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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Book Review: After Obsession by Carrie Jones and Steven E. Wedel

Reading Level: Young Adult
Publication Date: September 2011
Pages: 320
Series: no
Acquisition: received for review

Aimee and Alan have secrets. Both teens have unusual pasts and abilities they prefer to keep hidden. But when they meet each other, in a cold Maine town, they can't stop their secrets from spilling out. Strange things have been happening lately, and they both feel that something-or someone- is haunting them. They're wrong. Despite their unusual history and powers, it's neither Aimee nor Alan who is truly haunted. It's Alan's cousin Courtney who, in a desperate plea to find her missing father, has invited a demon into her life-and into her body. Only together can Aimee and Alan exorcise the ghost. And they have to move quickly, before it devours not just Courtney but everything around her. (from Goodreads)

My thoughts:
Told from 2 points of view, After Obsession is the story of a girl with healing powers and a Native American boy with a powerful spirit guide. Together they fight a demonic river being who has been killing people for years and is in the process of possessing their friend. Simply stated, this story line just really did not work for me.

There are a lot of reasons I did not connect with this book. The characters for one, were a big problem for me. Aimee is psychic...maybe? She has these dreams that come true but as cool as that is, it's not really important to the story. She can also heal people with her touch - which is never explained and really again, doesn't add anything to the story. Alan follows the ways of his Navajo people. Only, he's not even sure he is Navajo as his mother didn't know his father or his real name. And as far as I can tell, Alan never sought out other Navajos - he learns everything about 'his' culture from the Internet and books. Not really a big deal, but Alan's Navajo heritage plays such a big part of the story that the fact that it might not even be true makes a lot of what happens very unrealistic and unfounded.

And of course, they fall in love. In about a week. While fighting a demonic river spirit who has been killing townspeople for centuries.

It just really didn’t work for me. Too many paranormal elements - Aimee's abilities and Alan's spirit guide and this demonic being who's origin's are never explained. A little over the top for my tastes.

Those were the major problems I had. There were others but it's just my personal preferences. I like character with a lot of depth and I didn't really see that here. I like settings that are original and unique and this small Maine town with a river people happen to die in just didn't appeal to me.

I was very much reminded of Carrie's Need series while reading After Obsession. The same small town setting in rural Maine, the same types of characters and I think since I'm not a huge fan of Need, I can't say that I'm a huge fan of After Obsession.

BUT! With that said, if you are a fan of the Need series and of Carrie's writing in general I think you would really enjoy this book. I've never read anything by Steve and I was a little surprised to find out that every chapter written from Alan's POV was all Steve and every chapter from Aimee's was Carrie's because it all very much felt the same. I think this is a strength of the book. The fact that these two writers, coming from very different professional backgrounds, wrote a book that flowed well from chapter to chapter speaks to the strengths both writers possess. The fact that all the pieces of the story fit together nicely (even if I didn't like those pieces) makes for a very well put together story.

So, would I recommend After Obsession? Perhaps with a few caveats but yes, I would say I would. Another, 'not for me but I do think others will really enjoy it' book! I would recommend After Obsession to fans of Carrie's who enjoy more then one paranormal element in their stories. And I have to say, I would pick up another book written by this duo.

Overall Rating:
2.5 / 5 Stars

Linkage Love:
Publisher's website
Author's Websites - Carrie / Steve


  1. We have this - just haven't gotten around to read it yet! Nice review!

    Sash and Em

  2. I personally enjoyed this book and think it will be great for reluctant readers, but I totally see your issues here.

    Excellent review.

  3. You know, I really liked this book. I thought it had some good creepiness to it and I didn't mind the characters. They're not all that fleshed out, but the book is definitely plot-driven and I think that worked.

    Now that you've pointed out what didn't work for you though, it makes me think that maybe I just glossed over those things and pushed them to the back of my mind to think about what I liked.

    I still liked it though. I've been growing more and more angry with the Need series, but I think After Obsession offers enough creepiness to make up for its faults.


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