Paperback, 320 pages.
Release date: January 15th 2013.
Rating: 3½ out of 5.
Source: Received from publisher for review.
"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…
THREE LEVELS - TWO LOVES - ONE CHOICE
Felicia Ward died shortly before her eighteenth birthday and now resides in Level 2 a stark white afterlife where she replays memories from her lifetime over and over again, day after day, year after year. There’s got to be more to the afterlife than this, right?
That’s for sure, because in Level 2 everything is not as it seems. A rebellion is brewing, the object of which is to enable the inhabitants of level 2 to finally move on from their purgatory, and it seems that Felicia is essential to the cause. That’s according to her ex-boyfriend Julian who shows up one day and releases her from her chamber with promises to reunite her with Neil, the last love of her life. Felicia’s fondest memories are of Neil, and so that and the fact that Julian pretty much destroyed her chamber so that she now has nowhere to go, mean that she’s in.
Unique, imaginative and refreshingly unpredictable, Level 2, the debut novel from Lenore Appelhans combines elements of sci-fi, dystopia, paranormal and contemporary fiction making it a complex and multi-layered read, but though it’s a cross mix of genres and timeframes, Level 2 is never confusing as Appelhans leaps through time detailing Felicia’s present day dilemmas in Level 2 and her time spent on earth, all very cleverly done through the medium of memory. Well, this is the first book in The Memory Chronicles, after all.
Through Felicia’s memories we learn of her relationship with Julian, a union that ended really badly and had a huge impact on Felicia’s life, and we find out all about the relationship she was in when she died. That one was with deeply religious Neil, a golden boy with a beautiful singing voice. Julian on the other hand is the bad boy with a beautiful face and hot body. Guess which guy I went for? Ha!
Sorry. Neil is a really nice guy, but for me, he was just a bit TOO NICE. Of course we only really learn about Neil through Felicia’s memories which may be a little rose-tinted after her tumultuous time with Julian. Who knows?
Level 2 is action-packed from start to finish with surprises galore. One of my favourite things about this book was its unpredictability. Oh, and Felicia’s journeys to different countries too –I loved that travel was a theme here. Though a found the ending a little abrupt, a couple things happened in the final pages of Level 2 that I really didn’t expect, and I’m looking forward to finding out what awaits Felicia in Level 3, releasing next year.