Title: Memory Chronicles #01: Level 2
Author: Lenore Appelhans
No. of Pages: 288
Origins: Mine. All mine.
Release Date: 15 January 2013
Bottom Line: Weak but still entertaining
“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.”
Thoughts: There are many issues with Memory Chronicles #01: Level 2 (renamed The Memory of After). Weak, forgettable characters, convenient answers, and little world-building are only some of those issues. In spite of these weaknesses, Level 2 is ambitious and creative. Ms. Appelhans attempts to hybridize science fiction and theology. It is a unique mix of genres that would be more effective with more background information and sympathetic, dynamic characters but is still intriguing. Readers will recognize what she attempts to do and respect her attempts. In addition, she cleverly places hints throughout the story, which only become obvious once she reveals the full story. It is an ingenious ploy to bring continuity to a somewhat confusing plot. In all, Level 2 is not perfect, but it is still entertaining and the climactic ending is exciting. There are many unanswered questions that will leave readers curious about the next installment. Those who are less picky about character development and fully-detailed worlds will enjoy it more than finicky readers, but there are still worse ways to spend a few hours.