Friday, 11 January 2013

Book Review: Level 2 by Lenore Appelhans.

Product details:
Publisher: Usborne.
Paperback, 320 pages.
Release date: January 15th 2013.
Rating: 3½ out of 5.
Ages: 12+
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…


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.


  1. I was really disappointed in this book but I'm glad you still enjoyed it. It did have a great unique concept and one I hope gets better in its sequel. Great review!

  2. Becky @ Stories & Sweeties11 January 2013 09:30

    I'm so curious to find out what I'll think of this one! It all sounds such a bizarre concept of the afterlife, with the cells and the memories on rerun.  I know what you mean about not liking the guy who was TOO nice...I've come across that before where they are just so nice that it's sappy, and I hate that.

    Another great review, Leanna!

  3. I'm really excited to try this one Leanna! I love that it's unpredictable and that she manages to not make things confusing despite the time leaps. I'm not thrilled about the abrupt ending, but everything else sounds great. And oh, I think I'd be all about Julian as well. Sorry Neil.

  4. I finished this one last night and agree with everything you said. Team Julian all the way!

  5. YearningtoRead11 January 2013 17:58

    Hmmm very intriguing!  I haven't been sure what to make of this one quite yet...but your review is exactly how I think I'll feel about this book.  Thanks for putting your words into such a great review! :)

    Sierra @ Yearning to Read

  6. Great review! I wasn't sure about this one, but I think I will add it to my TBR list. I like the unique premise and the idea of our memories on re-run.  Pretty original concept.  You know I would like the bad boy over Neil. If he is TOO nice, it's annoying!!

  7. Taylor McBroom11 January 2013 20:53

    This one looks super good, and original. Definitely on my wishlist! Awesome review!

  8. I wasn't really looking forward to this book, but the more I read about it, the more it seems like something I'd enjoy a lot. It sounds different, which I like.  Great review. :)

  9. Great review, Leanna! I just read this too, and gave it a similar rating. It was an interesting concept, and I enjoyed the memories, but I feel like it was missing a little something for me!

  10. Sounds perfect for me, I mean I love action packed stories! :) 

  11. daisychainbooks13 January 2013 16:10

     Sorry to hear you were disappointed with this one.  My favourite parts were when Felicia and Julian were getting to know each other in Germany - I guess I liked the contemp parts of the book more, although I did find it very imaginative and unique overall. It also had a few good twists that I really didn't see coming! :)

  12. daisychainbooks13 January 2013 16:11

     Too nice guys are just boring to me, although we mainly only see this guy through Felicia's memories of him, so maybe she's just remembering him that way. We'll see!

  13. daisychainbooks13 January 2013 16:11

     I couldn't help but be drawn to Julian. I can't wait to see you you think of this one. It's different, for sure!

  14. daisychainbooks13 January 2013 16:11

     Definitely! :)

  15. daisychainbooks13 January 2013 16:12

     Yeah. Too nice = boring for me.

  16. daisychainbooks13 January 2013 16:12

     Thanks, Taylor! Hope you enjoy it! :)

  17. daisychainbooks13 January 2013 16:13

     Me too - it's a good debut and a solid start to a new series. I'll be interested to see where it goes from here!

  18. daisychainbooks13 January 2013 16:13

     The pacing in this one is great! :)

  19. Oh I've seen this book around everywhere Leanna, I wasn't really sure whether it would be my thing, but the more great reviews I read the more convinced I am that I need to read this book! Gorgeous review! :)

  20. I really like the sound of level 2, great review :)

  21. I've been dying to read Level Two since I met Lenore in Frankfurt last October. Glad you enjoyed it!

  22. I totally agree about Neil. I know nothing about him except he's super caring & religious. Eh. I didn't quite understand the ending and I'm not sure how I feel about this book overall. I really liked Julian and Felicia's relationship though! Great review. :)

  23. I know what you mean about Neil. He was just tooo nice, it got on my nerves! I couldn't stand it. Definitely Team Julian - I know he's done some awful things, but at least he has some opinions of his own. Great review - I didn't love this book but I do want to find out what happens next!

  24. daisychainbooks21 January 2013 21:33

     Julian and Felicia's relationship was probably my favourite part of the book -- the contemporary elements of the book were what interested me most about this one!

  25. daisychainbooks21 January 2013 21:34

     Me too -- I think we have pretty similar thoughts on this one! I hope there's more to Neil than how Felicia chose to remember. He was a little bit boring for my tastes!


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