Wednesday, 14 September 2011
Review: After Obsession by Carrie Jones and Steve Wedel
Published: September 5th 2011
Aimee and Alan have unusual pasts and secrets they prefer to keep hidden. Aimee's deceased mother struggled with mental illness and hallucinations, and Aimee thinks it could be hereditary. After all, she sees a shadowy river man where there isn't one. And then there was that time she and her best friend Courtney tried to conjure a spirit with a Ouija board ...Alan is Courtney's cousin. His family moved to Maine when Courtney's father went missing. It's not just Alan's dark good looks that make him attractive. He is also totally in touch with a kind of spiritual mysticism from his Native American heritage. And it's not long before Aimee has broken up with her boyfriend ...But it's not Aimee or Alan who is truly haunted - it's Courtney. In a desperate plea to find her father, Courtney invites a demonic presence into her life. Together, Aimee and Alan must exorcise the ghost, before it devours Courtney - and everything around her
What I loved about this was that it took the paranormal theme and ran with it, ran a long long way. The idea of possession was an interesting and creepy one-not overly-prevalent in YA. I could feel the fear that Courtney would be lost to the River Man, the mysterious but downright scary presence that has taken over Court's life. I loved the addition of Native American themes, it was definitely interesting to see the different aspects of that culture and the way their beliefs on possession and how to cure it differed (and were akin to) more westernised, Christian beliefs. It was great to see a bit more diversity in a YA book.
The writing was a step up for me from Carrie Jone's previous series, it was very atmospheric, but I felt the poetic elements of it were a tiny bit sporadic. I enjoyed the mixed POV, especially the way it picked up from one character where it left with the other, leading to a full picture of the story and an interesting insight into the mindsets of both characters.
What I didn't like were some aspects of the plot that for me, were just a bit ridiculous. They reminded me of elements in the Need series where characters do really stupid, dangerous things despite all the danger they're in from an enemy who is a lot more powerful and resourceful than they are. Examples would be Aimee going for a walk to the hospital alone, leaving herself open to the River Man, and then going kayaking, again alone, on his very own river. I'm pretty sure most people in that situation wouldn't be doing those things as it's not only reckless it's completely insane. Like I mentioned, there was a bit of this in Need so I was disappointed to see it carried through to Afer Obsession.
I don't think the story gripped me as much as I would have liked, the solution was there all the way through really; and the problem too obvious. I feel like it was missing a little bit of atmosphere that would have made a huge difference. I give it 2.5/5 but I would recommend it to fans of the Need series and those looking for more diverse YA.