Author: Tara Hudson
Length: 404 pages
Publisher: Harper Teen
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. -Goodreads
Arise is the much anticipated second book of the Herefter series. This is the book that is supposed to really allow the reader to get to know more about Josh and his family; while at the same time exploring the deepening relationship between Amelia and the afore mentioned Josh.
Did this happen?
Yes and no.
Readers do get to find out more about Josh's family when the story takes them to New Orleans and things start to get rather creepy and a whole lot convoluted.
We also get to see Josh and Amelia's relationship progress to the point that if this were any genre other than YA or if she was not a ghost, there would be sex.
Not to worry though...
All inappropriate behavior is cleverly avoided when Amelia conveniently dematerializes when things get too hot and heavy.
Cute...but frustrating after about the third or fourth time.
It is in fact the yes that is Josh and Amelia's relationship that leads us to our first and biggest no. Though the story starts out with Josh and Amelia being as thick as thieves, once they arrive in New Orleans and meet up with The Seers, Alex, and Gaby things just go from bad to worse.
Josh and Amelia want to be together and they will stop at nothing to do this.
We meet Gaby.
Gaby is a ghost of a whole different sort and she's got skills.
She can make solidify enough to appear human, eat, and even change clothes.
She is willing to share these gifts with Amelia.
All this sounds great to Josh and Amelia, but as with everything in the afterlife; in order to get something, something must be given.
For Amelia, that something is her ability to touch the living...more importantly...to touch Josh.
This price it seems is one that is too high for our girl and one that she doesn't realize has been exacted until it is too late to unpay.
It is after Amelia's transformation that the paranormal aspect of the story really kicks into high gear, leaving Josh and Amelia's relationship in the dust.
The second no sneaks its way in due to the fact that though readers are introduced to members of Josh's family who have "spirit handling gifts", we never get to really see them use them in any meaningful way.
Alex is in this book what Eli was in the first He wants the power that the demons if the netherworld will give him if he can give them what they want most. Amelia.
He is so determined to get what he wants that he is willing to destroy everyone in his path to do so.
This is a well written story, but it relies too much on the lore of New Orleans to give credibility to the paranormal aspects of the story that need no such help. In truth, it is the change of scene from Oklahoma to Louisiana that throws the book off of the wonderful path that readers skipped down in Hereafter.
There were also several allusions made to the "dark masters" and demons that are after Amelia, but they remain references for the most part.
Gaby is the saving grace of this story for the most part and I can't wait to see what role she plays in the next book.