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ARISE by Tara Hudson

ARISE

By Tara Hudson

Age Range: 12 & up

Pub Date: June 5th, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-06-202679-8
Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

This sequel to Hereafter (2011) finds Amelia still dead but not loving it. Touching Joshua Mayhew remains a thrill, but whenever things heat up, Amelia tends to de-materialize, which definitely puts a crimp in their romance.

After Eli warns that she and those she loves are attracting interest from demons, Amelia realizes that to keep Joshua safe, she’ll have to leave him. She puts it off, though, hoping she can shake the demons by joining the Mayhew Christmas trip to New Orleans, where the Louisiana Mayhew teens have a surprise for her—they’re seers. All can hear Amelia; a few, like charismatic Alex, can see her. She’s also visible to ghosts caught between life and death and to Gabrielle, a Voodoo priestess who might be able to solidify Amelia. Again, Hudson earns a spot in the paranormal-romance front ranks, compensating for occasionally clunky prose with a fast-unfolding plot and intriguing characters. Leaving small-town Oklahoma for New Orleans might be a bad move for Amelia, but it’s great for readers. Rendered in fiction, this atmospheric city invariably becomes a spooky character in its own right (maybe it’s time to demand royalties). Amelia herself feels more vivid this time around, perhaps because her heightened visibility permits more interaction with other characters.

A creditable second act; genre fans won’t be disappointed. (Paranormal romance. 12 & up)