A Rogue Librarian's Reading List

{August 2, 2011}   After Obsession by Carrie Jones & Steven E. Wedel

Plot: Aimee has dreams and, often, they come true. She tries to deny her powers, afraid that she’ll be labelled crazy like her late mother. Meanwhile Alan is forced to leave Oklahoma and abandon his football dreams in order to stay with his recently widowed aunt and his cousin Courtney. The two share a horrible prophetic dream and are shocked to meet in real life. Only they aren’t the ones in danger. Courtney has been taken over by an evil force that is affecting the entire town, bringing out the worst in people. They will have to combine their powers if they hope to stop the creature that has long haunted the quiet Maine town. And they must do it quickly; once Courtney is possessed, she will be lost to them forever.

This review is based on an Advanced Reader’s Copy received at Book Expo America.

Another horror story set in Maine? I’m starting to believe that people live there in a constant state of terror. You’ll never be able to get me to visit.

Seriously though, if you loved Simon Holt’s Devouring series as I did, you will enjoy this novel. It’s not quite as eerie but the things that make it great are all there: possession, betrayal by those you thought you could trust and the power of the human mind. The narrative switches beteen Alan and Aimee’s POVs, each written by one of the authors. Each of the characters is well developed and their romance is quite sweet; it doesn’t even feel rushed despite the fact that they meet and fall in love in less than a week. Though the ending wraps up a bit too neatly, the novel as a whole is fast paced and exciting. A good, quick read.

The problem that I, as a librarian, had with Jones’ previous novel, Need, recurs. Research is far, far too simple; they never have to work for it. The information they need is just handed to them or found after 5 minutes on the internet. (Wouldn’t it be convenient if there really was some kind of perfectly reliable internet guide to exorcisms?) There are also a couple prodigious leaps in logic. It feels as though the authors are simply handing the characters what they need know, when they need it to move the plot along more quickly. But that’s a pet peave.

I was, however, very pleased to find a story about exorcism not mired in catholicism. It’s always nice to get some people of colour and some non-christian beliefs in my YA (as Gramps puts it, “this place is too damn white anyway” (p. 162)). I found Alan somewhat reckless with his half-knowledge of Native American (mostly Navajo, like Alan’s absent father) religious practices, but I guess that just goes back to my research pet peeve.

After Obsession will be released by Bloomsbury on September 13th 2011.

Challenges: None


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