Hereafter (A Shadowlands Novel)

Hereafter (A Shadowlands Novel)

4.1 16
by Kate Brian

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Rory Miller thought her life was over when a serial killer set his sights on her and forced her into witness protection. But a fresh start on Juniper Landing Island was exactly what she and her family needed. For the first time in years she and her sister hang out at the beach, gossip about boys, and party together. She's also made friends with a local… See more details below


Rory Miller thought her life was over when a serial killer set his sights on her and forced her into witness protection. But a fresh start on Juniper Landing Island was exactly what she and her family needed. For the first time in years she and her sister hang out at the beach, gossip about boys, and party together. She's also made friends with a local clique-including a magnetic and mysterious boy named Tristan.

But Rory's world is about to change again. Picturesque Juniper Landing isn't what it seems. The truth about the swirling fog that rolls in each morning, the bridge that leads to nowhere, and those beautiful locals who seem to watch Rory's every move is more terrifying than being hunted by Steven Nell. And all Rory ever wanted was the truth. Even if it means learning that she can never go home again.

From the best-selling author of the Private and Privilege series comes the second novel in a heart-stopping trilogy about a girl who must pick up the pieces after the only life she's ever known ends.

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Rebecca Moore
In Shadowlands (Hyperion, 2012/Voya December 2012), Rory and her family were brutally murdered by a serial killer. They ended up in a limbo resembling a summer island community—without ever knowing they were dead. Rory knows now, because other inhabitants of Juniper Landing have identified her as a Lifer; she is destined to forever usher new arrivals to the bridge that sends souls to the Light or the Shadowlands. As Rory tries to recover from the shock, as well as the realization that her family must soon leave her forever, the younger Lifers try to ease her transition. Something, however, is not right in Juniper Landing. One Lifer has had enough of eternity and wants out whatever the cost—and if the blame can fall on Rory, so much the better. This sequel feels more cohesive than Shadowlands, taking place entirely in the well-constructed, deceptively idyllic world of Juniper Landing. Readers will appreciate answers missing in the earlier volume and will enjoy exploring the enigmatic island and its equally enigmatic inhabitants—though their numbers make differentiation difficult. Rory is a sympathetic character, her turbulent emotions believable as she tries to comprehend both her new reality and her emerging relationship with the handsome Tristan. The suspense, while less immediate than in Shadowlands, weaves a continuous thread through the plot. An attempted rape and memories of prior violence make this best for mature lovers of life-after-death tales, and while it can stand alone, readers of Shadowlands will enjoy it more. A cliff-hanger ending promises more to come. Reviewer: Rebecca Moore
Children's Literature - Keri Collins Lewis
Rory Miller is not at Juniper Landing very long before she figures out things are not what they seem. What she believed to be an idyllic beachfront town where she and her family could escape a serial killer is really a stopping place in the afterlife. Most souls arrive, work out their issues, and then move on to their final destinations. But Rory is a Lifer, someone who serves as an usher escorting others to the bridge they must cross alone. Strange events that coincide with Rory's arrival indicate all is not well in Juniper Landing. The delicate balance has somehow shifted toward darker forces. Rory must prove her innocence by discovering who is trying to frame her for the souls mistakenly sent to the Shadowlands, and consequently show that someone has deliberately interfered with the system of souls and their eternal destinations. Best-selling author Brian creates a surreal second installment in the "Shadowlands" trilogy by creating a dystopian landscape out of a once-idyllic type of purgatory. While the large cast of characters can be hard to follow, natural dialogue helps distinguish the main players' unique voices. The first-person point of view allows readers to ride Rory's roller coaster of emotions, while occasional interruptions by the unnamed antagonist foreshadow the eventual betrayal. Brian skillfully sets the scene and incorporates details from the first novel, yet as with many middle books, the ending to this story feels more like a set-up for the third book than a satisfactory conclusion. Fans of the first book will likely persist to the final installment in hopes of seeing Rory victorious, but the second book is unlikely to draw new readers based on its own merits. Reviewer: Keri Collins Lewis
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—In Shadowlands (Hyperion, 2012), Rory Miller, her father, and her sister are put in witness protection after she survives an attack by a serial killer. Here, she finds out that she's a Lifer, someone assigned to usher people to the afterlife—to the Light or the Shadowlands—and Juniper Landing is actually a "way station" for people before they move on. Lifers are made by performing selfless acts. In Rory's case, it was killing the serial killer after he caught up with the family before they reached witness protection. Now her relationship with her sister is strained because she cannot tell her or their father about their fate because it would automatically sentence them to the Shadowlands. If that weren't enough of a challenge, bad things start happening after Rory's arrival—plants are dying, hornets show up, and people get sick—signs that a Lifer is "going bad." Then all the people who are ushered, even the completely good ones, are sent to the Shadowlands. Something is definitely going wrong and Rory and her friends are determined to track down the culprits and recover the people who were incorrectly ushered. Although the book can stand alone, most readers will find the beginning confusing unless they have read the first one, but expect them to clamor for the next in the series. Give it to patrons who like their mysteries and suspense with a paranormal twist.—Suanne B. Roush, Osceola High School, Seminole, FL
Kirkus Reviews
Following the introduction of this place for dead people in Shadowlands (2012), the sequel focuses on Rory's growing understanding of the nature of the island community of Juniper Landing and her place in it. Handsome dudes Tristan and Joaquin could distract any 16-year-old, but Rory is amazingly obtuse, needing each piece of the puzzle explained explicitly. She's a Lifer and will be joining Tristan, Joaquin and the others of Juniper Landing who don't move on but help the newly dead go either to the Light or the Shadowlands. Still, there are oddities that she doesn't explore, nor does the author explain, resulting in a mystery at the heart of the plot that is more irritating than intriguing. Many of the Lifers seem to blame Rory for the unnatural decay of flowers and plants, but why is any person to blame for this? Rory's first-person narration is interspersed with unattributed third-person chapters, and as more and more goes awry, the interspersed narrative becomes increasingly disturbing. More appealing to readers who like to be surprised than those who like logic, this middle volume is all too focused on moving readers from the end of Book 1 to the beginning of Book 3. Even though Brian develops her world more fully, characters remain one-dimensional and bog down in trite romantic tropes. Misses the mark. (Paranormal romance. 12 & up)
From the Publisher
Praise for Shadowlands:

"Haunting and mysterious--Shadowlands kept me guessing until the very last page."—Sara Shepard, author of the New York Times #1 best-selling Pretty Little Liars series

"Truly frightening."—Publishers Weekly

"Partly delicious and partly frightening."—Kirkus Reviews

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Product Details

Publication date:
Shadowlands Series, #2
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.10(d)
HL710L (what's this?)
Age Range:
14 Years

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