Thursday, 6 June 2013

Book Review: Level 2 by Lenore Appelhans

Plot: "I pause to look around the hive – all the podlike chambers are lit up as the drones shoot up on memories… I’ve wanted to get out of here before, but now the tight quarters start to choke me." 

Felicia Ward is dead. Trapped in Level 2, the waiting room between Earth and Heaven, she spends endless days replaying memories, of her family, friends, boyfriend…and of the guy who broke her heart. The guy who has just broken into Level 2 to find her…

Felicia learns that a rebellion is brewing in Level 2, and it seems she is the key. Suspended between Heaven and Earth, she must make a choice. Between two worlds, two lives and two loves. A choice that will change everything…

*(There has been a cover and title change. The book is now called "The Memory of After". )

My Review: 

This is a 2013 debut novel by Lenore Appelhans. I'd heard a lot of hype surrounding this book before reading it from book bloggers and booktubers. Most of it had been positive, but some had been negative. I feel like my review will be somewhere in between..

The protagonist, Felicia Ward was a good character. I felt she was sometimes a little annoying and irritating as she provided the commentary for the novel. She was sarcastic a lot, which at first I found amusing but after a while I found it a little repetitive and boring. Her relationship with Neil seemed a little "too perfect" for me. I felt as if he was created solely for there to be a love triangle of some sort. I felt his character didn't provide any development for the story or depth to Felicia's character or his own. 

Julian was the "bad boy" character the reader is supposed to detest from the beginning of the novel, but also be slightly drawn to him as the novel progresses.  I enjoyed Julian's character because he added a little conflict and drama to the plot. I did however, find him to be possessive, arrogant and a little manipulative. I could tell he really liked Felicia but I think this affection was a little one sided in this novel. I didn't really like him as a person, but as a character I felt he really added to the plot and character development. 

I really enjoyed the way the memories were told in the novel. In this afterlife ("level 2") you sit in a pod / room and watch all the memories of your life. You can also rent out these memories and earn credits to rent more memories. The memories are tagged to make searching for them easier. I thought this idea of you being able to re-watch some of your favourite moments from your life when you die really inventive. I liked the way the plot of the book was added to by Felicia's memories. I found it interesting that the memories were not told in any specific order and you had to try and link them yourself. I also enjoyed learning a little, very little, about the Morati. 

Something I didn't like about the book was the amount of times Christianity was brought up and discussed in the book. I don't have any religious beliefs and I don't really enjoy books where the characters get a little "preachy" on their religion. Although I do get that the bible stories were mentioned to refer back to Lucifer being expelled from heaven to hell, were relevant to the afterlife plot line but I found these sections to be really boring.

When I first read the blurb for this book back in December, I was super excited because it sounded like nothing I'd ever read before. When I actually read the book, I felt disappointed. I was able to guess the plot twists and turns, I felt they were a little predictable and could have been a little less obvious and more shocking. The only twist that I did not see coming was the twist at the end of the novel, but even that did not leave me feeling scared / nervous / excited for the next book in the series. I felt the idea for the book was a really clever one, but I just didn't feel like it was my cup of tea when it was written down in the book. 

Overall, I don't think I'd recommend this book but don't take just my word on it. Take a look at some of the reviews on YouTube, Elizziebooks has a glowing review posted for this book if you would like to see something a little more positive about the book. 


Three Stars.   *   *   *

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