Author: Lenore Appelhans
Publisher: Simon & Schuester Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: January 15, 2013
Series: The Memory Chronicles, book one
Source: Audiobook for review from Listening Library, Purchased finished copy of the book
Read By: Jenna Lamia
Audiobook Publisher: Listening Library
Length: 8 hours, 19 minutes
About the Book: 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.
My Thoughts: I have been looking forward to this book for some time. Add to that all the great things my friends have been saying about it and you have some pretty high expectations! As is usually the case when this happens, I was a bit afraid to start the book. I so did not want to be disappointed! I should learn to trust the recommendations of my friends. Level 2 was everything I hoped it'd be and more.
I started off listening to the audiobook read by Jenna Lamia. I want to be very clear. The audiobook is really well done. The superb writing style of Level 2 readily lends itself to being read aloud. Jenna Lamia was a wonderful choice as narrator. I loved everything about it. I listened to five of the seven discs. The only reason I stopped was because I needed to know what happened right now! I only listen to my audiobooks while I'm driving so it would have taken at least two more days to get to the end and that was just not acceptable to me! Instead, I went to my local bookstore praying they'd have the book on the shelf a couple days early. Thankfully they did and I tore through the last 70 or so pages.
Oh. My. Stars. I just... This book... AHHHHHH! The pacing, the writing style, the characters, the world, the romance... I loved it all! Felicia was such a compelling character. I was so greedy when it came to her life. I wanted to know more and more and more... especially about the memories that we only get glimpses of! We learn so much about her as the story goes on through her thoughts as well as her memories. However, there are so many secrets she keeps, moments in her past she doesn't want to relive. I loved the way they all came together as the reader and Felicia gained a greater understanding of the situation Felicia was in.
The world of Level 2 itself was such an interesting concept to me. I've only read a few books set in the afterlife and this is by far one of my favorites (right up there with Gabrielle Zevin's Elsewhere.) I was hooked by the idea of memory chambers. Once Appelhans added the Morati, the rebellion, and Julian I knew I wouldn't be able to get Level 2 out of my head any time soon. I just couldn't get enough. And though the story has an ending that ties up the major loose ends there is so much more I want to know. Book two now please?
A thoroughly captivating and thrilling read. Great for fans of complex stories that keep you questioning. Level 2 is not to be missed!