Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Release Day Review of Hereafter (Shadowlands, #2) Hereafter (Shadowlands, #2) by Kate Brian

    Title: Hereafter (A Shadowlands Novel)
    Series: Shadowlands
    Classification: Young Adult Fiction
    Genre: Paranormal/Fantasy
    Format: Hardcover; 320 pages
    Publisher: Disney-Hyperion (October 1, 2013)
    ISBN-10: 1423164849
    ISBN-13: 978-1423164845
    Notes: Received an ARC at BEA

Rory Miller and her family were the victims of a serial killer. While trying to get away from the madman who'd set his sights on Rory, they'd been killed, only, they didn't know it yet. They'd entered an 'in between' realm that was neither heaven or hell, but the first stop most souls encountered before reaching their true hereafter. Some would refer to it a purgatory, but unlike the biblical rendition, those who got left behind for extended periods of time aren't being punished, but rather they've been selected to escort/usher the dead to their final destinations. Good or bad, the Lifers, as they called themselves, take the souls of the dead to heaven or hell. Not deciding their fate, only making sure they reach it. If a soul has unfinished business or issues, they'll linger for a time in the 'in between', but never for very long.

The story begins with Rory being told that Juniper Landing is, as she suspected, not a normal town. She's been chosen to be a 'Lifer' and she won't be leaving the realm any time soon, if ever. She won't be joining her father and sister in their final journey, nor can she tell them that they've been killed, because revealing that fact prematurely to someone would guarantee they'd end up in the one place no one wishes to go--the Shadowlands.

As Rory starts to learn about what being a Lifer entails, she begins to notice all is not right with this seemingly 'new' world. Something strange is going on and things that shouldn't be happening are. She begins to question whether a soul could end up in the wrong place.

They say the coins of fate are never wrong, that they know who should be sent to the Light and who should be sent to the Shadowlands, but what if they're wrong? What if they're terribly wrong? They say no one ever comes back from the Shadowlands once they've been sent. With her father's and sister's fates still hanging in the balance, she hopes they're right. 


This is the second book in the Shadowlands series and if you haven't read the first book in the series, I'd urge you to do so. This book starts up where the last book, 'Shadowlands', left off and Rory finally gets the answers she's been seeking. She was right that something was off about Juniper Landing and its nothing she ever could have imagined.

In 'Hereafter' we get alternating view points of Rory and some mysterious Lifer who is creating chaos and mayhem in a desperate attempt to find a way out of the limbo of Juniper landing. The mystery of who the Lifer is was rather fun. I'm still not sure if the person implicated at the end truly is the culprit or they've been framed. I'm guessing they are the guilty party, but I'm not 100 percent sure. Plus, this book ended in such a huge cliffhanger and while we get a lot of information at the beginning, we don't get a lot of answers at the end. Ah, such is the way of books in a series.  

Overall, I gave this one 3 1/2 out of 5 roses. It had a good pace to it and kept my interest, but it didn't manage to fully ensnare me within the story's pages. The fact that we get the thoughts of the unhappy Lifer kind of spoiled a little of the mystery of it all and I kind of wish the author had just gone with Rory's point of view, but it was still a very enjoyable read. 

Order of the series:

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