Monday, 19 May 2014

Book Review: Thereafter; Terri Bruce.

I was very intrigued to read this book. I gave the last one 3.5 stars because although I liked it, there were some things I felt could be improved upon. However, rather than dreading this read, I had this really strange feeling that I was going to enjoy it a lot more, and I was right. I've been very much looking forward to sharing my thoughts! Just like it's predecessor, I'll be entering this into the Monthly Motif challenge. 

SOURCE: Netgalley
TYPE: E-Read

TITLE: Thereafter
AUTHOR: Terri Bruce
SERIES: Afterlife (#2)
PUBLISHER: Mictlan Press
PAGES: 318
GENRE: Young Adult, Paranormal Romance, Mystery

RATING: 4/5 Stars

Blurb:
Nothing in life is free. Turns out, nothing in the afterlife is, either.

When recently-deceased Irene Dunphy decided to “follow the light,” she thought she’d end up in Heaven or Hell and her journey would be over.

Boy, was she wrong.

She soon finds that “the other side” isn't a final destination but a kind of purgatory where billions of spirits are stuck, with no way to move forward or back. Even worse, deranged phantoms known as “Hungry Ghosts” stalk the dead, intent on destroying them. The only way out is for Irene to forget her life on earth—including the boy who risked everything to help her cross over—which she’s not about to do. 

As Irene desperately searches for an alternative, help unexpectedly comes in the unlikeliest of forms: a twelfth-century Spanish knight and a nineteenth-century American cowboy. Even more surprising, one offers a chance for redemption; the other, love. Unfortunately, she won’t be able to have either if she can’t find a way to escape the hellish limbo where they’re all trapped.

What I Liked:
  • Now where do I start? Let's go with the story-line! I enjoyed this one more than I enjoyed the last. I felt like it flowed better, was a little less predictable and full of many more twists and turns. There was a lot more to the world that Bruce built in this book than in the last, and I was pretty impressed with that one. There is nothing that I admire more than when an author does their research, and Bruce has certainly done that. The amount of Afterlife knowledge packed into this book is just phenomenal!
  • I got along a lot better with the characterisation in this book. Irene was much more likeable here than in 'Hereafter' and it made being both sympathetic and rooting for her a lot easier. The side characters were really well-written too! I loved the relationships that Terri built between Irene, Ian and Andras. I did actually develop a particular fondness for Andras! I hope we see plenty more of him in books to come!
  • The ending. Something about the way the book ended made me do a bit of squealing and jumping up and down. I don't want to give too much away to those that haven't read it but I really like where this series might be taking Irene. I think she deserves to find a bit of happiness and I hope that the next book sees a development in a very well built relationship.
What I Disliked:
  • Irene and I did still fall out at times. Now I can see that Bruce is very slowly developing her character into someone a lot more likeable, but the fact remains that she can still be petulant, annoying and angry. She does get angry a lot. I found her easier to get on with in this one, as I've mentioned, and I only hope that Bruce continues with the character development so that Irene grows up a bit!
  • I'm still left with unanswered questions! I don't really count this as a proper dislike though, because this series is intended to comprise of six books! Of course there will be unanswered questions. I'm still curious as to the role of the Nephilim, in particular, Samyel. I am going to have to be a little patient and wait for the next in the series to find out!
Overall Conclusion:
I really liked this book. It had a well-written and original plot line that explored the Afterlife really well. A lot of research, creativity and effort has gone into this book and I really enjoyed reading it! The characterisation was a lot better than in the last book, and I liked the development in characters since the last book. I felt there were a lot more twists and turns in this one, I can't wait to read the next one as I think the series can only get better from here on out!