Published: June 2011
Copy Provided by: NetGalley
Can there truly be love after death?
Drifting in the dark waters of a mysterious river, the only thing Amelia knows for sure is that she's dead. With no recollection of her past life—or her actual death—she's trapped alone in a nightmarish existence. All of this changes when she tries to rescue a boy, Joshua, from drowning in her river. As a ghost, she can do nothing but will him to live. Yet in an unforgettable moment of connection, she helps him survive.
Amelia and Joshua grow ever closer as they begin to uncover the strange circumstances of her death and the secrets of the dark river that held her captive for so long. But even while they struggle to keep their bond hidden from the living world, a frightening spirit named Eli is doing everything in his power to destroy their newfound happiness and drag Amelia back into the ghost world . . . forever.
I was feeling iffy about this title until it turned around at 80 pages in. I was pleasantly surprised with the turn of events and felt like a kid addicted to candy. I just wanted to learn more about the characters and find out what was going to happen next.
Overall I enjoyed the story but there were a few things that were thrown in which didn't seem to work for me. I found myself questioning many things throughout the book. Why characters acted in a certain way, I had questions about Amelia's abilities and I felt like I was always looking for more of a background story. I have not read anything else by Tara Hudson so I see her as a new author. Please don't get me wrong though. Writing is a craft that you have to work on and sometimes it is not your first book that is successful but subsequent series or titles afterwards. Ms. Hudson had a good story outline but it wasn't coming together smoothly for me.
As a debut title, Hereafter was decent but I felt that Ms Hudson could work on more subtle character development and story-building. I just had too many unanswered questions. I see that this will be a trilogy with #2 entitled Arise and #3 as Elegy. I'm not sure if I'll continue with them as I would have been satisfied if it were not to be turned into a series.
Let's discuss this for a minute. Is it just me or does everything seem to be coming in groups of 3 now? I think the last stellar stand-alone book I read was Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver. I don't think I've read any others since then. I hope this isn't the end to the stand-alones...