Monday, May 26, 2014

Review & Giveaway: Five Stars to Thereafter by Terri Bruce

About the Book:
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.

Purchase Links: Amazon  Barnes & Noble

About the Author:

Terri Bruce has been making up adventure stories for as long as she can remember. Like Anne Shirley, she prefers to make people cry rather than laugh, but is happy if she can do either. She produces fantasy and adventure stories from a haunted house in New England where she lives with her husband and three cats.

Website/Blog: http://www.terribruce.net
Goodreads Profile: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6450132.Terri_Bruce
Facebook Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Terri-Bruce-Fan-Page/325830544139030
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/@_TerriBruce
Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.com/author/terribruce

My Review:
Five out of Five Stargates: Out of this world!

I am so glad I stuck with this series. I've gone from hating Irene Dunphy to adoring her. And I have to say that one of the best things about this series is the character exploration. Just as Irene is peeling back the different layers of the after life, the after life is peeling back the rough layers of Irene. She's stripping away all of the baggage and we get to see her for who she truly is--an incredibly stubborn woman who loves so big and has such a huge heart that she is terrified of using it.

After Irene goes down the tunnel, she finds herself in a city with a strange cat guiding her. The cat leads her to the forest, where she gets rescued from the Hungry Dead by Andras, a knight who died 800 years ago. The Hungry Dead are exactly that--dead that are starving for memories. Irene's ability to sympathize with them once she understands them is so telling. She also comes across a flirtatious cowboy named Ian, and long story short (without giving away too much), the three unlikely companions set off trying to find a way to cross the river.

Andras is such a great character, and I love the parallels he has to Jonah. That says good things about him. Those two really represent that inner voice deep inside Irene that is telling her who she wants to be and who she really is. Ian, while fun, is more of a representation of who Irene let herself become while she was alive. Watching her interact with them is like watching her go at war with the two parts of herself that have been battling this whole time--the part that wants to go back to her shallow existence that gave off appearances of being happy, and the part that wants to be better and wants to do more.

This book is well-written, well thought out, clever, and the most intriguing exploration of the layers of a person that I've ever read. While I might be worried for Jonah in the next book, I have faith that the Acorn will once again come through.

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