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After Obsession Hardcover – September 13, 2011
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`Carrie Jones is the real thing: a talented author. Her detailing is exquisite, her powers of observation, superb' * Tim Wynne-Jones, author * Praise for Need`If you asked Stephen King and Stephenie Meyer to co-author a book, they would come up with Need' * Justine magazine * Praise for Entice`Entice is my favourite out of the three Need books - the stakes are higher, the action is so much more intense' * Writing From The Tub * `Original and riddled with Norse myth, which I love. It definitely stands out in the sea of vampire and werewolf books' * The Bookbag * --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
CARRIE JONES loves Great Pyrenees dogs, Skinny Cow fudgsicles, and potatoes. In addition to the New York Times bestsellers Need and Captivate and the third book in the series, Entice, Carrie is also the author of Girl, Hero; Love (and Other Uses for Duct Tape); and Tips on Having a Gay (Ex-)Boyfriend. Carrie grew up in Bedford, New Hampshire, where she once had a séance with uber-comedian Sarah Silverman. www.carriejonesbooks.com
STEVEN WEDEL is a high school English teacher, and lives with his wife and children in Oklahoma. He has written adult fantasy novels; this is his first book for young adults.
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First, the good: the stock vampires, werewolves, and zombies that have saturated the YA market of late were nowhere to be found. Alan was a well-written character; his conflict over being transplanted as a high school Junior from Oklahoma, where he was on track for a football scholarship, to Maine, where the best sport they had to offer was Cross Country, was really believable, and the premise for the move was also realistic: his single mother moved them to ME to help her sister, his Aunt Lisa, who was in danger of losing her house after the sudden death of her husband. I was a little thrown by his "Navajo" ancestry; I couldn't help wondering why the authors chose a traditionally Southwestern tribe when Oklahoma is rich with other Native American tribes that would have given him access to an actual mentor (instead of his mix & match understanding of stereotypical NA spirituality he garnered from the Internet). Aimee was kind of an every-girl character, plagued by Jones's remake of the absentee parent/deceased parent we saw in the Need series. (This time, her father isn't very involved and her mother is dead; the Need series had an ineffective mother, dead father.) The main difference seemed to be her worries about being seen as crazy, and an ability to heal by visualizing white light (which distracted me to no end, because I kept picturing the white light-zapping power a la Sookie Stackhouse in True Blood).
My biggest problem with the book was that the bad guy--the River Man--just wasn't that scary. They talked about a history of deaths happening in the river, but the most sinister thing he seemed to do was smell terrible, cause a few objects to fly around, make the townspeople short-tempered, and cause the best friend/cousin character to become bitchy and break out into a killer case of oozing acne (which, frankly, would be enough to turn most people into crabby, sullen recluses). And the reasons given for the demon River Man's existence made me laugh: the librarian's "research" showed that an ancient Native American tribe killed the last dragon (which of course just happened to be in Maine) and its evil spirit went into the river. (There were other theories tossed around, but by then my fit of the giggles made it hard for me to take the following exorcism scenes seriously.)
Overall, it wasn't a horrible book, but unless you're a diehard Carrie Jones or Steven Wedel fan, I'd wait to buy the paperback. Used. (Or check it out from the library.)
The alternating point of views made this novel special, especially since they were written by two separate people but jived so well together. I liked how powerful Aimee was and how she had a few things to battle on her own before she could really start to help. Jones chose to focus on family with Aimee and did an amazing job crafting a caring character. I expected good things from her after loving her Need series. This is why I was surprised to find that I preferred Alan's chapters. Please don't read into this thinking I didn't enjoy Aimee's chapters because I most certainly did, but I liked getting into Alan's character. Being part Indian, I was interested in how strongly he felt connected to that half of him since he didn't know his father. I wanted to know all about his spirit guide and the rituals he practiced even if he only learned how to do them on the internet. Together, Aimee and Alan made a great pair and you could just feel the excitement flowing off the page as each chapter was handed off to the next character.
I was interested in Wedel so I looked him up and found out he was a horror author prior to writing this novel. This worked so well for the paranormal aspects. The scratching and dark shapes in Alan's chapters really amplified the terror of the demon that Aimee and Alan were facing. Not to be outdone, Jones' chapters were equally as terrifying with their dust storms, knives and possessed best friends. Both authors did an amazing job creating the tone and creepy atmosphere. What was also refreshing was that the demonic possession part wasn't too complicated. There were steps the characters had to take but it wasn't tangled up in a lot of convoluted rituals and magic. Everything about the force they fought was pretty simplified and there wasn't really a need to over-explain.
That being said, I did feel like a bit more explanation was needed in some parts. I would have liked to know a little bit more about where Aimee and her mother developed their powers and possibly a little bit more about Alan's father, even if it was just things Alan surmised or his spirit guide revealed. Sometimes the plot would speed up and things would just be glossed over without much explanation. This might have just been because I'd had an ARC. Overall, I really liked how well both of the author's voice complimented their characters and each other. Aimee and Alan's pull to each other was undeniable.
Benefiting from it's mixed mythology and simplicity, After Obsession really is a hit. Alan and Aimee were a pleasure getting to know, both author;s excitement leaked from the page and there was just the right amount of creep factor to keep pulling the reader in. The tagline for this book says it best, watch out because After Obsession really will be your newest obsession!
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