“This was my favorite of the three Reaper novellas! It was equally dark and gothically eerie, but even more emotionally charged than the first two novellas. In part, this could be due to the fact that it is a bit longer than either of the others. This one also has much more of a "journey to the other side" feel to it.
After reading Touch, I felt like I really knew Rowan as a character. I fet for her, I loved her, I thought I knew her. But in Hereafter, her character grew so much, so much more depth to her. The same is true of Jet. Choice gave us a lot of insight to his character, but he really came into his own in Hereafter. There is still that underlying sadness, that fear, that darkness. But there was love and hope, too. The range of emotions was unbelievable, so much more than what I expected in a short novel.
There were some truly gut-wrenching moments in this book, but they were moments that, in the end, made me appreciate life, even with its ups and downs. I don't share quotes with every review, but there were a few in this book that truly summed up the emotions of it all.
-Chapter 1, on her father
"At the moment, he sat in the center of our couch, staring down a half-finished bottle of Jack Daniels. It was only 9 a.m. He hadn’t taken his first sip yet, but I could see the battle already beginning to wage within him on whether or not he should. He was broken and I was dead, with no capabilities of fixing him.
-Chapter 3, Harlow on her family
“I’ve waited for them to come back, but they never have. They left me, and I didn’t follow because I was too scared. I was too scared of crossing over, of everything, and now I might have lost them forever.”
-Chapter 6, on Purgatory
"Torment and sin, pain and evil floated through the air in a near suffocating haze. I could feel it surrounding me, brushing up against me, attempting to lure me in deeper and away from the door so I couldn’t escape as though it were alive."
Things to love about Hereafter...
--The settings. The author is masterful (and has been with all three books) with settings and making them visually there for the reader. I could see every bit of it in my mind's eye, most particularly Purgatory.
--The emotional roller coaster. This novella was the epitome of a roller coaster as we went on Rowan's mother's journey through her past, seen through the eyes of Rowan. It was terrible, emotional, bittersweet.
My recommendation: A must read after the first two books, and my fave of the three. This is available as a standalone ebook or bound together with the others in a single volume, paperback or ebook.”