Nothing in life is free. Turns out, nothing in the afterlife is, either.
When recently-deceased Irene Dunphy decided to "follow the light," she thought she'd end up in Heaven or Hell and her journey would be over.
Boy, was she wrong.
She soon finds that "the other side" isn't a final destination but a kind of purgatory where billions of spirits are stuck, with no way to move forward or back. Even worse, deranged phantoms known as "Hungry Ghosts" stalk the dead, intent on destroying them. The only way out is for Irene to forget her life on earth--including the boy who risked everything to help her cross over--which she's not about to do.
As Irene desperately searches for an alternative, help unexpectedly comes in the unlikeliest of forms: a twelfth-century Spanish knight and a nineteenth-century American cowboy. Even more surprising, one offers a chance for redemption; the other, love. Unfortunately, she won't be able to have either if she can't find a way to escape the hellish limbo where they're all trapped.
About the Author
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite Thereafter: Afterlife Series, Volume 2 is a dark fantasy written by Terri Bruce. Irene Dunphy's done it again; this time she's landed herself in a place which has rules she wasn't at all prepared for. When she entered the tunnel, she had expected to find at least one of the versions of the afterlife that she and her friend Jonah had discussed. Instead, she seemed to be exactly where she had started out, except that the furnishings of the hotel room seemed to have been changed; colors altered, furniture moved. When she enters the lobby, there's no one around except for one bellboy and, behind him, a panoramic vision of a long sandy beach where people were waiting. Several people pushed past her, were greeted by the bellboy and allowed to pass. When she stepped up, however, he asked about her coin. She couldn't proceed without one, he explained. And while Irene did have a bag filled with sundry articles, coins were not among them. Terri Bruce's dark afterlife fantasy, Thereafter: Afterlife Series, Volume 2, is thought-provoking and intense. While it's the second volume in her Afterlife Series, Thereafter contains enough background information to allow it to be read as a stand-alone novel. While wholly original in its own right, Bruce's story reminded me somewhat of Philip Jose Farmer's landmark Riverworld Series, and that's a good thing. There's a marvelous array of humanity waiting for Irene as she makes her metaphorical journey to the river. Her companions, a gloomy Spanish soldier from the eleventh century and a smooth-talking cowboy from the 1800s, are the perfect foils for the brash and competent woman who's realized that she really wants to have a chance to live the life she had literally thrown away. Thereafter is well-written and compelling, and I found it hard to put down until I had read the last page. It's recommended reading.
Thought-provoking afterlife adventure-- Once again, Terri Bruce delivers a fast-paced read that offers more than the typical quest. THEREAFTER is a thought-provoking journey through the afterlife as it might be experienced by someone who wasn’t good or evil while living, but who simply put her desires before those of others. Irene Dunphy meets many challenges in the afterlife as she seeks a way to cross the river to whatever waits beyond. Along the way, she gets in touch with new facets of herself and her traveling companions. A “guide cat” with attitude, an origami horse, and cantankerous brownies (the elven kind) provide comic relief for Irene and her human sidekicks, Ian and Andras. Fourteen-year-old Jonah from HEREAFTER returns as an important, but off-stage, character. I still don’t find Irene likable for the most part, but her growth is realistic and I care about her; you feel her pain as she learns life lessons the hard way (which is especially sad since she’s no longer alive). Young adult readers will find the mix of mythology, history, and religion easily accessible as integral parts of Irene's adventure. Looking forward to the next book to see what happens on the other side of the river!