5 September 2011


After Obsession 
Author: Carrie Jones & Steven E. Wedel
Series: No, standalone
UK Publisher: Bloomsbury
UK Release date: September 2011
Genre: Urban paranormal
Kindly sent by the publisher for an honest review

There are four stages to spiritual possession: invitation, infestation, obsession...and after obsession? Possession. When Courtney’s dad disappears on the river, she starts to change; refusing to believe that he might be dead and inviting dark forces into her life. Her best friend Aimee and her cousin Alan must use their own gifts to fight the evil spirit threatening to overrun their whole town. 

Review: From the very start there is an undercurrent of tension along with a series of spooky events that just gave me the creeps. Objects fly about, appear out of nowhere, nice people turning evil, and the river seems to have a mind of its own.

The dual narrative tells the ghostly story from both Aimee’s and Alan’s perspectives. Being half Navajo, Alan fully embraces his Native American ancestry and traditions with his cougar spirit guide as well as use of herbs and sweat lodges. In contrast Aimee has gifts which she has kept hidden to avoid being called crazy. I did find myself getting a little confused at the order of past events as Aimee’s narrative sometimes seemed to contradict itself, but despite this little quibble I really liked both her and Alan. The love story element between the pair was surprising but very adorable and helped add to the simplistic plot. Alan is a real gentleman towards Aimee and his family, and I can see why she fell for him.

The one character that didn't really capture my attention was Courtney. Despite the fact that she's lost her father and is obviously suffering a lot from her possible possession, I didn't feel as empathetic towards her as I should have done. Perhaps her character couldn't come through enough because often it wasn't her but the river spirit that we saw. I would have liked to have seen more of her as herself to build up the emotional bond that was missing.

I did love Aimee’s Gramps and younger brother Benji, who believe in Aimee's gifts and the possibility that Aimee's and Benji's mother may still be among them. I also love the fact that they have a Cheeto in the shape of Marilyn Monroe which they're selling on eBay! These two characters really help break up the tension with some humour and warmth.

After Obsession entwines different theologies including ghosts, prophetic dreams, healing powers, Navajo spirit guides and demonic possession. Despite this mishmash of ideas they all blend well together emphasising a more spiritualistic belief in god, spirits and the afterlife, rather than promoting any one particular religion.

A creepy, spooky tale of possession and spiritual power, After Obsession entwines with an adorable love story.

Rating: 4*

1 comment:

Jules said...

I'm glad you enjoyed this! It's been on my TBR pile for a while now, slowly working it's way to the top :)

Great review.