After Death? High-Tech Limbo

Level 2 by Lenore Appelhans

level2

First Look:

Very dynamic and exciting looking.  She’s also dressed in a white shift, which is nice attention to detail on the part of the designer.

Jacket Copy:

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.

Sequel?

Yes, Chasing Before will be released next year.

Worth Reading?

nowwhat

The action moves nonstop, and switches between flashbacks of Felicia’s life and detailed, imaginative events in the afterlife.  Even the quieter scenes don’t seem slow, because they are usually short.  You are constantly wondering what will happen next, and the end of the volume is no different.  I pretty much have to read the next book.

Notable Things:

hades

Afterlife!  Appelhans, first of all, used the afterlife as her main setting; and secondly, she created a unique, high-tech afterlife that owes as much to Greco-Roman mythology as it does to Judeo-Christian.

scoobydoo

Twisty Reveals!  Much like a Scooby-Doo episode (but less formulaic), Appelhans slowly dishes out revelations which keep changing the way you look at situations and characters.

Harry

Chosen One!  But unlike many a Chosen One plot, where the One is Chosen because, well, he just is, the Chosen One in this book actually has a valid, logical reason (within the confines of the story) to be Chosen.

Elaboration:

Note: I listened to the audiobook, read by Jenna Lamia.  There were a few points during the book where I thought, “Hmm, I’m not too sure about that,” but the plot moved so quickly that I soon forgot to care.  I enjoyed it thoroughly, though I wouldn’t quite call it a favorite.  I’ll definitely read the next one. I do hope that Neil has a bit more of a role to play in book two, because otherwise there was a lot of flashback about their relationship for what feels like nothing.  Jenna Lamia did a great job with different voices, though I thought her Morati voice was a bit over the top.  She also took a chapter or two to settle into her Scandinavian accent (for one character).

Disclosure:

Borrowed from work.

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