After learning that her family actually died in Shadowlands, 16-year old Rory Miller learns yet another secret, she is what's called a Lifer, and it is her job to help people in limbo cross over into either the light, or Shadowlands. Being a Lifer comes with some disadvantages as well as advantages. It basically means that she is stuck on Jupiter Landing for eternity and it is possible that her family will move on without her and there's not much she can do about it. The advantages are that she can never die, or become ill.
Rory is also at the center of a major crap storm which coincided with her arrival on Juniper Landing. The main issue is that those whose time has come to move on, are going into the fog but not ending up where they should be. Is this a mistake, or does one of the Lifer's have his/her own agenda? There is also the fact that the weather, insects, and plant life, are showing a remarkable change for the worst.
Rory's character is a bit on the emotional side at times when she needs to take a step back and look around and see what is actually happening around her. She's also a bit too trusting, especially when it comes to Tristan, when she should be looking out for her family and her future. When Rory starts her own form of investigation, someone close to her is taken away and Rory scrambles around for answers before it is too late to change things.
Overall, Hereafter was a pretty interesting story for me. There was a dark undertow to the story almost from the very beginning and the mystery of who is really responsible for things going badly on the island isn't all that clear. (Until you read the synopsis for the next book!) I liked the fact that Rory wasn't the only story teller. I like that the mystery villain was also allowed to give a hint at what his intentions really were. I really hope that Endless keeps up the steam and blows me away with the final installment.
There is a entire cast of characters including Tristan, Bea, Kevin, Lauren, Joaquin, Krista, Pete, Fisher, Nadia, Aaron, and Cori, as well as the mayor, and Officer Dorn, who play various roles throughout Hereafter and could have been responsible for sending people into the Shadowlands instead of into the light.
Endless, book # 3 in the trilogy, will release July 22nd 2014 by Disney-Hyperion and apparently the publisher may have rushed to release the synopsis and cover and therefore spoiled who the antagonist ends up being in Hereafter.
An Advanced Reader's Copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
*Recvd 06/14/2013* Expected publication: October 1st 2013 by Hyperion Books
Author - Kate Brian
Title - Hereafter (Shadowlands # 2)
Publisher - Hyperion Books
Released - October 1, 2013
Genre - Young Adult