Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Review: Arise by Tara Hudson


Arise (Hereafter #2)



  Title: Arise (Hereafter #2)
  Author: Tara Hudson
  Publisher: Harper Collins
  Publication Date: June 5th 2012
  Source: Edelweiss
  My rating: 4 stars

  Reviewed by: Rachel

 


  

Arise is the follow-up novel to Hereafter. Joshua and Amelia's story captured my heart in the first novel and this story was no exception. I was sucked right back in with Joshua's first wolfish grin!  

We pick up with Joshua and Amelia a few months after their showdown with the evil ghost Eli. With that dilemma out of the way, Amelia and Joshua just have each other to focus on with no worries, right? Wrong. With this huge problem out of the way, (or so we hope) the underlying issues of their problematic relationship come to the fore. How can such a relationship survive when Amelia will always be a ghost and Joshua will graduate high-school, go to college and eventually want to start a family? Joshua has a positive outlook, but Amelia is not buying it. She starts to think that taking herself out of his life, even though it would be heart-breaking, is the best thing for him. Also, more problems are becoming apparent with Amelia now experiencing frightening nightmares and uncontrollable materializations. Every time their kissing starts becoming more intense and less chaste, Amelia is swept away and materializes somewhere else. The nightmares are becoming more frequent and feel incredibly real to Amelia, she doesn't know what to make of them or if they have a deeper meaning to her "life." All these issues are put on the back burner when the Mayhews' take a family trip to visit their grandmother Ruth in New Orleans for Christmas. This will be a big Mayhew family gathering with a large group of Seers staying.  Any ghost would be nervous, as Seers have the ability to exorcise ghosts and send them away from the living world forever. We get to meet some new additional characters that add interest to this evolving story. I personally loved Gabrielle. Not saying anything more about her!

This story felt like an unfolding mystery and I was on the edge of my seat trying to figure things out. Some of the revelations were a little predictable but others took me by surprise.  The pace of the story never felt slow to me. Another positive was Ms. Hudson's vivid scene descriptions. From the French Quarter in New Orleans to the ominous netherworld, they were just enough to make you feel like you were there without bogging the story down and slowing the plot. After reading this I felt a serious need for beignets, they sound delicious!

Even though I'm always a little apprehensive about a ghost-human romance, I thoroughly enjoyed this story!  I was swooning over Joshua's midnight-blue eyes and boyish grin. As if that wasn't enough, Joshua has a heart of gold. He's so protective of Amelia and is always trying to make her feel welcome and part of the living as best he can. He really wants things to work out. There may have been a heart-pumping, knee-melting kissing scene or two but I'm not telling. I loved little fearless and caring Amelia, too. She's willing to brave a broken heart and loneliness to protect Joshua and his family, and so Joshua can go on and lead a normal life. Because of this, Amelia holds Joshua at arm's length for a good part of the story, keeping things from him, which was a bit frustrating for me.

I thought this was a wonderful second book in the Hereafter series. In my opinion, it didn't suffer from the dreaded "second-book syndrome" in which there is no real progression in the story, only filler. I felt there were several discoveries and plot movement. I like where things are headed. Another plus, even though things are not fully resolved, there's NO horrible cliffhanger. There is one change that I'm not happy about at all; hopefully something can be done about it. As a side note, don't you just love this cover? I do and it fits perfectly in with the story. No case of "cover fraud" here. 

Thank you to Edelweiss and Harper Collins for allowing me to read this story.

20 comments:

  1. "Even though I'm always a little apprehensive about a ghost-human romance, I thoroughly enjoyed this story!"

    ME TOO JASPRIT! I like how she handles things with the two of them, and how she creates and then fixes and then creates problems for the two of them and their ghost/human barrier. I loved Gabrielle as well, definitely a fun addition to the series:)

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  2. Oops, just noticed Rachel wrote this review, sorry Rachel! I'm used to typing Jasprit:)

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    1. Thanks Jenny. No worries, I think Jasprit and I could be interchangeable at times (although, Jasprit may have something to say about that!) Haha! :)

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    2. Hahaha Jenny no that's cool! Yep me and Rachel are definitely interchangeable! ;)

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  3. Amazing review, Rachel! I'm glad to hear this doesn't come across as a filler book when many second books in series fall victim to that. I really liked the first book so I can't wait to read this! :)

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  4. I really like Joshua too! I think the main reason why I like the first book is because of Joshua. He's unbelievably swoonworthy for merely human LOL! :P Almost too good to be true. ;) The romance in Hereafter is very sweet. <3

    I've told you before on Goodreads, but your review is ABSOLUTELY amazing, Rachel! Make me want to read this myself to unveil the mystery of Amelia. <3

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    1. Thank you, Sam and Hilda! I can't wait until you two pick this up! I want to hear your thoughts and gossip about the changes. :)

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  5. Wonderful review Rachel! It was really fun to read! I love New Orleans and the beignets there - the best ones EVER! You should definitely try them sometimes. They are perfect with hot chocolate.
    I'm interests in reading this series because you made me intrigued. Sounds like so much excitement happened! And the ghost human relationship challeges sound so reasonable. Can't wait to meet Joshua and the other characters! :)

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  6. I requested this book off Edelweiss and surprisingly got approved for it, but I had no idea that it was the sequel in a series. I still haven't read the first book yet, but your review has me convinced that it's an awesome read.
    I love when sequels don't suffer from the second-book syndrome ! :)
    It seems like you really enjoyed Arise, Rachel.
    Great review ! :)

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  7. *sigh* I was never really interested in these books, but you make them sound so good! And come on, ghost-human stories totally have potential, if you don't believe me, just read A Certain Slant of Light and prepare to be utterly freaked out. :D
    Wonderful review as always, Rachel! I love that you're a blogger now, I can't emphasize that enough. :)

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    1. Awww, Maja, thank you!!

      I've never been thrilled with the ghost-human stories but I do want to read A Certain Slant of Light now that you suggested it. :)

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  8. I am picking up this series to review next week. I am excited that Josh is totally swoon worthy and I love ghost stories. So glad that this book excels and doesn't falter under the second book syndrome. Thanks so much for your excellent review, Rachel!

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  9. JOSHUA! <3 He was my favourite part of Hereafter, so I'm really happy that he's back an better than ever! The whole disappearing-while-kissing thing sounds like such a fun (to us, but probably frustrating to them LOL) plot twist, and I can't wait to see how they deal with it! Plus, the lack of a cliffhanger and the "AWESOME second book syndrome" think sounds perfect to me! ;)

    Beautiful review, Rachel! :) <3

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  10. You know I don't think I know anything about this series! But I can tell that it's one of your faces, Rach and I'm going to go and read about book #1. Also, yay for not suffering the fate of most 2nd books!

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  11. Now I want to read Hereafter, especially after you said Arise doesn't suffer from the second-book syndrome! I love that the characters are awesome and the lack of a cliffhanger makes it sound great! I need to read this series. Lovely review :)

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  12. This sounds good. I hate it when second books are terrible cause it sort of ruins the first book for me!
    Got to check this series out :)

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  13. Excellent review, Rachel! Sometimes book 2 can really suck so I'm glad that's not the case here. You've convinced me that I need to check out book one!

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  14. from the first book till now this story was quite bittersweet. A love between the living and the dead is just not logical, but that made it even more fascinating. I like your review!

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  15. I an currently reading this book and it is absolutely amazing!! Fun fact: did you know that Amelia was originally a blond? Tara Hudson had to change it because of the book cover. :)

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    1. I didn't know that Katelyn! Thanks for the info, I love hearing fun facts like that! Speaking of covers, don't you just love both of them?!! I'm such a sucker for a beautiful cover. Thankfully the insides of these are pretty too! :)

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