MissM's Reviews > Afterlight

Afterlight by Elle Jasper
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Oct 19, 11

liked it
bookshelves: read-2011
Read from October 15 to 18, 2011 — I own a copy

Overall, I mostly liked the book despite HUGE flaws and issues with mediocrity.

First, a lack of awareness that not everyone is from Georgia.
First page, first sentence: "Afterlight. According to the Gullah, it meant two things." Gull-whaa? Thank goodness for Google and Wikipedia. They informed me that, "The Gullah are African Americans who live in the Lowcountry region of South Carolina and Georgia, which includes both the coastal plain and the Sea Islands."

I don't live in Georgia or South Carolina. And maybe from there - like the author - know this. But when a book is published, that means it's going beyond just where it's set. And if I didn't know what "Gullah" was and I live here in the US, can you imagine how much more confusing it is to someone outside of this country trying to grasp the location, the American history and the cultural background of a very specific sub-group of one tiny corner of the Deep South? Explaining things helps.

Second, I had issues with the characters.
Riley is a Tough Girl. She can Take Care Of Herself. You know this because she mentions it constantly Grr and all that. It gets old fast.

Eli is SO one-dimensional. Brooding, overly protective that more than wanders into "creepy stalker" territory. (Of course it's supposed to be "sexy" but it's not.) He has no life, vitality or depth to him. He just sulks around the shadows and fringe and yet Riley can't live without him. (Despite knowing almost nothing about him and despite him having no actual personality.)

Even Eli's brothers (who are the same character with two different names, there is no distinction between them) and sister have at least glimmers of personality; they joke and laugh and yet these background, secondary characters have more to them than the main ones. She even threw in a Perky Goth named Nyx (no really, that's the name) for some random reason. (She really didn't serve the story at all.)

Third, the whole book is filler.
Why exactly did they follow the brother and other boys around for 3 weeks? What was the point of it other than to give more time for Riley and Eli to "fall in love" (lust) with each other? Ok so you needed to wait 3 weeks for the "Gullah magic" to work on the full-fledged vampires (for some reason they don't explain), but what does that have to do with the kids? Grab 'em and fix 'em now so there's not a huge battle at the end just to get to the main bad guys.

Fourth, she skipped over the actual Final Battle.
After uselessly stalking around dark clubs for weeks (which, we already established accomplished nothing) some random stranger she overhears gives her the tip-off that the Final Battle is back at the graveyard where this all started. Ok, random much?

Then, they all "suit up" and head over there, where OMG, it's a big, terrible fight scene..! except it isn't. Because Riley conveniently gets hit over the head and misses the entire battle. She wakes up days later and it's all over.


This book annoyed me on a lot of levels. It was ok. But it was very amateur hour. I like the concept but so much of the execution was flawed, flawed, flawed. There was much eye-rolling in the book. I might read the second just to see where it goes and if it has any merit to move forward but if book two isn't better, I'll give up on the series.
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