Sunday, October 9, 2011

After Obsession by Carrie Jones and Steven Wedel

ISBN: 978-1-59990-681-2

Publisher: Bloomsbury Kids

Source: ARC from a friend

Summary: Aimee has good grades, great friends, and a hot boyfriend. But she also has secrets. Like the violent dreams that are almost prophetic. Or the real reason behind her Mom's death.
Alan is new in town. Rugged, sexy, with a hint of Southern charm, he and Aimee connect immediately. Bye-bye boyfriend. But Alan has his own secrets. His Native American heritage givers him mystical, unlikely abilities. Not the kind of thing you show off in the cafeteria.
But it's not Aimee or Alan who is in trouble. It's Courtney--Alan's cousin, and Aimee's best friend. She's consumed by a strange demon. Alan says there are four stages: Invitation. Then Infestation. Obsession, and finally, Possession. Aimee and Alan must figure out what to do, and quickly. Because once the demon takes full possession, there's no saving Courtney--or anyone else...

Demon possession! That's what has been missing from the whole paranormal romance shebang. At least,  in my experience. There could be a wealth of young adult demon possession books and I just don't know about them. But seriously, if I see one more book about cuddly vampires or werewolves with caring hearts, I may vomit. When I heard that a paranormal book penned by two authors was about demon possession, I decided to check it out.
The characters in After Obsession were pretty awesome. Alan, the part Navajo outsider, was a great character. He listened to metal, played football, and had a great interest in Native American spirituality and tradition. His character seemed new and interesting to me, despite comparisons I've seen made between him and Jacob Black from the Twilight series. Aimee was a strong redhead with a passion for her family, both her living relatives and her dead mother. I enjoyed each of their voices and personalities.  Their voices narrating Jones's and Wedel's classic take on demon possession was great. It was a supernatural element that I don't believe I've ever read about in a book. I was very interested to see where the story would go.
Unfortunately, the story did not go as far as I would have hoped. I found that the romance part of this paranormal romance was lackluster. The relationship between Aimee and Alan seemed forced to me, what with the "I Love You" exchange after about a thousand forehead kisses (seriously, I felt like they happened every two or so pages, it was getting a little ridiculous for my taste) and one real kiss. I think I might have enjoyed the story more if Aimee and Alan had just been friends that were teaming up to destroy the River Man rather than a couple. The romance seemed like a stretch.
I would have also liked to see more about the paranormal aspects of the book. I feel like Aimee's healing power had no explanation. It just was, without a question as to where it came from. People (i.e., Courtney and Alan) just accepted it without freaking out or any disbelief. I would have liked an explanation for the supernatural occurrences in the town. The River Man, the source of all the evil in the town was based there just to be based there. He needed a backstory. Why was he there? What did he want from the town? From Courtney? How could Aimee and Alan be sure that he was gone? These are the questions.

Rating: 2 - the book didn't thrill me

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