Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Book Shelf: Level 2 (The Memory Chronicles #1) by Lenore Appelhans

In this gripping exploration of a futuristic afterlife, a teen discovers that death is just the beginning.

Since her untimely death the day before her eighteenth birthday, Felicia Ward has been trapped in Level 2, a stark white afterlife located between our world and the next. Along with her fellow drones, Felicia passes the endless hours reliving memories of her time on Earth and mourning what she’s lost-family, friends, and Neil, the boy she loved.

Then a girl in a neighboring chamber is found dead, and nobody but Felicia recalls that she existed in the first place. When Julian-a dangerously charming guy Felicia knew in life-comes to offer Felicia a way out, Felicia learns the truth: If she joins the rebellion to overthrow the Morati, the angel guardians of Level 2, she can be with Neil again.

Suspended between Heaven and Earth, Felicia finds herself at the center of an age-old struggle between good and evil. As memories from her life come back to haunt her, and as the Morati hunt her down, Felicia will discover it’s not just her own redemption at stake… but the salvation of all mankind.

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Lenore Appelhan's debut novel Level 2 is a richly unique and gripping look into the afterlife. Weaving together past with present and memories with current actions, Level 2 is a mysterious and driven novel that will have you guessing until the very end!

Told through the eyes of seventeen year old Felicia Ward, Level 2 follows Felicia during her time trapped in the bleak white limbo she has been in since her death. A place where she doesn't need to eat, sleep or breathe, this afterlife of sorts allows Felicia to access her memories of the life she lived prior to her death and this is all she does.....until the moment someone from her past breaks in and sets the story in motion.

Personally, I found Level 2 to be a really delightful surprise. Featuring a very unique concept and take on the afterlife, Lenore Appelhan's unique exploration of life after death was something I enjoyed very much in this novel. Loosely weaving together hints of Greek mythology with biblical lore, Appelhan slowly reveals the storyline and the goings on of the story. Level 2 really is quite a mysterious read and this is something that only enhances the reading experience.

With the opening chapter of Level 2 all we really know about Felicia is that she's dead. We don't know how she died or when she died, and in all honesty we know nothing about her life prior to this stark limbo she currently resides in. It's only through Felicia's exploration of her memories that we as the reader are able to piece together her life before Level 2. As Felicia access's her memories throughout the novel, we witness two different periods in her life and the two very different guys who feature during this time, one of which has recently broken into Level 2 to locate Felicia.

Honestly, I found myself really engrossed in Level 2. Felicia proved to be such an intriguing character and Appelhan's decision to make her history unknown; only revealing bits in snippets and pieces just made me just want to know all the more who she was and what she went through that impacted on where she is now and how she ended up there. I liked Felicia and enjoyed following her through the story. She was a solid main character and her voice, both present and through her memories was easy to follow.

As we witness this book unfold we're glimpsed with a truly unique take on the afterlife. Appelhan mixes science fiction with celestial beings; shaking angels and the afterlife up in a way I have never seen before. When Felicia is introduced to a group of mysterious individuals who may be willing to get her back to the guy she loves in exchange for agreeing to participate in their rebellion, Appelhan continues to engross the reader with more and more questions and connections from Felicia's past to her present.

Appelhan won me over with the two different romances we witness through Felicia's memories. Both romances were so different--one destroyed aspects of her life and the other helped piece them back together. I loved how Appelhan wove together one of these romances from her past with her present inside Level 2! I wanted to know what connection Julian could have to everything, but at the same time I was constantly bombared by Felicia's sweet and passionate memories of Neil and her unending desire to find him again.

Racing towards a riveting and unexpected ending, Lenore Appelhan managed to satisfy me with Level 2, whilst also leaving me severely looking forward to the next novel. A great start to a new series, Level 2 is mysterious and engaging from beginning until end and I'm very much looking forward to the next book in The Memory Chronicles to see how Appelhan expands on her already set world!

Source: Sent for review by All & Unwin (Thank you Lara!)
Format: Paperback
Buy it: Bookworld | The Nile | The Book Depository | Amazon
My Recommendation: Looking for something unique, futuristic and different? This might be exactly what you're looking for!
Cover: I actually really like it. It's different, but lovely.
Will I read sequel/continue with series: Yes :)

1 comment:

  1. Great review. I wasn't that interested in this book before but after reading your review, I'm willing to give it a try.


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