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Level 2 (Memory Chronicles)

Level 2 - Lenore Appelhans Review originally posted at Gypsy ReviewsLevel 2 is about Felicia Ward who died before her eighteenth birthday and is now stuck in Level 2, an afterlife limbo and she repeatedly replays memories of Neil, her boyfriend and of a time she met Julian who broke her heart. However, one day, Julian is able to penetrate the walls to call out to Felicia and strange things begin to happen afterwards. Felicia then realises that she is in the midst of a war the Morati, the guardians of Level 2, are waging against Heaven and that she plays a more important role in this than she realised.The story had an interesting premise about what happens after we die and I found it quite interesting. At first, I was wondering if Level 2 is just it, that’s basically the afterlife before we got to know a bit more about the whole mechanics of how it worked. However, the world building did disappoint me, I wasn’t able to visualise Level 2 clearly because of the lack of description. I understand that it was white but it was quite hard to visulise how the hives looked like and the chambers and that bugged me because there wasn’t an image formed in my head about Level 2 when Felicia was moving about.The mechanics of everything in Level 2 weren’t as defined and absolute as they should have been. For example, do they feel pain in Level 2 or do they not if they remember that the pain isn’t real. I was confused at times because I didn’t understand if Felicia was in pain or not and the whole breathing, do they have blood and so on. The storytelling was well thought out, I liked how it panned out and how we find out about Felicia’s past through memories although I did get bored at times because I knew everything was going to be revealed in the end so sometimes they just felt like fillers.Felicia is a strong-willed heroine, she manages to stick up for herself and she proves that she can kick ass too. However I wasn’t very convinced that she was able to grasp her abilities so quickly. I wish that more development was given to the secondary characters such as Eli, Mira and Virginia. For example when Felicia rescued Virginia, afterwards she was pretty much ignored and they hardly got any interaction. I would have loved to get to know more about Eli and Mira, why they joined the rebellion, maybe even how and some of their past? There seemed to be a lot of potential in them.The pace of the novel was too quick, everything was happening too quickly and easily that I didn’t feel like I fully grasped everything. We didn’t get to know much about the rebellion and all about the Morati, the ending seemed rushed and at the end I was just like ‘okay, that happened and that happened and we’re done.’ More substance could have definitely been put in because it just seemed too convenient and I didn’t feel there was enough explanation for some areas.The romance was good though, I really liked Felicia and Neil and how Felicia was so afraid of not being worthy of Neil because of her past. Neil was a genuinely good guy who loved Felicia and they’re a good match for each other. Julian has that bad boy image, the guy who gets Felicia to do all the things she knows that are wrong but do it anyways and he broke her heart.Despite all this, Level 2 was an interesting read, it’s not a very heavy sci-fi novel. It’s worth checking out if you’re intrigued by the story because it does have an interesting concept but not as fully thought-out and developed as one would hope. I’m going to check out the sequel, Level 3, because I do want to find out what’s next. Hopefully Level 3 will be a better read than Level 2.