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Scott Reads It!

I blog over at Scott Reads It! I'm a reader, a writer, a blogger, and a humanitarian. I'm prone to fanboying about the latest nerdy films and books on a consistent basis! I'm nerdy and I know it.

Level 2 (Memory Chronicles)

Level 2 - Lenore Appelhans Seen at Scott Reads It*Thank you to Simon & Schuster for providing me with an ARC via mail*I'll be honest I thought this book had something to do with video games and the afterlife when I picked it up. I saw the words "LEVEL 2" and that cover which instantly made me think of Street Fighter's Ryu. If you have ever played as Ryu you'll be familiar with that fire-ball move he has and that really reminded me of Level 2's cover. Anyway I'm digressing because this is supposed to be a review of Level 2, not an analysis of Street Fighter. I'll try to explain Level 2 but I'll try to be vague to avoid posting spoilers. After Felicia dies she is transported to a place called Level 2 which is an after life. In Level 2 the dead live in pods where they can relive their memories until they reach Level 3 (a.k.a Heaven). Felicia can rent other people's memories if she has enough credits which she obtains when others rent her memories. The idea that memories could be rented or traded like something physical like a collectible was a superb idea.There are Angels called Morati who are using Level 2 as a means to rebel against Heaven and it's up to Felicia to stop them. Felicia joins up with an old acquaintance of hers to defeat the Moratis and move onto Heaven. Level 2 is a compelling book that gives you an entirely new outlook on the afterlife and angels. Angels are no longer those sweet babies with those little halos or those mysterious love interests in a paranormal romance. These angels are totally bad to the bone and they won't stop at anything to get what they want. Appelhan's view of the afterlife was really creatively done and developed. Unlike in most dystopias, I didn't really have any questions about how the society or it's leaders. Part of Level 2 is Felicia's adventures in Level 2 while the other half is Felicia's life premortem. One of my favorite components of Level 2 is the memory system because it was flawless. The memory system is one of those ideas that sounds fantastic but would be difficult to execute. Luckily Appelhans really thought through and developed the memory system. The memories in Level 2 really provided a futuristic sci-fi tone that I loved. Felicia's memories before she died flowed well with the Morati plotline and were really interesting to read about. I'm sorry if my thoughts seem jumbled but it's so hard to explain everything about Level 2. All of the characters in Level 2 are supposed to be drones like in most dystopian societies. Usually this leads to an inability to connect with the characters because they are cold and emotionless. Felicia is quite the contrary because I really connected with her and she isn't an emotionless robot. Felicia's perseverance to find her friend/ex-boyfriend Neil was really spectacular. I truly loved how dedicated and loyal Felicia was to her friends. Most characters in books would give up in a fight against Heaven but Felicia didn't even second guess her conscience. Felicia's romance with her boyfriend Neil (premortem) was a sweet love story and it really upset me that they couldn't be together. The inclusion of a contemporary romance in a Science Fiction novel worked really well to my surprise. The fact that I truly enjoyed a romance in a book is astounding because romance usually ruins a book for me. I applaud Appelhans for creating a sweet and lovely romantic angle to Level 2. I was ecstatic that there was no love triangle in Level 2 because honestly I would be so happy if I never read a love triangle again. Level 2 is a compelling book that I didn't want to end. The plot of Level 2 was fast paced and I felt like I was there in Level 2 with the characters. Level 2 felt so real that I am bit disappointed that I won't be able to trade any of my memories away (I could use some credits!). I loved the unique Sci-Fi feel of Level 2 because it was like nothing I have read. Level 2 brought me on an adventure that I know I won't ever forget! Lenore Appelhans is a literary genius for coming up with Level 2. I am definitely going to read the sequel and I hope it is just as fantastic as Level 2 was.