Review: After Obsession by Carrie Jones and Steven E. Wedel

 

Title: After Obsession

Author: Carrie Jones & Steven E. Wedel

Publisher: Bloomsbury

ISBN: 978-1599906812

 

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

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.

Review:

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. 

Grade: B

Review copy provided by publisher

Review: Indelible by Lani Woodland

 

 

Title: Indelible

Author: Lani Woodland

Publisher: Pendrell Publishing

ISBN: 978-0982729724

 

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

Yara is beginning to understand just how much her life will change now that her Waker abilities have emerged. She has come to terms with the fact that seeing ghosts is part of her life, but she isn t ready to let being a Waker dictate her choices. All she wants is a ghost-free senior year with her boyfriend, Brent, and her best friend, Cherie. But Yara soon discovers that there are more dark secrets in her school s history than just the curse she broke. While an angry ghost makes Yara question everything she thought she knew about spirits, she and Brent learn that there are long reaching consequences to last year s adventures. As new enemies emerge and old ghosts resurface, Yara finds herself in the center of another deadly mystery, and this time she has to contend with the living as well as the dead.

Review:

Wow! I was not expecting to enjoy Indelible as much as I did.  While I liked the first book in Lani Woodland’s series, it did drag in a few places and it didn’t hold my attention all the way through.  That was not the case with Indelible.  I was totally engaged in the story, and stayed up far too late reading it!  The pacing is blistering, and it’s a fun race to the end.  Yara is up against a vengeful ghost, a murderous group of power-hungry men, and her own fears of dying again. 

Yara takes a beating in this book, as Sophia, a totally pissed off ghost, keeps attacking her.  Sophia has been tricked into thinking that Yara has stolen something from her, and poor Yara pays the price.  Ghosts aren’t supposed to be able to touch her or to hurt her, but her recent brush with death has made her vulnerable to their attacks.  Sophia is relentless, and after several intense encounters, I was starting to worry that Yara would end up dead – again!

Yara’s grandmother plays a large part in this book.  I love her grandmother!  This old lady is tough, and she isn’t scared of anything!  She is far better to have on your side than to earn her wrath.  Plus, she makes a pretty tasty cookie!  How many grandmothers do you know who can lovingly bake you cookies, and then go off and kick some ghost’s butt?  I am looking forward to leaning even more about her – she is a great character, and she has so much personality!

Yara has a lot to deal with in Indelible.  Brent has developed a life-threatening illness, and his chances for recovery are not looking good.  If Yara is willing to sell out her abilities to help a secretive group of power-hungry businessmen, she just might be able to save his life.  They aren’t trustworthy, though, and every time Yara considered making a deal with them I cringed.  She is so much smarter than that!  Desperate times and all of that, but still!  These guys are a bunch of liars and villains!  I loved how Yara’s grandmother supported her, regardless of whether she agreed with some of the choices that Yara did make.  Their bond is very special, and it really came across throughout the book.

I don’t want to delve too deeply into the plot because some of the twists were unexpected.  Some of the plot elements did seem forced, like the sudden appearance of the American Wakers and their disapproval of Yara’s methods of dealing with her problems.  I know that they will be back in the next installment of the series, but I don’t think that I am all that thrilled to learn more about them.  What I do want more of is Yara learning about and embracing her gifts.  I want to continue to see her make difficult decisions that affect the people she loves.  I want to see her make, and learn from, her mistakes. 

If you enjoyed Intrisical, I think you will like Indelible even better.  The pacing is much better, and the characters are more developed.  There is a lot going on in the story, but the plot never felt too busy or out-of-control.  I wonder what Lani Woodland has in store for Yara next?

Grade: B+

Review copy provided by Once Upon A Twilight.  To read other posts in this blog tour, please click here

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