Hereafter by Kate Brian

17393021Hereafter by Kate Brian
PublisherDisney-Hyperion
Length320 pages
Genera: Science Fiction
Subjects: Afterlife, Mystery, Romance
How I obtained the bookLibrary; paperback

Rating: 

Rory Miller thought her life was over when a serial killer set his sights on her and forced her into witness protection. But a fresh start on Juniper Landing Island was exactly what she and her family needed. For the first time in years she and her sister hang out at the beach, gossip about boys, and party together. She’s also made friends with a local clique–including a magnetic and mysterious boy named Tristan.
But Rory’s world is about to change again. Picturesque Juniper Landing isn’t what it seems. The truth about the swirling fog that rolls in each morning, the bridge that leads to nowhere, and those beautiful locals who seem to watch Rory’s every move is more terrifying than being hunted by Steven Nell. And all Rory ever wanted was the truth. Even if it means learning that she can never go home again. From the best-selling author of the Private and Privilege series comes the second novel in a heart-stopping trilogy about a girl who must pick up the pieces after the only life she’s ever known ends.

This review contains unmarked minor spoilers for Shadowlands, book one of the Shadowlands trilogy.

When I read Shadowlands last year, I couldn’t really say I was impressed with it. I loved the murder mystery but the characters were incredibly lacking for me and I couldn’t really connect with any of them. Hereafter was a very lackluster book, but I could see potential in it. Hereafter was a very disappointing read, as I had higher hopes for it. While the characters slightly improved in Hereafter, the plot took a turn for the worse.

Shadowlands had a very interesting plot. The mystery and heart pounding tension made it an enjoyable read at times. Sadly, Hereafter suffers from Second Book Syndrome and what made the first book good was lost in this installment. It was mediocre, but not great by any stretch of the imagination. The big ‘twist’ of the novel was uninspired at best, as Brian all but spelled it out in the first two chapters. The overall plot was fell flat compared to Shadowlands.

In the first book, the mystery second narrator was purposefully obvious, I think. You were supposed to know who it was, at least vaguely. In this book, clearly it was meant to be a surprise. Instead of gradual foreshadowing, Brian went straight for a semi-reveal.

All the characters were some sort of modified trope – the MIA parent trope, the cold ‘slut’, ect.

After looking at the cover (I’m assuming it’s her sister in the background), you’d think that she and the father would play a major role in the book, especially due to some key plot points. But, no, not really. She spends hardly any time with either family member, as she was much more interested in spending time with Tristan. I don’t buy it. Her dad would be worried sick about her, especially because he thinks Steven Nell is out there. Would he really let his daughter spend practically all of her time out in the town, without any protection?

The hate between Nadia and Rory was really stupid, honestly. Rory immediately took Nadia for a provocatively dressed, man-stealing bitch and Nadia hated Rory for some unexplained reason. I’m not sure what started this immense dislike for her, but damn, Nadia hated Rory.

Rory’s obsession with Tristan was just plain annoying to read. I don’t like pining in my books and this was no different. Rory just wouldn’t shut up about Tristan’s sexiness or his amazing bod. I don’t care, Rory. I don’t care. The cheap excuse for a ‘romance’ reduced the impact of the ending.

The mystery of the souls going to the wrong place was literally all Hereafter had going for it, and it did it fairly well. The tension was well done in places and I felt involved in the story.

Shadowlands was perfect as a stand-alone and Brian should have left it at that. Shadowlands was an incredibly disappointing book, only occasionally entertaining. This book is only worth reading if you really enjoyed the first book – and even then, maybe it’s best to forget this book ever happened.

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2 thoughts on “Hereafter by Kate Brian

  1. Lyn Kaye says:

    I was very unimpressed with the first book, but your review is causing me to stop and think about the second book. After the big reveal from the first one, I was curious what the second book would reveal. I always thought that Shadowland seemed to be a stand alone story.

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