First things first: if you haven’t read the first book in this series, Shadowlands, stop reading my review (yes, I’m actually sending you away from my blog) and go pick up a copy of Shadowlands. It just came out in paperback or, for the cost conscientious, it’s probably at your library. You don’t want me to accidentally spoil anything from the first book now, do you? And truthfully, you won’t enjoy this book as much if you don’t read the first book. Actually, it’ll completely lose it’s impact as a creepy mystery. You’ve been warned, scared off, and otherwise shooed away…
Now, for those of you who have read Shadowlands, don’t worry, I don’t do spoilers so there won’t be any for Hereafter here! Let’s get it on, shall we?
Story / World Building / Tempo
Shadowlands left us with an enormous reveal at the end of the book. It wasn’t quite a cliffhanger as much as it was just an info dump and then… nothing. No how, no why, no what the heck is Rory supposed to do! Absolutely nothing else was explained!!! And that’s where Hereafter picks right up. We’re immediately given more explanation of what is going on. We learn right along with Rory. If you only wanted closure from the first book, I’d suggest you just read the beginning of Hereafter (but you probably won’t put it down after that, I’m just saying).
Unfortunately for Rory, trouble on the island started roughly at the same time as Rory family’s arrival on the island so the locals instantly blame the trouble on Rory. Being new to island, Rory struggles with adjusting to her new life and in deciding who she can trust and who she can’t.
As the reader, I had to clue who to trust, either! That alone made this a read I couldn’t put down. I also loved that Ms. Brian continued to use an alternate POV similar to Mr. Nell from Shadowlands. But in this book, we have no idea who is speaking in this “other voice”. And that’s part of the awesome mystery… Brilliant!!
The story moved quickly and took some completely off the wall turns I would never have guessed were coming.
One thing I didn’t anticipate was starting to like Joaquin so much. I sure hope that doesn’t come back to bite in the you-know-where. But he’s kind of grown on me. And we learn more about his past, too.
Actually, one of the best aspects of this book is that we learn a little about all the supporting characters. And it isn’t like it’s choked down your throat. You don’t even realize you’re reading about a character’s past until the passage is about over.
I absolutely don’t want to ruin the book experience for anyone but if I want to offer up one warning about this book. I put it in a spoiler just in case. I hate to say this but this book has a doozy of a cliff hanger at the end. We’re talking hanging upside from the top of a cliff face in your climbing harness kind of cliff hanger.
By NO MEANS should this deter you from picking this title up. I actually avoid books with these but this one didn’t bother me in the lease bit!!
Overall, Hereafter had my head twisting left, right, left, and then right again just to keep up with the story. It was non-stop, lull-less (it’s a word, don’t argue with me!), and had me backtracking several times so I could just go, “Ahaaa!!!” and point at my Kindle like I discovered a new diet pill or something. Since I don’t read many mysteries, it’s so much fun to find ones that grip me and have me dissecting them to see where I went wrong with my hypothesis. I really did enjoy Hereafter that much! I’m seriously jonesing for the next book…
Endless, book number three, has a scheduled release date of July 22nd, 2014. Do not , I repeat, DO NOT READ the synopsis of book three if you have not read Hereafter (or Shadowlands, for that matter). Don’t say I didn’t warn you…
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