Review: Level 2 (The Memory of After) by Lenore Appelhans

Level 2Source: Purchased
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Series: The Memory Chronicles #1
Edition: Hardcover, 281 Pages
Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction
Purchase: *
*I receive a small monetary kickback from Amazon purchases
Rating: 3.5/5

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.

If you look at the title of this post you’ll notice that it has a title in parenthesis. This is because the book will be re-releasing with a new title and a new cover. I wanted everyone who looks at this to be able to understand that they are in fact the same book.

Level 2 takes two things that don’t normally appear together and smashes them together in a rather unique and interesting way. The afterlife in Level 2 is not some glorious and peaceful place, it is instead filled with technology and underlying motives.I personally thought the idea of having different ‘levels’ for the afterlife to be kind of cool, seeing as it’s not something I’ve seen done quite this way. It’s very cool to see an old idea – seeing your life replayed – given a new and shiny form. It did border on ‘too religious’ and ‘just right’ a few times but I guess that’s also to be expected. There are also the Morati, angels, who I really wish had been fleshed out and given more page time. They seem really interesting and the bit of history we get on them is really promising, but the potential doesn’t quite come through.

Felicia is a resident of Level 2, where she spends a very large amount of time watching memories of her life or more specifically memories with Neil. I really liked that we got to know her bit by bit as her memories replayed and revealed things about her life on Earth. Neil is the love of her mortal life and he’s honestly a bit too perfect, however given that we only see him in the memories Felicia chooses I suppose he would be. I just wish I had more to go on with him as a character. Julian is our mysterious ‘bad boy’ of the story and the one we get to see more of. He’s charming and determined, but there were times when I honestly did not understand his personality. He definitely knows how to go over the top at times. I did enjoy seeing his role in everything slowly unfold as well.

The let down is the ending, which I obviously can’t tell you too much about. The last section of the book felt rushed and I wanted there to be more details on the ‘how’ and the ‘why’, because even though I finished the book knowing Felicia I still wanted to know more about Level 2 and those in it.

Overall it’s a decent start to a series with promise. I’m definitely going to look into the sequel when it becomes available because I really want to see if Neil and the Morati are fleshed out and I also want to see just what happens now that things have been shaken up in Level 2.

3.5 stars

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12 Responses to Review: Level 2 (The Memory of After) by Lenore Appelhans

  1. I’m happy that you enjoyed for the most part. I am curious as to what does happen in the next book too. 🙂 Great review.

  2. Hmm. This looks interesting. Why are they changing the book title and cover?

  3. I have heard pretty good things about this novel, and I have been eager to read it for a while. Now I am extra keen again, after reading this review.
    I have a feeling that I will probably want more information on the angels, and not just because I love angel mythology. They sound like interesting characters, so I hope I wont be too disappointed about the lack of description.
    The whole premise of this book just sounds really unique, and that’s becoming harder than ever to find in YA books.
    Awesome review 🙂

  4. I’m glad that you enjoyed this one overall, despite it’s too perfect feel at times and letdown ending. I do think I’ll give this one a chance eventually but I’m in no big rush…if only because there are so many other books I should read first hehe. I loved the way you described the originality of the premise 🙂 Lovely review ^^

  5. I really like the concept of this book but I don’t know whether the religious aspects will start to grate after a while. Still making my mind up about it. Thanks for your great review!

  6. Very interesting concept, I think I’d like this one so I will keep an eye for it and hopefully I will still recognise it with a new name and cover!

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