Review Blog

Jul 31 2012

Arise by Tara Hudson

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HarperCollins Children's Books, 2012. ISBN 9780007437276.
(Age 13-16) Move over vampires - it's time for the ghosts to have their moment in the spotlight. A maelstrom of intrigue, romance, evil demons and spooks, drama, sizzling sexual frisson, voodoo, tragedy. . . . Arise has it all. The sequel to Hereafter by Tara Hudson leads the teen reader into the dark and sometimes murky depths of New Orleans with its mysterious circles of strange and sometimes sinister inhabitants, both dead and alive. 18 year old Amelia is a ghost - her biggest worry is not that she is doomed to wear the same dress for eternity but all the forces that beleaguer her spiritual existence. In love with mortal Joshua, whose life she saved, and beset upon by dark demons from the Underworld, she struggles with all too still-human emotions. When Amelia joins Joshua's family, the Mayhews, on their family Christmas trip from Oklahoma to New Orleans, she finds that it is not just Joshua who has a powerful interest in her.
Hudson's descriptions of the strong voodoo presence in the French Quarter are extremely evocative, transporting the reader to the very depths of locations like the First Cemetery at midnight with ease. While at times I felt the characterisations to be a little lacking in substance and somewhat predictable, this is a read for all those girls who relish an impossible love story with just a little scary wickedness thrown in. The constant warring of good and evil is balanced well and has the reader eagerly turning the pages to continue through the angst and turmoil. Even though this is the second in the series, the reader is able to pick up enough of the first story to follow the continuation of Amelia's dilemma. Definitely Chick Lit, this is a book that will have the 13-16 year old group riveted, not to mention waiting impatiently for an encore. Readers may also enjoy visiting Tara Hudson's website to get insight into her inspirations for writing.
Sue Warren

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