Book Review: Thereafter (Afterlife Book 2) by Terri Bruce

Irene has finally decide to follow the light and cross over to the other side only to discover it's really just a dreary purgatory where billions of spirits are gathered and stuck, not knowing how to move forward. As Irene tries to figure out what to do next, she ends up with a knight and a cowboy as her companions, and they navigate the realm, filled with dangers such as phantoms and nephilim, together.

Book Review: Thereafter (Afterlife Book 2) by Terri Bruce | reading, books, book reviews, fantasy, urban fantasy, metaphysical & visionary, ghosts, spirits
Title: Thereafter
Book Number: Book 2 of TBA
Pages: 316
My Rating: 3.5 Stars
More Info: Goodreads, Amazon


*I received a free ecopy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.*

Much like the first book, this was an extremely thought-provoking book about life after death. But whereas the first book still took place on earth, this one took place in another realm, a place where the dead have moved on to. It was a rather bleak portrayal of the afterlife, but it’s not the end of Irene’s journey, so it could get even worse… or it could get better.

As for Irene, she was still a hard character to like, but not a bad person. I think I was actually most annoyed with her simply for the way she would, as she said herself, “run off half-cocked without really thinking things through.” But she was more likeable this time in the sense that it was easier to feel empathy for her as she grew and changed and tried to become a better person.

One of the side characters, Andras, also had some great character growth. I felt for him too, for the way he was forced to question everything he believed in with his entire being for so long and for the burden of his past that he carried with him. (He also, for all his stoicness, made the best joke in the entire book. Way to seize the opportunity with that “God provides” line, Andras!)

And I really liked the friendship that formed between Irene and Andras. It took a while to develop, but it was really sweet.

There was more romance in this book, it just wasn’t quite the same as what you find in most books, and it definitely wasn’t the focus. But I was ok with that, *SPOILER ALERT* especially since I never felt like the guy was a very good person. *END SPOILER ALERT*

What I didn’t like so much though was the slow pace (not a bad thing, just not quite to my taste) and, more so, the revolving cast of characters. I’m a series person because it takes me a while to truly connect with characters. So even though the development was good, having different characters in this book than were in the first one (aside from Irene) just made it hard for me to truly warm up to any of them.

Overall though, this was another good book in a series that had great character growth and a very unique, detailed take on the afterlife unlike any I’ve ever seen before!


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  1. Resh Susan

    I havent read Book 1. But I like the fact that the friendship is not sudden in the book and takes a while to develop. That sounds realistic in a fantasy novel

    1. Kristen Burns

      Both of the books have really great friendships in them, it’s one of the things I love most about them! It it nice to see friendships that actually take time to develop.

  2. Lola

    I like how the cover also looks a bit more dreary which seems to fit the book from what you mention in your review. It does sound like a bleak afterlife, so I hope for the main character that it will get better after this. That’s good to hear it was as though provoking as the first book.

    I’ve read some books with main characters like that too, where you wish they would think things through a bit more before running off, but it does sound like Irene becomes easier to like in this book.
    And yay for a side character that also has character development, is Andra’s a character that also was in book one or is he also a new character in this book. It also can take me a while to fully warm up to characters, so can imagine how having a whole new cast of side characters in book 2 would shake that up a bit. I like meeting new characters, but I also like to see recurring ones, if that makes sense?

    The romance does sound original with how it’s different form most books, although I am not sure if that’s fully a good thing?
    I don’t mind slow paced books if it fits the book or maybe it depends on how it’s written. There has to be enough to keep my attention, so not all slow paced books are good, just like fast paced isn’t always a good thing either. I guess it just depends on the book. Great review!

    1. Kristen Burns

      You’re right, the cover does look drearier which matches the tone of the book. I hadn’t even realized that!

      There really is a lot of character growth in these books. Irene still has her faults, but she’s definitely changing. Andras was a new character, but he did grow too, and I liked him. But yeah, the revolving characters is a problem for me :-/ I also like to have some old and some new.

      I suppose the romance aspect in this book won’t be considered a good thing by every reader, but I appreciated it how it was. And I agree, neither a slow nor fast pace is good or bad in and of itself. It does depend on the book and on the reader preferences. I think maybe I personally just wanted a little more action or heart-pounding type moments, but it still wasn’t like I had to force myself to read or anything like that. Thanks 🙂