My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Anytime a sci-fi novel mixes in with the supernatural and mythology, you can bet it will be something strange. In Applehans’ debut novel Level 2, Felicia Ward is in the afterlife and learns there has to be more to the afterlife than just the blinding white walls and being jammed into chambers of memories. What she does not know is that her memories are clues to where she is and that romance certainly never dies.
Felicia never made it to her eighteenth birthday and she now resides in Level 2- a holding place between our world and the next. She greatly misses Neil, her choir boy boyfriend and repeatedly “watches” memories of him. She does not know how long she has resided in Level 2, but think it has been an eternity.
Then there is Julian. Julian is the super hot looking boy who she knew in the land of the living. What is he doing there with her in the afterlife? He comes to her with this message: “I’ll be coming for you soon…I know where Neil is.”(Applehans, 2013, p.9: Level 2)
Felicia soon finds herself at the mercy of someone who betrayed her when she was alive. Should she trust Julian now? Does he really know where Neil is?
Level 2 has so many good things going for it. The imagery of a stark white afterlife where your body is numb and you can conjure up any weapon, tool, or dress just by thinking it- are fun to read about. Then throw in a handsome boy and some teen romance and the book is even more intriguing.
What was less intriguing are the memory stamps and the confusion as to why only Felicia’s energy is needed out all the billions of people on Earth? The memory stamps made the story sound or seem staccato to me because I wanted to stay in the present. Granted, those memory breaks are pertinent to the story and some were really cool to read. So I can’t complain too much.
I do, however, wish to read the sequel when it is available. I am plugged in to Level 2.