagonists Aimee and Alan. This is a fast-paced, creepy read with an evil spirit intent on taking over Courtney, Aimee’s best friend and Alan’s cousin. Causing strife in their small Maine town, everyone but the two teens refuse to believe that the discord roiling through the populace could be caused by the malicious River Man. Aimee believes, and she knows that the River Man is the reason for her mother’s death. Suffering from a reoccurring nightmare, Aimee also knows that the river behind her house is anything but the safe haven she always viewed it as. Instead, death lurks beneath the river’s seemingly placid surface, and she fears that she won’t be able to prevent the horrible accident that threatens to befall someone she knows.
This is a scary read. I loved the creepy and dark story, and thought that both authors did a great job building the threat of the River Man. Aimee’s viewpoint was my favorite. She displayed so much courage and character growth as she faced her fears and slowly came to forgive her mother for leaving her. Suffering from bi-polar disorder, everyone as assumed that her mother committed suicide, but as the events of the story unfold, Aimee begins to doubt the cause of her mother’s death. She begins to wonder if the evil that has descended again on their town had something to do with it. Aimee has always feared that she will be like her mother; she has dreams that sometimes come true, and she has the ability to heal. She tries to deny these gifts, fearful that if she accepts them, she will follow her mother down into a spiral of madness and death. As she begins to understand how strong her mother really was, she learns to embrace the powers that they share.
Now, don’t think that I didn’t like Alan, because I did. I liked him a lot, too! He is having identity issues, and it doesn’t help when his mother up and moves them to a dinky town in Maine. The high school doesn’t even have a football team! The star of his Oklahoma high school’s team, Alan bemoans the lack of football at his new school. I could really sympathize with him! The poor kid has to live with his aunt and prickly cousin, and he also has to give up the one sport he loves and excels at. Thanks to the River Man, Alan and Courtney are soon at odds, which makes his life even more miserable. Gaining strength from the discord he unleashes, the River Man quickly makes Alan’s time at home a trial.
Incorporating Native American mysticism and good old-fashioned horror elements, After Obsession is a fun read with lots of scary “things that go bump in the night” moments. Some of the plot twists were a little too convenient, and I don’t think anyone could learn how to perform an exorcism even with the help of Google, so I did have to suspend disbelief quite a bit. I didn’t mind, though, because the characters are likable, and the pacing is so swift that I often didn’t have time to question the logic of some of the plot elements. In this case, going with the flow of the story without over-analyzing it, was a good thing. It’s a fun read, and it kept me entertained and engaged in the book for the duration.
Review copy provided by publisher