Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Level 2 by Lenore Appelhans [REVIEW]

TITLE: Level 2
           (The Memory Chronicles #1)
AUTHOR: Lenore Appelhans
PUBLISHER: Usborne Publishing
PUB DATE: Jan 15 2013
 Summary from Goodreads:

"I pause to look around the hive – all the podlike chambers are lit up as the drones shoot up on memories… I’ve wanted to get out of here before, but now the tight quarters start to choke me."

"Felicia Ward is dead. Trapped in Level 2, the waiting room between Earth and Heaven, she spends endless days replaying memories, of her family, friends, boyfriend…and of the guy who broke her heart. The guy who has just broken into Level 2 to find her…

Felicia learns that a rebellion is brewing in Level 2, and it seems she is the key. Suspended between Heaven and Earth, she must make a choice. Between two worlds, two lives and two loves. A choice that will change everything…



Weird and messy… That’s about what sums up how I feel after reading Level 2. And my review might probably be just as well since my thoughts are all over the place right now. My mind is barraging me with one complain after another. Thought you ought to know.

I was rather intrigued by the sci-fi twist on heaven, earth and the after life setting. I think it was kind of cool. The writing and storyline was easy enough to read through and I even find myself engrossed over the journey and adventure. But I had difficulty finding it appreciative.

For a moment I thought that the after-life thing was just a hoax and they all weren’t really dead, and Level 2 was actually a secret laboratory or something and all the people there were actually test subjects brainwashed and made to believe they were dead. It turns out that’s not really the case here. Yeah, I got a vivid imagination sometimes. Haha!

Anyway, like I said, I really found the plot interesting. But most of the time I found myself confused. There was too little detail on what exactly this world was. If I hadn’t read the summary of this book beforehand, I might have taken a breather from reading the book. A lot of things just didn’t make sense.

One of the characters, Julian, said that there are rules within Level 2 that are changing because of something very important, but heck he wouldn’t even bother explaining what those rules were to begin with.

I don’t get why Felicia wouldn’t try being more up front and asking about the stuff she doesn’t understand. Okay, so yes they all convinced her that she’d understand soon enough. However, it was hard to find it believable that any person would dive into a mission blind with no information on what the purpose was behind the assignment anyway. I know Felicia tried to find out but it’s not good enough. She’s supposed to be strong and important, not feeble and overly deferential.

Another thing that bothered me was how easy it all was for Felicia. She’s been able to adapt to the whole environment so fast and using the “it’s all in the mind” kind of power. Yes, there was a reason in the end but the way it was recounted was hardly convincing.

I don’t understand why Felicia found most of the ideas fed to her as acceptable. She kept going on about: “they were right” or “there’s no other choice” or “unless I want that, I have to do this first” (I forgot her exact words but that pretty much the gist of it).

I’m not buying the whole Neil happy ending. I agree the Julian’s a total douche and Neil proved to be worthy of Felicia on earth - but not in this world. He hasn’t exactly proven his significance in the depths of Level 2. They explained how he died in the end, but would it kill to explain why he was missing in action for like, I don’t know, 98% of the book? Memories of the past not counted.

The idea could’ve been an amazing story… only the execution was sadly scruffy and unpolished. I feel like the author kind of assumed that since many readers have been accustomed to seeing worlds similar to what she created, it also assumes they’d immediately understand how the world of Level 2 works even without a substantial background.


  1. What a shame, I've been wondering about picking Level 2 up, think I'll wait a little longer since I have so many book I still need to get through anyway. Thanks for sharing :)

  2. Aw, shame you didn't enjoy this...Like you, I've been intrigued by the whole afterlife with a sci-fi twist idea, but it is quite a strange notion so I can imagine how it turned out being 'weird and messy'. It's so annoying when you find a book which has an awesome premise and the potential to be amazing only for it to fall short. Nevertheless, thanks for sharing your honest opinion!

    Catherine :)
    The Book Parade


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